An E. coli outbreak happens when two or more people are sickened by the same food or after visiting the same location, most often a restaurant. Our law firm is one of the few in the United States that has won multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for people sickened in these outbreaks. Our law firm recently won $7.5 million for a little girl who contracted an E. coli infection during an outbreak and lost kidney function. Her life will never be the same, but the money our law firm won for her has given her and her parents some peace of mind.
What is E. coli Poisoning?
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.
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 have developed these complications, and families with wrongful death claims.
One bite of contaminated food can kill someone. Companies that sell that contaminated 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.
Symptoms 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:
- painful abdominal cramping;
- bloody diarrhea;
- fever (not always);
- vomiting (again, not always).
At the beginning, patients often experience just very painful abdominal cramping. Then the watery diarrhea begins, which generally lasts for about a day before it becomes very bloody, even bright red in some cases. This is an indication that toxins produced by the E. coli bacteria are eating away at the lining of the colon. This condition is called hemorrhagic colitis.
In most cases, the bloody diarrhea lasts for two to five days, with 10 or more bowel movements a day. The stools may appear to be more blood than stool.
When children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems get this infection, the toxins can be particularly damaging. Those patients are at higher risk for severe complications like HUS kidney failure, severe dehydration, and colitis that is so bad that part of the colon needs to be removed.
There are usually more E. coli cases in the summer months, but this is changing since more produce is being imported from tropical climates in the cooler months.
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:
- Test for the presence of the bacteria;
- Test to see if it is O157 or another serotype;
- Conduct pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) testing and whole genome sequencing (WGS) 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.
Health Safety Alert
Our law firm is warning E. coli outbreak victims that, according to the CDC, antibiotics should not be prescribed for anyone with an E. coli infection. Patients given antibiotics for this infection are at greater risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication that causes renal failure, and the leading cause of deaths in E. coli outbreaks.
E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Causes Kidney Failure in 9 Children
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 32 people sickened in an outbreak of E. coli. Nine children sickened in the outbreak developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney failure.
Attorney Brendan Flaherty is one of the lawyers from our law firm who filed the suit:
“This company specifically marketed this product to parents of young children, daycare centers and preschools. We are hoping this lawsuit sends a message to this and other food companies that the safety of these little ones should have been the top priority.”
If your child has been diagnosed with E. coli poisoning, contact our law firm for a free consultation.
Our Law Firm Won a $7.55 Million Verdict for Little Girl With E. coli-HUS
Our law firm recently obtained a trial verdict of $7.55 million for a little girl who was sickened in an earlier outbreak. She developed kidney failure, was on dialysis for weeks, and now had permanent loss of 50% of her kidney function. She may need a kidney transplantation in her early twenties.
This is believed to be the largest E. coli poisoning verdict in U.S. history.*
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 more about our recent $7.55 million verdict for a child who contracted E. coli and suffered kidney failure.
$4.5 Million Settlement for Woman Who Ate Contaminated Meat
Our client, a young woman, eats out at a nice restaurant to celebrate her good grades during her first year of college. It is a chain restaurant with a good reputation. A few days later she gets extremely runny diarrhea that is also bloody. She experiences severe abdominal pain unlike any she has ever had in her life. These are symptoms of the E. coli infection she had contracted from eating contaminated meat at the restaurant. A few days later her urine output is almost nonexistent. She has hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of the infection that causes kidney failure, and hers have failed. She almost dies.
Her family found our law firm while searching for answers on the internet while she struggled to survive. At the time, they did not know that the restaurant food had made their daughter sick. Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty, and Ryan Osterholm took the case and found evidence pinpointing meat served at the restaurant as the source of our client’s infection. They sued the meat processor, supplier and restaurant for the pain, suffering, and financial loss endured by our client.
Why Should You Hire Our Law Firm for Your E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit?
- Because our lawyers have handled hundreds of cases like yours.
- Because they can quickly determine if you have a lawsuit and, if so, how much it is worth.
