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

E. coli Lawyer

Baraka Bakery Recalls Ground Beef After Positive for E. coli

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 7.22.32 PMBaraka Bakery and Grocery, a Nashville, Tenn. retail firm, is recalling an undetermined amount of ground beef products that may be adulterated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The Halal ground beef items were processed and packaged on various dates from April 19, 2017 through April 26, 2017. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

  • Packages containing butcher ground to order “HALAL GROUND BEEF.”

These items were sold to consumers at the firm’s retail location in Tennessee.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS retail sampling. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

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.

E. coli Lawsuit – A 24 year history

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.

26 Canadians Sick with E. coli O21 prompts more Flour Recalled

Robin_Hood_Flour_logoVarious sizes of Robin Hood “Best for Blending” flour are now among a number of products that have been subject to a food recall warning by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

A national recall of flour due to E. coli O21 contamination, which was first announced last month, has been expanded yet again. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s recall on March 28 affected Robin Hood flour sold in four provinces in Western Canada and was later expanded across the country.

Last week, more products were added to the recall, including certain flour goods produced by Ardent Mills of Brampton, Ont.

Now Ardent Mills is adding even more items to the list, including various sizes of Robin Hood Best for Blending flour, as well as the brand’s bread and roll mix.

The federal agency says all recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store.

The agency said after the initial recall there were 26 cases of people being infected with E. coli O21 in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

No deaths have been reported, but at least six people required hospital care.

Marler Clark retained in General Mills E. coli Outbreak

gold-medal-all-purpose5LBThe FDA, CDC, and state and local officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O121 and O26 infections. CDC reports that 63 people infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O121, and O26 were reported from 24 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 21, 2015 to September 5, 2016. Seventeen ill people were hospitalized, and one person developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome. In its investigation, CDC learned that some people who got sick had eaten or handled raw dough.

FDA’s traceback investigation determined that the raw dough eaten or handled by ill people or used in restaurant locations were made using General Mills flour that was produced in November 2015 and select production dates through February 10, 2016 at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri. Epidemiology, laboratory and traceback evidence available at that time indicated that General Mills flour manufactured at this facility is the likely source of the outbreak.

On May 31, 2016, following a conference call among FDA, CDC and the firm, General Mills conducted a voluntary recall of flour products produced between November 14, 2015 and December 4, 2015. Recalled products were sold in stores nationwide but may still be in consumers’ pantries and were sold under three brand names: Gold Medal flour, Signature Kitchens flour and Gold Medal Wondra flour. The varieties include unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising flours.

On June 10, 2016, FDA performed Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) on E. coli O121 isolates recovered from an open sample of General Mills flour belonging to a Colorado consumer who was sickened, and it was found to be closely related genetically to the clinical isolates from human illnesses. The flour came from a lot that General Mills had recalled.

Testing by FDA has identified E. coli O121 in open product samples collected from ill people in Arizona and Oklahoma. FDA’s WGS analysis of the E. coli O121 isolates from the Arizona and Oklahoma product samples showed that they were closely related genetically to the outbreak strains. The General Mills flour sample collected from the Oklahoma patient was produced outside of the company’s original recall date range. On July 1, 2016, following a call with the FDA and CDC General Mills expanded its recall of Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour.

The FDA used WGS to characterize isolates provided by General Mills to FDA. FDA provided characterization information to General Mills that an E. coli O26 isolated from their returned retail flour is closely related genetically to a clinical isolate that was subsequently added to the outbreak cluster. WGS characterization analysis of additional E. coli isolates provided by General Mills to FDA did not return other clinical isolates that were closely related genetically.

On July 25, 2016, following a call with the FDA and CDC, General Mills expanded its recall a second time to include products produced on select dates through February 10, 2016.

Flour has a long shelf life, and bags of flour may be kept in peoples’ homes for a long time.

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.

How large will the Dixie Dew and I.M. Healthy E. coli Outbreak get?

