Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm represented a 17-year-old who contracted an E. coli infection after eating beef at a restaurant. Her infection moved to her kidneys, causing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease that causes kidney failure.
3 Months on Dialysis
Our client’s case of HUS kidney failure was particularly severe. She was on dialysis for 3 months, and her kidneys are still significantly damaged. Her doctors have informed her that her kidney function will continue to decline, meaning she may need a kidney transplant in the future.
Litigating the Case
When our client and her parents contact Fred and his team, her case of E. coli was not definitively connected to the restaurant or a specific food item. We explained that genetic testing on E. coli isolates found in our client’s stool sample needed to be done to find out if she was sickened by the same strain of the bacteria that had sickened others who ate at the same restaurant. The genetic test is called pulsed-field gel electrophesis (PFGE). Fred and his team have used PFGE evidence hundreds of times to win personal injury and wrongful death settlements for our clients.
Our client told us:
“I found that members of the firm were more knowledgeable than some of my doctors on food-borne illnesses.”
Our client’s E. coli PFGE pattern matched that of others who had eaten at the same national chain restaurant. This meant that she was part of an outbreak of illnesses caused by food at the restaurant.
The next issue was finding the specific food item served at the restaurant that caused the E. coli outbreak. Interviews with people sickened in the outbreak pointed to a beef product. Further investigations looked at the supplier and processor of the beef product. The result was a recall of hundreds of thousands of pounds of beef, and a lawsuit against the beef processor and the supplier of the tainted meat.
About Our National Food Safety Lawyers
Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty, and Ryan Osterholm are national food safety lawyers. They represent clients in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against restaurants, food processors, suppliers, and others. They have won millions for their clients.