Dean Siemon at the Nisqually Valley News got it 100% right. When a commercially sold product causes not only severe gastrointestinal illness, but also causes a 5-year-old’s kidneys to fail, yes, that little girl needs to be compensated. These 2 HUS victims in the Cozy Vale raw milk E. coli outbreak are, at the very least, at an increased risk for kidney and cardiovascular problems during their lifetimes; sometimes in HUS the damage is so severe that kidney transplantation is nearly certain.
From Dean’s article on the injuries suffered by our client, who is identified in court documents as TC, and was sickened in the Cozy Vale E. coli outbreak:
After being treated at Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma, the girl’s conditioned worsened. Eventually, she required a blood transfusion, court documents said.
The girl is now being treated for hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is recognized as the most common cause of kidney failure in children.
“HUS happens in about 10 percent of these kinds of E. coli cases — most often in young kids,” Falkenstein said.
Representatives from Cozy Vale Creamery did not return multiple requests for comment about the case.
In the Dec. 2 issue of Nisqually Valley News, Cozy Vale Creamery owner Laurie Barta maintained that no E. coli was found on her farm and that those who were infected had also consumed other raw milk products.
Falkenstein said regular consumers and producers of raw milk products are “dedicated to their cause.”
“It doesn’t surprise me that she doesn’t think her milk wasn’t the cause,” he said.
“But it was, and any epidemiologist will say the exact same thing.”
Cozy Vale raw milk was sold at various stores, including Yelm Food Co-op.
A representative of Yelm Food Co-op said the store was told the family that’s suing Cozy Vale purchased their raw milk from a food co-op store in Olympia.
Beyond that, the co-op’s vice president did not return calls for comment