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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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130 with Hepatitis A in Arkansas, Maryland , New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

As of today, 105 Virginia residents who had tested positive for hepatitis A reported consuming a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Café prior to becoming ill. Approximately 35% of the residents, for whom information is available, have been hospitalized for their illness. The 104 ill residents range in age from 14-70. Onsets of illness for the 104 cases range from early May through September. The count by region is: 59 Northern, 15 Northwest, 17 Eastern, 13 Central, 0 Southwest.

As of August 16, 2016 the CDC reports 119 people with hepatitis A have been reported from eight states: Arkansas (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (94), West Virginia (6), and Wisconsin (1).
47 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Therefore, the best latest count is 130.  However, other states that have illnesses (from people who visited Virginia and consumed Tropical Smoothies) have not yet reported those illnesses.

Lawsuit to be Filed on Behalf of Brookline Woman Sickened with E. coli O157:H7

Source of illness traced to Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Mass; product from Adams linked to multistate outbreak and recall

A lawsuit will be brought against Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, LLC (“Adams”) and Eva’s Farm Organic Butcher Shop, LLC (“Eva’s”) on behalf of Anne Boldys, a Brookline, Massachusetts resident, who contracted E. coli O157:H7 from contaminated ground beef distributed by the defendants. Adams and Eva’s are headquartered in Athol and Middleton, Massachusetts, respectively. Boldys is represented by Underberg & Kessler LLP of Rochester, NY and food safety law firm Marler Clark of Seattle, Washington.

Anne Boldys’ illness stemmed from ground beef purchased by her parents, Walter and Pat, from Eva’s on or about August 27. Eva’s manufactured and sold the ground beef, which was supplied by Adams.

Anne ate the ground beef on the day of purchase or the day after and, by September 2, was suffering with symptoms that included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Her illness progressed to the point that she required hospitalization at the North Shore Medical center in Salem, Massachusetts from September 4 through September 8. She continues to slowly recover from her injuries.

“E. coli O157:H7 has a long and public history of being one of the most dangerous foodborne pathogens that can affect human health. Its victims often suffer for years after initial symptoms have faded. It’s a disgrace that, even with so many safeguards in place today, there are still outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 in our food supply,” said Bill Marler, partner at Marler Clark. Marler is a longtime food safety advocate who has been representing victims of E. coli for over 20 years, beginning his career representing those made sickest during the 1993 outbreak traced back to the fast food chain Jack in the Box.

The Brookline Department of Public Health confirmed that Anne’s illness was a result of E. coli O157:H7 poisoning linked to a multistate outbreak and recall of beef, veal, and bison products from Adams. Seven people in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and West Virginia have become ill; five have required hospitalization for various symptoms related to their illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection are investigating.

“Folks should expect that the food they purchase at the market—whether it be fruits, greens, grains, dairy, or meat—is free of potentially lethal toxins. The food we buy should always be, at a minimum, safe to eat,” said Paul Nunes, partner at Underberg & Kessler LLP. “Quite frankly, Annie Boldys is lucky to have survived her experience.”

Meat from Adams was shipped to farmers’ markets, retail locations, including Eva’s, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York. These products may have also been further distributed to neighboring states.

About Marler Clark

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

About Underberg & Kessler LLP

Underberg & Kessler LLP has worked together with the Marler Clark firm for nearly 15 years on the prosecution of food-borne illness cases, including E. coli, salmonella and listeria cases.   Underberg & Kessler LLP and Marler Clark were two of the three  lead firms which successfully prosecuted  the class action  of 2500+ children and their families against the State of New York for the cryptosporidium outbreak at the state-run water park in Geneva, New York.    Partner Paul V. Nunes has perennially been recognized as a New York Best Lawyer for both plaintiff and defense work, as well as a Super Lawyer.

CDC weighs in on Multi-State E. coli Outbreak

big-map-9-22-16CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coliO157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections.
Seven people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from four states.

Five ill people have been hospitalized. No one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicate that beef products produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts is a likely source of this outbreak.

On September 24, 2016, Adams Farm Slaughterhouse recalled beef, veal, and bison products due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

The products subject to recall have establishment number EST. 5497 inside the USDA mark of inspection and include several lot numbers and cuts of meat. The full list can be found on the USDA website.

These items were shipped to farmers’ markets, retail locations, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York. The products may have been shipped to neighboring states.

We recommend that consumers, restaurants, and retailers do not use, serve, or sell the recalled meat products.

