In the Spring of 2016, the CDC reported that thirty-two people infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from 12 states – Arizona 4, California 5, Florida 2, Illinois 1, Massachusetts 1, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 11, Virginia 2, Washington 2 and Wisconsin 1. Twelve people were hospitalized. Nine people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths were reported. Twenty-six (81%) of the 32-ill people in this outbreak were younger than 18 years. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicated that I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter manufactured by Dixie Dew was the likely source of this outbreak.
Both I.M. Healthy and Dixie Dew filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Each company paid their insurance proceeds into the Bankruptcy Court in Chicago for a total of $11,250,000. As part of that process twenty-six people filed claim and each of their claims were valued by a Court-appointed evaluator. The values of the cases ranged from $25,000 to $25,000,000 individually based upon the severity of the illnesses for a total of $70,000,000. Each person received a pro-rata share of $6,000,000 in October 2018. The Court today ordered the balance, $5,250,000, to be disbursed by the Court on January 10, 2018 (The order is not yet online)
Once the Bankruptcy Court rules, the 26 claimants will continue litigation against the supply chain and retailers who sold the product.
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 $650 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.