E. coli Poisoning

E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Causes Kidney Failure

Our law firm has filed a lawsuit against The SoyNut Butter Company for a child whose kidneys failed after eating an I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter product at a daycare. The child is one of 23 people sickened in an outbreak of E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products. According to the CDC, “Epidemiologic information collected to date indicates that I. M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter products might be contaminated with this harmful bacteria and are a likely source of this outbreak.” We also just learned that E. coli at Montessori of Alameda in Portland, Oregon, is part of the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter outbreak.

Our law firm recently obtained a trial verdict of $7.55 million for a child with E. coli-HUS sickened in a previous outbreak linked to another product. Our young client lost 50% of her kidney function and is predicted to require dialysis and kidney transplantation in her early twenties. Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Lindsay Lien Rinholen were the legal team that won this case.

What is E. coli Poisoning?

E coli

E. coli poisoning is a severe gastrointestinal illness caused by food, water or animal feces that have been contaminated with this bacteria. Shiga toxins created by these bacteria cause the illness. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) bacteria are incredibly tiny, about .000078740157 inches long. End to end, 10,000 cells could fit on the head of a pin, and it only takes 10 of them to make someone severely ill.

Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker has spoken at Harvard Law School, Cornell and other venues and has been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, CNN and others.

These bacteria travel to the large intestine (colon), multiply, and produce enough Shiga toxins to cause an inflammatory disease called hemorrhagic colitis. This is what causes the characteristic bloody diarrhea that is extremely dangerous. We have represented clients who have needed a colectomy, which is surgery that removes part of the colon, because of severe colitis.

In some cases, Shiga toxins enter the blood stream and are transported to the kidneys, causing hemolytic uremic syndrome and/or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). HUS and TTP are complications that cause kidney failure, brain damage, damage to other organs and wrongful death. We have represented clients who developed these complications, and families with wrongful death claims.

One bite of contaminated food can kill someone, and companies that sell that food need to be held accountable. Because CEOs and other executives are almost never charged criminally for selling tainted food, filing a lawsuit is often the only way for those sickened to get justice.

If you or a family member has been sickened with food poisoning, you can speak with an E. coli lawyer for free about your claim by calling our law firm at 1-888-377-8900. We are one of the few law firms in the U.S. that regularly represent people diagnosed with HUS.


E coli Bacteria

E. coli O157 bacteria under a magnification of 6836x. The combination of letters and numbers in the name of the bacterium refers to the specific markers found on its surface, which distinguishes it from other types of E. coli.

A person who swallows E. coli O157:H7 does not get sick right away. In fact, it can take up to 10 days (but usually about 3 to 4 days) for the person to experience symptoms. This time frame is called the incubation period.

First, tiny bits of tainted food or water are ingested. The food leaves the stomach, goes through the duodenum and small intestine and then, in the large intestine (called the colon), the bacteria cells in the food attach themselves to the wall of the colon and multiply. These cells make deadly Shiga toxins.

Symptoms can include:

  • Severe cramps
  • Watery and/or bloody diarrhea
  • Possible mild fever
  • Possible nausea or vomiting

Symptoms can range from mild diarrhea to severe abdominal cramps and bloody stools, but you may display no symptoms at all.  These infections are a leading cause of bloody diarrhea. These symptoms are more severe in children, the elderly and in those who have another illness or who have compromised immune systems. These infections are more common during the summer and in the northern United States.

The first sign of illness is usually sudden, severe abdominal cramps. Watery diarrhea starts a few hours thereafter. Diarrhea causes your body to lose fluids, resulting in dehydration, which can make you feel nauseated and weak. The watery diarrhea lasts for about a day.

The diarrhea will then change to bright red bloody stools because the infection creates sores in your intestines. Bloody diarrhea lasts for two to five days and you might have ten or more bowel movements a day. Your stools may appear to be more blood than stool.

You may have a mild fever. You may also have nausea or vomiting. Consult your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms: watery, bloody diarrhea, cramps, fever, nausea or vomiting.

Diagnostic Testing Important if You Want to Sue for Compensation

If you have bloody stools, abdominal cramps, and other symptoms, you need to contact your doctor immediately.  You need to make sure that your doctor gets a stool sample and has it tested specifically for E. coli O157:H7.  This involves three steps:

  1. Test for the presence of the bacteria;
  2. Test to see if it is O157 or another serotype;
  3. Conduct pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) testing to determine the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria that made you sick.