Don’t cook recalled meat products and eat them. Throw the meat out or return it to the place of purchase. If you throw it away, put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it.

Remember to check freezers for recalled meat.

Adams Farm Slaughterhouse E. coli Outbreak

Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, LLC, an Athol, Mass., establishment, is recalling beef, veal, and Bison products that may be contaminated with E. col iO157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw intact and non-intact beef products originated from animals slaughtered on July 15, 25, and 27, 2016 and August 3, 8, 10, 11, 17, 24 and 26, 2016, and further processed and packed on various dates between July 21, and September 22, 2016.

  • The products subject to recall bear establishment number EST. 5497 inside the USDA mark of inspection and have lot numbers:
    120361, 121061, 121761, 121861, 122161, 122261, 122361, 122461, 122861, 123061, 123161, 123261, 123561, 123661, 123861, 124561, 125261, 125861, 125961, 124261, 120461, 120961, 121161, 121661, 124461, 125061, 126661.
  • The products subject to this recall include:
    WHOLE BEEF CARCASSES, BEEF CUTS, BEEF TRIM, BEEF FOR STEWING, BEEF FLAT IRON, CHUCK ROAST BONE/IN, CHUCK ROAST BONELESS, ROLLED CHUCK ROAST, STANDING RIB ROAST, ROLLED RIB ROAST, RIB EYE STEAK WITH/BONE, RIB EYE STEAK BONELESS, BONELESS RIB EYE STEAK, DELMONICO STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY STRIP STEAK, SIRLOIN STRIP STEAK, T-BONE STEAK, PORTERHOUSE STEAK, TENDERLOIN STEAK, BONELESS NY SIRLOIN STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY SIRLOIN STEAK BONE/IN, EYE ROUND ROAST, TOP ROUND STEAK, TOP ROUND ROAST, BEEF KABOBS MADE FROM TOP ROUND, SHOULDER ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK CUT FROM THE SHOULDER, BOTTOM ROUND ROAST, FACE RUMP ROAST, TRI TIP ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK MADE FROM ROUND, SKIRT STEAK, FLANK STEAK, GROUND BEEF, GROUND BEEF PATTIES, BEEF LOIN NY SHELL STEAK, BEEF CLUB STEAK, BEEF HEART, BEEF LIVER, BEEF OXTAIL, WHOLE LIVER, BEEF BRISKET, WHOLE TENDERLOIN, FACE RUMP, BOTTOM ROUND FLAT, WHOLE CHUCK BONE/IN, WHOLE CHUCK BONELESS, WHOLE RIB EYE, WHOLE SIRLOIN STRIP, TOP BUTT, WHOLE TOP ROUND, AND BEEF SOUP BONES (SHANKS).
  • VEAL WHOLE CARCASS, VEAL CUTS, VEAL TRIM, OSSO BUCO, VEAL STEW MEAT, GROUND VEAL, VEAL SHOULDER, VEAL RIB CHOPS, VEAL LOIN CHOPS, VEAL STEAKS, VEAL ROUND STEAK, VEAL CUTLETS, VEAL TENDERLOIN, VEAL ROAST.
  • The recalled product includes product from Bison slaughtered on August 17:
    BISON CUTS, BISON TRIM, BISON FOR STEWING, BISON FLAT IRON, CHUCK ROAST BONE/IN, CHUCK ROAST BONELESS, ROLLED CHUCK ROAST, STANDING RIB ROAST, ROLLED RIB ROAST, RIB EYE STEAK WITH/BONE, RIB EYE STEAK BONELESS, BONELESS RIB EYE STEAK, DELMONICO STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY STRIP STEAK, SIRLOIN STRIP STEAK, T-BONE STEAK, PORTERHOUSE STEAK, TENDERLOIN STEAK, BONELESS NY SIRLOIN STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY SIRLOIN STEAK BONE/IN, EYE ROUND ROAST, TOP ROUND STEAK, TOP ROUND ROAST, BISON KABOBS MADE FROM TOP ROUND, SHOULDER ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK CUT FROM THE SHOULDER, BOTTOM ROUND ROAST, FACE RUMP ROAST, TRI TIP ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK MADE FROM ROUND, SKIRT STEAK, FLANK STEAK, GROUND BISON, GROUND BISON PATTIES, BISON LOIN NY SHELL STEAK, BISON CLUB STEAK, BISON HEART, BISON LIVER, BISON OXTAIL, WHOLE LIVER, BISON BRISKET, WHOLE TENDERLOIN, FACE RUMP, BOTTOM ROUND FLAT, WHOLE CHUCK BONE/IN, WHOLE CHUCK BONELESS, WHOLE RIB EYE, WHOLE SIRLOIN STRIP, TOP BUTT, WHOLE TOP ROUND, AND BISON SOUP BONES (SHANKS).

