Marler Clark Retained by Families of Deceased Listeria Victims

Seattle, WA – The Washington State Health Department announced a Listeria outbreak in Western Washington which resulted in three deaths from an unknown source.  Marler Clark, a law firm specializing in foodborne illness litigation, is representing families of victims in this tragic outbreak.  

“Listeria is a deadly bacterium causing over 300 deaths in the United States every year,” said Bill Marler of Marler Clark Inc., PS., “I hospitalizes nearly 100% linked to an outbreak,” added Marler. In 2011, Marler Clark represented over 30 families of people nationwide who died from Listeriosis linked to cantaloupes grown in Colorado.  The outbreak led to criminal prosecutions of the grower/processor.

Four of those sickened by Listeria were living in Pierce County, with one residing in Thurston County.   Victims of this outbreak, two women and three men, were reported to be in their 60’s and 70’s.  Of the Listeria victims that are known, 5 were hospitalized, and 3 died. Genetic fingerprinting results indicate that these patients likely have the same source of infection. Patients became ill between February 27 and June 30, 2023. 

Bill Marler’s work as a food safety advocate is highlighted in the Netflix Documentary “Poisoned” streaming August 2. See, “Poisoned”: The Dirty Truth About Your Food | Official Trailer | Netflix

What is Listeria?

Listeriosis is an infection caused by the bacteria called Listeria. The consumption of Listeria contaminated food is the most common way people contract listeriosis.  Following exposure, symptoms may develop within 3-70 days. Of those exposed, half will experience symptoms within 3 weeks.

Symptoms of Listeria include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea.  If the infection spreads to the central nervous system, symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. 

Who is most likely to get seriously ill from Listeria

  • Pregnant women and Newborns – Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than the average healthy adult.
  • People with cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease.
  • People with AIDS – People with AIDS are 300 times more likely to get sick from Listeria than people with normal immune systems.
  • People who take steroids.
  • The elderly.

How to avoid exposure to Listeria if you are at risk.

  • Wash raw vegetables well before consuming.
  • Cook meat thoroughly.
  • Separate uncooked meat from vegetables and cooked foods.
  • Wash hands, knives and cutting boards after exposure to uncooked food.
  • Eat perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.
  • Do not eat hot dogs or lunch meats unless they are heated to a temperature sufficient to kill Listeria.
  • Avoid getting liquid from hot dog packages on other food.
  • Wash hands after handling hot dogs and lunch and deli meats.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses (e.g., feta, Brie, Camembert, blue cheese, and queso blanco) unless the label clearly states that they are pasteurized.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pâté or meat spread, only canned or shelf-stable ones.
  • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, sometimes labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” or “jerky.” 

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks for 30 years and have recovered over $850 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeriacases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as lettuce, polony, deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery, and milk.

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