We represent 18 people – including 7 with hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Twenty-nine people infected with the outbreak strains of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from 12 states. Arizona 4, California 5, Florida 1, Illinois 1, Massachusetts 1, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 9, Virginia, 2, Washington 2, and Wisconsin 1.

e-coli-o157Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017, to March 13, 2017. Ill people range in age from 1 to 57 years, with a median age of 8. Twenty-four (83%) of the 29 ill people are younger than 18 years. Among ill people, 59% are male. Twelve ill people have been hospitalized, and nine people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Laboratory testing found the outbreak strains of STEC O157:H7 in I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from the homes of ill people and from retail locations.

On March 7, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company recalled all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products. On March 10, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company expanded its recall to include Dixie Diner’s Club brand Carb Not Beanit Butter. On March 23, 20/20 Lifestyle Yogurt Peanut Crunch Bars were recalled because they contain a recalled ingredient.

CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, and childcare centers, schools, and other institutions do not serve, any variety or size of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter, I.M. Healthy brand granola, Dixie Diner’s Club brand Carb Not Beanit Butter, or 20/20 Lifestyle Yogurt Peanut Crunch Bars, regardless of the date of purchase or the date listed on the container. Even if some of the product was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it.

The FDA announced on March 28, 2017, the FDA used authorities granted under the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to suspend the food facility registration of Dixie Dew Products, Inc. (Dixie Dew) of Erlanger, Kentucky, because products manufactured in this facility may be contaminated.

The FDA’s decision to suspend the registration of Dixie Dew Products was prompted by the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak and the findings of FDA’s March 2017 inspection of Dixie Dew, which identified insanitary conditions that could lead to contamination with E. coli O157:H7 in finished products.

No food can leave the Dixie Dew facility for sale or distribution while the food facility registration is suspended.

On March 28, 2017, the FDA issued a Suspension of Food Facility Registration Order to Dixie Dew of Erlanger, Kentucky, after an inspection revealed insanitary conditions at the firm that could affect the safety of finished products.

The FDA inspected the facility between March 3 and 15, 2017.  On March 3, 2017, Dixie Dew refused to allow FDA investigators access to the facility’s environmental sampling and production records; the FDA subsequently issued a Demand for Records under section 414 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. After receiving the Demand for Records, Dixie Dew provided FDA investigators with the necessary records. At the close of the inspection, the FDA provided Dixie Dew with a list of the investigators’ inspectional observations (Form FDA 483), noting objectionable conditions seen during the inspection. Dixie Dew responded to the report in writing with a list of actions the firm has taken to correct the conditions; however, FDA found the corrective actions were not adequate to fully address the risks that were identified, and issued the Suspension Order to prevent further illnesses from occurring.

The Suspension Order applies to the entire facility. While the order is in effect, no food product may leave the facility for sale or distribution.

Specific problems noted in the suspension order and Form 483 included (blanks reflect redacted information):

  • investigators observed grossly insanitary conditions that cause your firm’s soy nut butter products to be adulterated;
  • food contact surfaces, floors, walls, and ceilings in the soy nut butter processing and packaging rooms were heavily coated with soy nut butter build-up from previous production runs.
  • firm does not routinely wash and sanitize smaller pipes, pipe fittings, gaskets, seals, “or the rubber _____ plug” when broken down following a production run;
  • firm does not conduct a kill step for SoyNut Butter product remaining  in your firm’s mixing kettle leftover from a production run;
  • plant Manager stated, up to _____ may remain in the kettle overnight or weekend prior to resuming production. You and your Plant Manager stated the kettle is shut off when product remains in the kettle overnight and/or over the weekend;
  • plant manager and maintenance supervisor reported your _____ machine, used for fine mixing of the SoyNut Butter and ________, routinely shuts off during processing. Your Plant Manager stated this occurs one to two times per day and, this problem has persisted for approximately 15 years despite repeated maintenance intended to correct the problem;
  • firm monitors the SoyNut ______ with a ______ thermometer, but plant manager stated he has never verified the accuracy of this instrument;
  • you and your plant manager report,your temperature probe and chart recorder, initially engineered to verify and record _____ of product in the large mixing kettle, is not functioning properly and has not been used for well over a year.