- Because if our lawyers are on the case, you have an experienced team that will help your family through this difficult time.
Attorney Ryan Osterholm is a father, dog lover and food safety advocate. He recently helped a family whose little child died after contracting an E. coli infection.
“Young children have a greater risk of developing fatal complications from E. coli poisoning. I help families get answers, compensation and justice.”Attorney Ryan Osterholm
E. coli Outbreaks and Lawsuits
2017 E. coli Outbreak in 13 States
An outbreak in 13 states has sickened at least 17 people: California (3), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), Vermont (1) and Washington (1). Five people have been hospitalized in the United States, including one who died. Two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. Onset of illness was from November 15 to December 8, 2017. Our lawyers can help you sue for E. coli from lettuce or another food product.
Damsy Restaurant E. coli Lawsuit
Attorney Ryan Osterholm has filed a The lawsuit against the Damsy Restaurant, located at 405 1st Avenue SW, Rochester, Minnesota, on November 16, 2017. Our young client, under the age of two, was severely sickened, and her parent lost wages due to time taken off of work. The suit seeks compensation for both the child and parent.
200 Sickened at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and Camp Pendleton
Our E. coli lawyers are investigating an E. coli outbreak at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego and Camp Pendleton. Over 200 recruits were sickened in October 2017. Testing is being done to determine the source of the illnesses.
I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter Lawsuit
On April 21, 2017, our law firm is representing the family of a child sickened in the E. coli outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products. The child, only a toddler, was hospitalized after his kidneys began to fail. He had to undergo dialysis and may have permanent damage. He is one of 32 people, mostly very young children, who were sickened in this outbreak. Attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm filed a lawsuit in Illinois on our young client’s behalf.
Lawyers File Suit against Chicken and Rice Guys
Attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm filed an E. coli lawsuit against Chicken and Rice Guys on behalf of a man who ate a “Rice Plate” from The Chicken and Rice Guys restaurant in Allston, MA, in March of 2017 and contracted an E. coli infection. He is one of 10 people sickened in the outbreak. They filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts.
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 with severe symptoms.
General Mills Flour
General Mills recalled millions of pounds of flour sold under the Gold Medal, Wondra, and Signature Kitchens brands at the end of May 2016. This was after reports of illness from several states. The outbreak sickened 42 people in 21 states. The outbreak is over, according to the CDC.
We filed the first lawsuit against Pizza Ranch after people got sick from contaminated 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 ill person 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 E. coli Outbreak
An E. coli 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.
Two 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.
- What is E. coli O157:H7 ? – Information regarding the history and technical designation of this pathogen.
- E. coli Lawsuit: 5 Reasons to Sue – 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.
- Wrongful Death – A wrongful death claim both compensates the family and holds wrongdoers responsible.
- HUS – Hemolytic uremic syndrome can cause kidney failure, heart failure, pancreatitis, brain damage, and wrongful death.
- Kidney Failure.
- TTP – Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura causes renal failure and central nervous system (CNS) damage.
- Child – Our lawyers help children.
- Colectomy – Our attorneys represent outbreak victims who need a colectomy.
- Shiga Toxin – The danger lies in the production of toxins called Shiga toxins.
- E. coli O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 Outbreaks – The six most common strains of non-O157 include O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145.
- Petting Zoo – Although most of our cases involve contaminated food, our attorneys have won cases where a petting zoo was associated with the illnesses.
- 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.
- Sue a Restaurant – If a restaurant is linked to your illness, you have the legal right to sue for compensation.
Our E. coli lawyers help client hold food companies, restaurant owners, and others accountable for selling unsafe food. They have appeared on CBS News, CNN, and numerous local stations.
*Based on a thorough review of the jury verdicts available through Westlaw’s database as of November 29, 2016, there are no larger reported jury verdicts for petting zoo cases. In fact, it also appears there are no larger jury verdicts for foodborne E. coli.