The number of persons sickened in an E. coli outbreak involving E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O103 and E. coli O169 in Northeast Tennessee recently climbed to 15. The cases have arisen in an eight-county region.
Marler Clark has previously represented residents of Tennessee in claims arising out of outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7. Those outbreaks include
Cargill, Ground Beef, 2007:
On October 6, 2007, Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation announced that it was recalling approximately 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The recall was initiated after three people in Minnesota tested positive for E. coli and a joint investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture identified the Cargill hamburger patties as the source of the illnesses.
Marler Clark filed four E. coli lawsuits against Cargill related to the outbreak, including a claim on behalf of two Tennessee siblings hospitalized due to consumption of the recalled product. The boy was hospitalized at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital from October 4 through 12, then was transferred to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he remained until October 29. During his hospitalization, the child developed HUS. His kidneys failed requiring extensive dialysis to cleanse his blood, and he became badly anemic requiring many blood transfusions. In addition to this, the child suffered extensive damage to his gastrointestinal tract. The boy’s sister was hospitalized, but avoided HUS. The claims of both children have been resolved.
Peninsula Village; Ground Beef, 1999
The E. coli attorneys at Marler Clark represented a young girl who contracted an E. coli infection while living in a Tennessee treatment center in 1999. The girl and at least one other child living at Peninsula Village were diagnosed with E. coli infections; she developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and was hospitalized for weeks, the other child recovered without complications.
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) learned of the girl’s illness in late June of 1999 after Peninsula Village had interviewed patients and staff and learned that six patients and three staff members had been ill with diarrhea prior to the onset of the girl’s E. coli infection.
TDOH investigators learned that the only common activity the two patients had participated in was eating food prepared in the Peninsula Village kitchen that was served in the dining hall, and that both had consumed ground beef meals prepared and served at the facility twice within the time frame appropriate to have caused E. coli infection.
In concluding its outbreak investigation, TDOH determined that the two patients’ E. coli infections had been caused by “a single common source of infection” and that a meal of ground beef prepared and served at Peninsula Village was the “best fit” as the likely source.
Marler Clark’s E. coli attorneys represented the female Peninsula Village patient in an E. coli claim against the facility. Her claim was resolved in 2006.