You need to make your doctor aware of the need for this three-level testing. Our law firm can help you sue a restaurant, grocery store, food company or other business for compensation.

Pritzker Hageman Attorneys Win Largest E. coli Verdict in U.S. History
E. coli 7.5 Million Verdict

Contact our law firm right away for a free consultation about your foodborne illness case. Our lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for people just like you who were harmed by unsafe and dangerous food products. Read about our recent $7.55 million win for a child who contracted E. coli and suffered kidney failure.

Health Safety Alert

The CDC has notified health professionals that antibiotics should not be prescribed for anyone with an E. coli infection. Patients given antibiotics for this infection are at greater risk of developing HUS, the leading cause of deaths.


KS Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest

An outbreak is associated with the Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest in Louisburg, Kansas. Seven laboratory-confirmed cases of the illness have been reported so far. The Ciderfest was held on September 24 to 25 and on October 1 to 2, 2016.  The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the FDA, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture are all investigating this outbreak. An on-site assessment was conducted at that facility on October 27, 2016. Environmental and food samples were collected for testing. Twelve samples were taken from equipment, apples, products that were made at the facility, and apple cider.

Adams Farm Slaughterhouse Ground Beef

Our law firm is investigating an outbreak of O157:H7 poisoning linked to ground beef produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts. To date, the outbreak involves 7 people from 4 states: Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (3), Pennsylvania (1) and West Virginia (1). When the interviews pointed to ground beef as a suspected source of the outbreak, investigators did traceback investigations to find out if the ground beef eaten by the outbreak victims had a connection. Evidence gathered in the traceback investigations indicated that people sickened in the outbreak ate ground beef which had been produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, according to the CDC.

Matador Restaurant

The Matador restaurant in Ballard, Washington, has been associated with a cluster of five infections. Four of the 5 people ate at the restaurant on August 14, 2016; one person, on August 22. Health officials received the first report of illness on August 22, and the last report of illness on September 6.

Carbòn Live Fire Mexican Grill in Chicago

Our law firm filed a lawsuit against Carbòn Live Fire Mexican Grill in Chicago on behalf of a woman sickened in an outbreak that has sickened at least 65 people. At least 20 of those patients were hospitalized because their illness was so severe.

Brendan Flaherty

Attorney Brendan Flaherty can be contacted for a FREE consultation (click here).

“Based on what we know now, the Chicago Department of Public Health is closing in on the precise cause of this massive outbreak. Whatever it turns out to be, an outbreak this large simply should not happen,” said attorney Brendan Flaherty.

Oregon Infections Possibly Caused by Animal Contact at Washington County Fair

Our law firm is investigating outbreak that has sickened several people in Washington County, Oregon. The source of the E. coli infections may be animal contact at the Washington County Fair and/or food.

Richey Class Reunion

At least 40 people got sick from the 2016 Richey Class Reunion in Richey, Montana held in July. Seven of them were hospitalized. It is still unclear exactly how food provided by a local caterer got contaminated.

Grassfields Cheese

Grassfields Cheese LLC, issued a recall of approximately 20,000 pounds of organic cheeses after reports of 7 illnesses.  The recall involves all types and sizes of organic cheeses manufactured by the firm between December 1, 2015 through June 1, 2016.

PT Farm Beef Recall and Outbreak

At least 14 people have been sickened in an outbreak linked to beef products produced by PT Farm, LLC, a North Haverhill, New Hampshire establishment, according to the USDA. In response to this outbreak of illness, PT Farm is recalling about 8,800 pounds of raw beef products. The recalled beef products include raw ground beef, ground beef patties and other sub-primal cuts that were produced between June 6 and June 16, 2016.

General Mills Flour

General Mills, based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, issued a recall of about 10 million pounds of flour sold under the Gold Medal, Wondra, and Signature Kitchens brands at the end of May 2016. The recall was prompted by a multistate outbreak of O121 infections that has sickened at least 42 people in 21 states. On July 1, 2016, General Mills expanded their recall to include more flour products that were produced in the fall of 2015.