FDA inspectors also noted problems with Dixie Dew’s food safety testing program, noting the company’s “failure to perform microbial testing where necessary to identify possible food contamination.” Inspectors found the testing materials on hand at Dixie Dew had expired in July 2016 and October 2015.

Problems in the Dixie Dew quality control lab were described in detail by FDA inspectors.

“An apparent fly infestation in your firm’s Quality Control and Product Development Laboratory was observed on 3/13/2017. Small apparent flies and fly larvae, too numerous to count, were inside an unplugged chest freezer,” according to the 483 report.

“A sealed blue plastic bag was inside the freezer and according to your plant manager, contained an egg product that became rotten when power was disconnected. The small apparent flies were observed along the laboratory counters and flying throughout the laboratory.”

FDA Form 483 (Inspectional Observations) for Dixie Dew Products, Inc.

Suspension of Food Facility Registration Order

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.

Boston’s Chicken and Rice Guys Sicken 15 with E. coli

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An E. coli O157: H7 outbreak that has shuttered three locations of the Chicken & Rice Guys, as well as its fleet of Middle Eastern food trucks, Boston health inspectors said last Tuesday. By Friday the number of ill jumped to 15 with at least 10 people hospitalized.

The department confirmed 15 cases of E. coli O157: H7 stemming from the Chicken & Rice Guys Allston location, which supplies food to the chain’s other outposts. The problems led to the suspension of its operating license.

The company’s four food trucks, which rotate locations around Greater Boston, were taken off the road Tuesday afternoon.

According to Boston Inspectional Services, the city received an anonymous complaint and opened an investigation Tuesday. Public health officials remained at the Allston site throughout the afternoon trying to determine a specific source of the outbreak.

And, from the Guys themselves:

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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.

Canada E. coli O121 Outbreak: Flour Recall Expands

A Canadian recall of flour due to E. coli O121 contamination, which was first announced last month is being expanded to cover additional products.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) recall on March 28 affected Robin Hood flour sold in four provinces in Western Canada and was later expanded across the country.

The recall now covers products produced by Ardent Mills of Brampton.

They include one-kilogram bags of Brodie self-raising cake and pastry flour; Creative Baker all-purpose flour in 20-kilogram bags; Creative Baker whole wheat flour in 10-kilogram packages; and Golden Temple Sooji creamy wheat in two-kilogram packages – each with various best-before dates.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 4.21.43 AM

The initial recall affected Robin Hood flour in 10-kilogram bags but the CFIA said the recall now includes Robin Hood flour in one-kilogram bags with best-before dates of April 14, 15 and 18, 2018. Click here for more information on the recall.

The agency said after the initial recall there had been 26 cases of people being infected with E. coli O121 in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

No deaths have been reported, but at least six people have required hospital care.

Updated: Boston’s Chicken and Rice Guys E. coli Outbreak hit 15 with 10 Hospitalized

cnrg_logo-640x640The Boston Globe reported last night reported that an E. coli O157: H7 outbreak had shuttered three locations of the Chicken & Rice Guys, as well as its fleet of Middle Eastern food trucks, Boston health inspectors said Tuesday.

Today, that number jumped to 15 with at least 10 people hospitalized.

The department confirmed 15 cases of E. coli O157: H7 stemming from the Chicken & Rice Guys Allston location, which supplies food to the chain’s other outposts. The problems led to the suspension of its operating license.

The company’s four food trucks, which rotate locations around Greater Boston, were taken off the road Tuesday afternoon.

According to Boston Inspectional Services, the city received an anonymous complaint and opened an investigation Tuesday. Public health officials remained at the Allston site throughout the afternoon trying to determine a specific source of the outbreak.

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 KinerStephanie 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.

Boston E. coli Outbreak Sickens 7 and Shutters Chicken and Rice Guys

0706121726Megan Woolhouse of the Boston Globe reported tonight that an E. coli outbreak had shuttered three locations of the Chicken & Rice Guys, as well as its fleet of Middle Eastern food trucks, Boston health inspectors said Tuesday.

The department confirmed seven cases of E. coli stemming from the Chicken & Rice Guys Allston location, which supplies food to the chain’s other outposts. The problems led to the temporary suspension of its operating license.

