William Marler, attorney for victims of the recent E. coli O121 outbreak that public health officials have linked to frozen Farm Rich pizza, cheese steaks and quesadillas, called on the company today to pay all E. coli outbreak victims’ out-of-pocket medical costs and lost wages for missed time off work to care for themselves or family members suffering from E. coli infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 27 residents of 15 states are part of the E. coli outbreak. One-third of E. coli outbreak victims have been hospitalized, with one developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure.
On March 28, Rich Products Corporation recalled approximately 196,000 pounds of its Farm Rich frozen heat-treated, but not fully cooked frozen mini meals and snack items for potential E. coli O121 contamination. The company expanded its recall on April 4 to include 10,500,000 pounds of Farm Rich foods, which were sold at various retailers nationwide.
“Even for people with health insurance, medical bills can be a financial strain,” said William Marler, the country’s preeminent attorney representing E. coli outbreak victims. “Parents miss time off of work to care for their children; husbands and wives take time off to care for one another. Rich Products’ failure to produce a safe product impacted not only their physical health but also their financial health. The company should make an effort to restore its customers’ financial health as soon as possible.”
Marler noted that victims of E. coli outbreaks who develop hemolytic uremic syndrome can accumulate tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and that health department investigations into E. coli outbreaks can cost taxpayers even more.
“Farm Rich should also reimburse local health departments for the costs incurred to investigate this outbreak,” he concluded.
BACKGROUND: William Marler is managing partner of Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, 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. 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.