Edina Man Sues Citrus Systems, Claims Juice Plant Gave Him Legionnaires’

Christopher Jones, who is still dealing with complications from the airborne disease, is seeking $50,000 in damages from the Hopkins juice manufacturer.

Edina resident Christopher Jones filed a lawsuit against Citrus Systems Inc., a juice manufacturer from Hopkins, over claims that he contracted Legionnaires’ disease during his time working at a Honda dealership near the factory.
 
Jones, 62, and his wife Kathryn are suing for more than $50,000 over claims of negligence and loss of wages, court documents state.
 
Jones is one of 23 people affected during the Legionnaires’ outbreak in August and September, of which put 17 in the hospital and led to one death.
 
Ryan Osterholm, the attorney representing Jones, told the Star Tribune that Jones “was on the verge of death.” Osterholm works for Prizker Hageman, a Minneapolis firm specializing in food-borne illness litigation, including diseases such as Legionnaires’. He said six others who contracted Legionnaires’ have joined Jones’ suit and additional cases against Citrus Systems could materialize.
 
In response to the allegations, Citrus Systems created a page on its website to address concerns.
 
“We recently received a notification that the Minnesota Department of Health has identified a set of cooling towers at Citrus Systems, Inc. as a likely source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Hopkins,” the company wrote. “We are currently working in close cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health regarding any recommendations they may have.”
 
State health officials have said consumers are not at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ from drinking Citrus System’s juices, teas and other beverages.