These items were shipped to farmer’s markets, retail locations, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York. The products may have been shipped to neighboring states in the immediate area.

FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on September 16, 2016. Working in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FSIS determined that there is a link between beef from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse and this illness cluster. Based on the epidemiological investigation, 7 case-patients have been identified in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia with illness onset dates ranging from June 27, 2016 to September 4, 2016. Traceback information was available for 5 case-patients and indicated that all 5 case-patients consumed beef products supplied by Adams Farms Slaughterhouse. FSIS continues to work with public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

129 struck by Hepatitis A from Tropical Smoothie Café

As of 12:00 pm on September 23, 2016, 104 Virginia residents who had tested positive for hepatitis A reported consuming a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Café prior to becoming ill. Approximately 35% of the residents, for whom information is available, have been hospitalized for their illness. The 104 ill residents range in age from 14-70. Onsets of illness for the 104 cases range from early May through September. The count by region is: 59 Northern, 15 Northwest, 17 Eastern, 13 Central, 0 Southwest.

As of August 16, 2016 the CDC reports 119 people with hepatitis A have been reported from eight states: Arkansas (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (94), West Virginia (6), and Wisconsin (1).
47 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Therefore, the best latest count is 129.  However, other states that have illnesses (from people who visited Virginia and consumed Tropical Smoothies) have not yet reported those illnesses.

276 with Hepatitis A tied to Genki Sushi

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 5 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 68 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A – 276

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/15/16.

On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the ongoing outbreak. The product of concern is Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) that originated in the Philippines (states “Product of the Philippines” on the box), distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and True World Foods. As a result, HDOH ordered this product embargoed (not to be sold, purchased, or consumed) throughout the state, and the temporary closure of all Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, wo required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Cafeteria Worker at Benjamin Parker Elementary School later link in Hepatitis A Problem

KHON2 reports that the Department of Education has confirmed that a cafeteria worker at Benjamin Parker Elementary School has been diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The employee worked at the school from Aug. 28 through Aug. 30.

The DOE is issuing letters to parents today and meals will be prepared off-site for the time being.

The Department of Health is currently investigating. Previously, health officials noted that all students should have received a hepatitis A vaccine as part of routinely recommended childhood vaccinations.

In previous cases of food handlers who have tested positive for hepatitis A, information is released to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases. The Department of Health says that the likelihood of being infected by people that have eaten at these locations is very low.

At the last report issued, DOH has confirmed a total of 271 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation. All cases at this point have been adults.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any person who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business during the identified periods may want to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin (IG). This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies can be found here or by calling the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Seattle Memo’s Mexican Restaurant Link in E. coli Cluster

memologo2KOMO TV 4 reports that public health officials say they are investigating two cases of E. coli associated with Memo’s Mexican Food in the University District.

One person, a King County resident, ate there on Aug. 18 and Aug. 24. The other, who isn’t from King County, ate there Aug. 24. Health officials first got reports of illness on Aug. 31.

Testing show both persons had the same strain of bacteria. The strain hadn’t been seen in King County before.

The strain is different from the cluster that recently affected several customers of the Matador restaurant in Ballard. The two clusters do not appear to be related, King County Public Health said.

“Our environmental health team performed a field investigation of the restaurant on 9/12/16 and identified factors that may have contributed to this foodborne illness outbreak, including improper cooling, cold holding, reheating of potentially hazardous food and the potential for cross contamination. Inspectors will return to the restaurant within 14 days to ensure continued compliance with the corrective measures that were put in place. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health.”

Persons who have eaten at Memo’s and developed diarrhea within 10 days and anyone who develops bloody diarrhea should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if testing is necessary.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Genki, Koha, Sea Port Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Slows, but Hits 271

On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the ongoing outbreak. The product of concern is Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) that originated in the Philippines (states “Product of the Philippines” on the box), distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and True World Foods. As a result, HDOH ordered this product embargoed (not to be sold, purchased, or consumed) throughout the state, and the temporary closure of all Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. The scallops received by True World Foods have not been distributed to any restaurants in the state, and were embargoed at their warehouse. The scallops served at Genki locations on the Big Island and Maui originated from a different supplier and have not been associated with the outbreak.

