(Salt Lake City, Utah) A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Rebecca Pitt against Jimmy John’s Restaurant in the Third Judicial District Court in Salt Lake County. Ms. Pitt is represented by Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm and Lance Andrew, P.C., a local Salt Lake City firm.Pitt Complaint 00902749.
Jimmy John’s has had a decades-long problem with sickening customers with bacteria-tainted sprouts,” said William Marler, managing partner at Marler Clark. “In the past Jimmy John’s would stop selling sprouts after an outbreak, only to start up again later. The time has come to put the health of its customers first.” (Jimmy John’s sprout related recalls in the past 12 years.)
The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in six states, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections linked to clover sprouts. As of March 17, 2020, 39 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from six states: Florida (1); Illinois (6); Iowa (3); Missouri (1); Texas (1); and Utah (27).
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicate that clover sprouts are the source of this outbreak. Fifty-eight percent reported eating sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurant. Jimmy John’s reported that all of their restaurants stopped serving clover sprouts on February 24, 2020. The FDA identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in samples of Chicago Indoor Garden products that contained sprouts. On March 16, 2020, Chicago Indoor Garden recalled all products containing sprouts. The FDA traceback investigation shows that the common seed lot used to grow the sprouts recalled by Chicago Indoor Garden were also the sprouts served at Jimmy John’s locations where ill people in the current outbreak reported eating.
On February 19, 2020, Rebecca consumed a Beach Club sandwich with sprouts, purchased from the Jimmy John’s located at 3292 S. 1300 E., Suite 105 in Salt Lake City. On February 22, Rebecca began experiencing the onset of E. coli symptoms, including abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. After a visit to her primary care physician on February 28, 2020, a stool sample tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O103. The Salt Lake County Health Department contacted Rebecca about her diagnosis, symptoms and food history. Rebecca continues to suffer from fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramping.