Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli, is a life-threatening illness that can cause kidney failure, central nervous system damage, heart problems, pancreatitis, and other serious medical conditions.
In 2010, an E. coli O145 outbreak linked to contaminated lettuce sickened 33 people. Twelve of them were hospitalized, and three of them developed HUS, including one of our clients.
Attorneys at Pritzker Hageman represented a woman who ate lettuce contaminated with E. coli O145 bacteria and then developed HUS. Our client, a student at Daemen College in Amherst, New York, suffered three separate hospitalizations and was seriously set back in the course of study she was pursuing.
Daemen College was one of several schools affected by this outbreak including: Roy C. Ketcham High School (Wappingers Falls, New York), John Jay High School (Wappingers Falls, NY), Wappingers Junior High School (Wappingers Falls, NY), Van Wyck Middle School (Wappingers Falls, NY), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
The outbreak included illnesses in four other states. In total, 11 confirmed and two probable cases were reported in MI; eight confirmed and three probable cases in OH, five confirmed and two probable cases were reported in NY; PA and TN each reported one confirmed case.
The evidence gathered in the investigation pointed to shredded romaine lettuce from one processing facility as the source of the outbreak. The “smoking gun” was finding the outbreak strain of E. coli O145 in an unopened package of shredded romaine lettuce a school had purchased from a processing facility.