General Mills Gold Medal Flour - Open BagPizza Dough

We filed the first lawsuit against Pizza Ranch from pizza dough. Several states may be involved in this outbreak, including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. At least one person sickened developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Please contact our law firm if you or your child was sickened in this outbreak. Five of the 13 confirmed E. coli cases are from Minnesota.

Alfalfa Sprouts

An O157:NM outbreak that sickened 7 people in Minnesota and 2 in Wisconsin was associated with alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts, a River Falls, Wisconsin company, according to the CDC. The dates of onset of illness range from January 17, 2016 through February 8, 2016. Four of the people sickened were residents of the Twin Cities metro area, and three live in greater Minnesota.

Chipotle Restaurants

Chipotle RestaurantTwo O26 outbreaks associated with Chipotle occurred in 2015, according to the CDC. The first one sickened at least 53 people in 9 states: California (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (13), Pennsylvania (2), and Washington (27). Illness onset dates for this outbreak range from October 19, 2015 to November 14, 2015. The second outbreak sickened 5 people in Kansas (1), North Dakota (1), and Oklahoma (3). Illnesses onset dates were from November 18, 2015 to November 26, 2015.

Costco and Taylor Farms

An outbreak was associated with eating rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states, according to the CDC. The chicken was supplied by Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. The number of ill people reported from each state was as follows: California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Illness onset dates ranged from October 6, 2015 to November 3, 2015.


Why Should You Hire Our Law Firm?

  1. Because  we’re extremely experienced (we’ve handled hundreds and collected millions on behalf of people harmed by contaminated food).
  2. Because we can quickly tell you if you have a case and if so, how much it’s worth.
  3. Because if we’re on the case, you don’t have to worry anymore; you can finally focus on what’s important, which is getting better and moving on with your life.


$4.5 Million Recovery

Best Lawyers Law Firm 2015Our lawyers have won millions for their clients, including $4.5 million for a young woman who got sick after eating beef. Our client and her family had gone to a restaurant to celebrate her good grades. A few days later she had severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. These symptoms soon developed into HUS. Her kidneys failed, and she almost died.

The family contacted us when she was in the hospital. The state health department had not determined what food caused her illness, so we began an independent investigation. After beef served at the restaurant was pinpointed, we sued the beef processor, supplier and restaurant.

This is the result of just one of many lawsuits our law firm has won for our clients.



Client Testimonial“When I was seventeen years old, I became very sick with a food-borne illness called E. coli. I later learned that I got the bacteria from an under-cooked meat product. Because of this, I suffered from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which caused my kidneys to fail. I was on dialysis for three months.”  Read the full testimonial.

Additional Information

  1. What is E. coli O157:H7 ? – Information regarding the history and technical designation of this pathogen.
  2. Client Testimonial.
  3. Lawsuit – Filing a lawsuit against the company responsible for the personal injury or wrongful death is often the only way to determine how the food that caused the illness got contaminated. This is important both legally and for public safety reasons.
  4. Wrongful Death – A wrongful death claim both compensates the family and holds wrongdoers responsible.
  5. HUS – Hemolytic uremic syndrome can cause kidney failure, heart failure, pancreatitis, brain damage and wrongful death.
  6. Kidney Failure.
  7. TTP – Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura causes renal failure and central nervous system (CNS) damage.
  8. Child – Our lawyers help children.
  9. Colectomy – Our attorneys represent outbreak victims who need a colectomy.
  10. Shiga Toxin – The danger lies in the production of toxins called Shiga toxins.
  11. Non-O157 Outbreaks – The six most common strains of non-O157 include O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145.
  12. Petting Zoo – Although most of our cases involve contaminated food, our attorneys have won cases where a petting zoo was associated with the illnesses.
  13. Contaminated Water – People sickened by contaminated water can also sue for compensation. In a recent outbreak, water served at a restaurant was linked to the illnesses. Dozens of people were sickened.
  14. Sue a Restaurant – If a restaurant is linked to your illness, you have the legal right to sue for compensation.

Our lawyers have won millions for our clients. They have appeared on CBS News, Fox News and numerous local stations. Attorney Fred Pritzker is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. To contact Pritzker Hageman law firm, please call toll-free at 1-888-377-8900 or submit the firm’s free case consultation form.