Teen hospitalized after eating leftovers as investigation into source continues.

Marler Clark is suing The Matador, a Seattle restaurant, and unnamed distributors after a currently ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak connected to the restaurant caused a 16-year-old girl to develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). The Geloff-Treece family is represented by food safety advocate William D. Marler, managing attorney at Marler Clark LLP, the Food Safety Law Firm, based in Seattle.

In mid-August of 2016 Kevin Geloff and Julie Treece ate at the Matador. Their daughter later ate some of their leftovers. Days later, on August 18, she began to feel unwell. On August 19, while on a family trip to Vancouver, Washington, she started experiencing the vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and fever that typify an E. coli O157:H7 infection. She was rushed to the emergency room at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver, where she was treated, discharged, and recommended to Portland’s Randall Children’s Hospital immediately for further treatment. In Portland, she tested positive for E. Coli O157:H7. After returning home to Ballard with her family, her illness and lethargy worsened.

On August 26, the teenage girl saw her pediatrician, who noted that she showed symptoms of failing kidneys and recommended she be rushed to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Blood tests at Seattle Children’s showed that she had developed HUS. Severely anemic and continuing to lose blood, she underwent multiple blood transfusions and remained at Seattle Children’s Hospital until August 31. Her recovery is ongoing.

Geloff and Treece’s daughter is one of a growing number of victims of this outbreak, with new cases emerging as the SKCPHD attempt to track the source through The Matador’s distributors. The first five victims, including the plaintiff, fell ill between August 22 and September 6. All five ate at The Matador. Of the first five, three were hospitalized; only the plaintiff contracted HUS. Since then, five additional cases, each with the same strain of E. Coli, have been confirmed. Some of the new cases are linked to the Matador, but some are not.  Thus, the suppliers and distributors, so far unidentified, join the Matador as defendants in the lawsuit.

“Although Matador has responsibility to its customers to sell safe food, we feel that getting to the bottom of how this outbreak happened may well prevent the next one,” said Bill Marler, premier food safety attorney in the US and representative for the plaintiff. “The distributors and suppliers who source the Matador may be sending the same tainted materials to other restaurants, exposing more consumers to the very real danger of E. Coli.”

An estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 occur each year in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are hospitalized, and 60 people die as a direct result of E. coli O157:H7 infections and complications, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and kidney failure. Symptoms of E. coli include the sudden onset of abdominal pain and severe cramps, followed by watery, sometimes bloody, diarrhea. Vomiting can also occur, but there is usually no fever.

A severe, life-threatening complication of E. coli O157:H7 is Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Although most people recover from this infection, about 5-10% of infected individuals goes on to develop HUS. E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for over 90% of the cases of HUS that develop in North America. To learn more about HUS, please visit http://www.about-hus.com.

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, and has 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.