Rather than present its case before a judge or jury, Kroger opted to settle a case alleging it sold a tainted lobster to an area woman.

Plaintiff Paula Richardson filed suit against Kroger on April 9, 2009, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging eating lobster purchased from the market caused her food poisoning.

Kroger, believing there was no evidence that its Beaumont grocery store sold the lobster, moved for summary judgment, court records show.

A hearing on the matter was slated for June 29. If the judge failed to craft a favorable ruling, the case was slated for trial on July 6.

However, according to a court official, the parties never engaged in a summary judgment hearing and reached an undisclosed settlement on June 5.

Court records show that Kroger first filed the motion for summary judgment on Dec. 1, 2009, arguing that Richardson failed to produce a witness to testify that she ate and was sickened by the lobster or produce a receipt showing she purchased the lobster from Kroger.

Richardson claims she became violently ill after eating a frozen lobster she allegedly purchased from the Kroger located at 3845 Phelan Blvd. in Beaumont on April 13, 2007.

She prepared the lobster on April 15, 2007, and suffered extreme food poisoning after its consumption, she alleges.

Richardson was seeking unspecified damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which she may be entitled.

Kent W. Johns of Beaumont represents her.

Kroger is represented by Houston attorney Brook Akers.

Judge Bob Wortham of the 58th District Court is presiding over the case.

Case No. A183-754

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