02 Nov 2015 First E.coli Chipotle Lawsuit Filed
National food safety attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm filed the first lawsuit in the E.coli O26 outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants.
To date (updated December 4) there have been 52 confirmed cases of E.coli 19 in 9 states: California (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (13), Pennsylvania (1), and Washington (27). The Oregon Department of Health, one of the best in the country, has identified at least one of the strains as E. coli O26. It looks like produce is the source of the outbreak, but the specific product has not been found.
“This outbreak will likely only get larger as more cases are reported over the coming days and weeks” said Attorney Ryan Osterholm.
The lawsuit was filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. today by a woman who contracted E. coli food poisoning after eating at the Chipotle restaurant located at 7715 NE 5th Avenue, #109, Vancouver, Washington. Brendan and Ryan filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington today, November 2, 2015.
The E. coli Outbreak Investigation
In October, the Washington and Oregon Departments of Health began an investigation into clusters of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli infections. Genetic testing found that all of the patients were sickened by E. coli bacterium with indistinguishable DNA patterns. This meant they were all sickened from the same source. The connection was eating at Chipotle restaurants.
Investigators pinpointed Chipotle after interviewing people sickened in the outbreak and conducting trace-back investigations. And on October 31, 2015, Chipotle closed forty-three (43) restaurants in those states.
Other recent food poisoning outbreaks linked to Chipotle include the following:
- a 2015 Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota;
- a 2015 Norovirus outbreak in California;
- a 2009 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Colorado, Utah and New York; and
- a 2009 outbreak of Campylobacter in Minnesota.
The Facts of the Case
Our client ate a burrito bowl on October 21, 2015, at the Vancouver Chipotle. Four days later she developed symptoms of E. coli food poisoning, including nausea and severe diarrhea, which soon became bloody. She sought medical treatment and tested positive for the presence of Shiga-toxin, the poison created by E. coli bacteria. Her case was linked to the Chipotle E. coli outbreak in Washington and Oregon through genetic testing called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Sue for Pain and Suffering, Lost Wages and Medical Expenses
Attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm are helping people sickened in this outbreak get compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages (time could not work), medical bills and other damages. You can contact them about a lawsuit against Chipotle. Read about suing a restaurant for E. coli.
We are not filing a class action because that would not be appropriate for these claims. Class action suits are for situations where all of the people have very similar harm. That is not the case here. Every case is different, and E. coli can cause severe complications like hemolytic uremic syndrome, the leading cause of kidney failure in children in the U.S.