The outbreak investigation is ongoing.   It continues to be challenging because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place. Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

HDOH encourages Hawaii residents to consider getting vaccinated for hepatitis A, and advises that they talk to their healthcare provider about hepatitis A if they are interested. Vaccination for hepatitis A is strongly recommended for certain individuals who are especially at risk (see HERE for a CDC list of groups recommended to be vaccinated for hepatitis A). Hawaii residents are also advised that the demand for the vaccine during the outbreak has led to varied supply levels around the state, so it is recommended that they call ahead to assure the vaccine is available at a particular clinic or pharmacy before going there.

As of September 14, 2016:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 19 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 68 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A – 271
Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/4/16.

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Listed businesses will be removed from this list once 50 days have elapsed from the affected employee’s last service date while potentially infectious. Since the incubation period for hepatitis A is between 15 and 50 days, any customers who were potentially exposed at that business are no longer considered at risk for developing hepatitis A from that exposure after 50 days have passed.

Chili’s, Oahu, Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway), July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Oahu, Honolulu (801 Kaheka Street), July 21-23, 26-30, and August 2-6, 9-11, 2016
Papa John’s Waipahu, Oahu, Waipahu (94-1021 Waipahu Street), July 23-24, and August 2, 2016
New Lin Fong bakery, Oahu, Chinatown (1132 Maunakea Street), July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and August 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016
Hawaiian Airlines, July 31-August 1, August 10-12
Zippy’s Restaurant, Oahu, Kapolei (950 Kamokila Boulevard), August 14, 18–19, 21, 23, and 25–26
Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38, Oahu, Honolulu (1133 North Nimitz Highway), August 26 through September 12

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, wo required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Marler Clark Sues Ballard Restaurant and Mystery Suppliers over E. Coli Outbreak

Teen hospitalized after eating leftovers as investigation into source continues.

Marler Clark is suing The Matador, a Seattle restaurant, and unnamed distributors after a currently ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak connected to the restaurant caused a 16-year-old girl to develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). The Geloff-Treece family is represented by food safety advocate William D. Marler, managing attorney at Marler Clark LLP, the Food Safety Law Firm, based in Seattle.

In mid-August of 2016 Kevin Geloff and Julie Treece ate at the Matador. Their daughter later ate some of their leftovers. Days later, on August 18, she began to feel unwell. On August 19, while on a family trip to Vancouver, Washington, she started experiencing the vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and fever that typify an E. coli O157:H7 infection. She was rushed to the emergency room at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver, where she was treated, discharged, and recommended to Portland’s Randall Children’s Hospital immediately for further treatment. In Portland, she tested positive for E. Coli O157:H7. After returning home to Ballard with her family, her illness and lethargy worsened.

On August 26, the teenage girl saw her pediatrician, who noted that she showed symptoms of failing kidneys and recommended she be rushed to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Blood tests at Seattle Children’s showed that she had developed HUS. Severely anemic and continuing to lose blood, she underwent multiple blood transfusions and remained at Seattle Children’s Hospital until August 31. Her recovery is ongoing.

Geloff and Treece’s daughter is one of a growing number of victims of this outbreak, with new cases emerging as the SKCPHD attempt to track the source through The Matador’s distributors. The first five victims, including the plaintiff, fell ill between August 22 and September 6. All five ate at The Matador. Of the first five, three were hospitalized; only the plaintiff contracted HUS. Since then, five additional cases, each with the same strain of E. Coli, have been confirmed. Some of the new cases are linked to the Matador, but some are not.  Thus, the suppliers and distributors, so far unidentified, join the Matador as defendants in the lawsuit.

“Although Matador has responsibility to its customers to sell safe food, we feel that getting to the bottom of how this outbreak happened may well prevent the next one,” said Bill Marler, premier food safety attorney in the US and representative for the plaintiff. “The distributors and suppliers who source the Matador may be sending the same tainted materials to other restaurants, exposing more consumers to the very real danger of E. Coli.”

An estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 occur each year in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are hospitalized, and 60 people die as a direct result of E. coli O157:H7 infections and complications, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and kidney failure. Symptoms of E. coli include the sudden onset of abdominal pain and severe cramps, followed by watery, sometimes bloody, diarrhea. Vomiting can also occur, but there is usually no fever.

A severe, life-threatening complication of E. coli O157:H7 is Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Although most people recover from this infection, about 5-10% of infected individuals goes on to develop HUS. E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for over 90% of the cases of HUS that develop in North America. To learn more about HUS, please visit http://www.about-hus.com.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation, and has litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.