The company’s four food trucks, which rotate locations around Greater Boston, were taken off the road Tuesday afternoon.

According to Boston Inspectional Services, the city received an anonymous complaint and opened an investigation Tuesday. Public health officials remained at the Allston site throughout the afternoon trying to determine a specific source of the outbreak.

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.

Florida Mom and Daughter Speak Out on E. coli Outbreak

Bradenton-HeraldJames A. Jones Jr. of the Brandeton Herald reported on “a Manatee County teen [being] among 29 people nationwide suspected of falling ill during an E. coli outbreak linked to a peanut butter substitute.”

During a month-long stay in All Children’s Hospital, Lily O’Neal, 14, suffered kidney failure, went into a coma, couldn’t talk and suffered temporary paralysis, said her mother, Tracy O’Neal on Sunday.

“It was worse than we can ever describe,” Tracy O’Neal said of her daughter’s potentially life-threatening ordeal.

Outbreak Update:

The I.M. Healthy brand Soy Nut Butter paste outbreak includes at least 29 confirmed with infections from the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 across 12 states.

While the most recent illness began March 13, the CDC cautioned that additional people who became ill after March 7 might not yet be included in the case count because of the two to three weeks needed for lab confirmation and reporting. Illnesses started on Jan. 4.

Of the 29 victims, 24 are younger than 18 years old. Victims’ ages range from 1 to 57, with a median age of 8 years old. A dozen of the victims have had symptoms so severe they required hospitalization. Nine victims developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Public health officials have interviewed 28 of the victims — or their parents — and 21 of them reported either eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter in the week before becoming ill at home; at a facility that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter; or at childcare centers that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter and I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter.

FDA Investigation:  

The FDA also has finally named and shut down the manufacturer of soy nut butter implicated in an ongoing nationwide E. coli outbreak, noting that records and employees at Dixie Dew Products Inc. revealed food safety violations going back at least 15 years.

Documents released Thursday show the FDA was investigating Dixie Dew Products production facility in Erlanger, KY, from at least March 3 in relation to the E. coli outbreak. The federal agency did not publicly name the company as the manufacturer until Thursday evening, two days after notifying Dixie Dew president Robert Carl that his food facility registration was suspended.

In an accompanying report known as a Form 483, FDA inspectors detailed filthy conditions at the Dixie Dew plant. They documented:

  • broken temperature control equipment;
  • liquid dripping from the roof in production areas;
  • an infestation of flies and larva;
  • food production tools stored on dirty, wet floors;
  • and statements from supervisors about equipment being broken for 15 years, soy paste production machines not having been cleaned since 2015, and no hot water in hand-washing sinks for two years.

“We issued the suspension of registration on Tuesday, but they had a due process period of time in which they could request a hearing — even though the suspension order was effective immediately — hence the delay in announcing,” an FDA spokeswoman said Thursday evening.

FDA officials have repeatedly cited a clause in federal law that prohibits the agency from revealing “confidential corporate information” (CCI) such as transactions between food ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers.

The SoyNut Butter Co. of Glenview, IL, had also kept secret the name of its soy paste supplier, referring to it only as a “contract manufacturer” in recent notices on the SoyNut Butter website. However, at some point Wednesday the most recent post on the SoyNut Butter website, dated March 9, was changed to say “our contract manufacturer Dixie Dew Products.”

“On March 3, 2017, Dixie Dew refused to allow FDA investigators access to the facility’s environmental sampling and production records; the FDA subsequently issued a Demand for Records under section 414 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. After receiving the Demand for Records, Dixie Dew provided FDA investigators with the necessary records,” according to FDA’s suspension notice.

“At the close of the inspection, the FDA provided Dixie Dew with a list of the investigators’ inspectional observations — Form FDA 483 — noting objectionable conditions seen during the inspection. Dixie Dew responded to the report in writing with a list of actions the firm has taken to correct the conditions; however, FDA found the corrective actions were not adequate to fully address the risks that were identified, and issued the Suspension Order to prevent further illnesses from occurring.

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 KinerStephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.