Cleveland County Fair E. coli and HUS Outbreak in NC: Lawyer Shares 5 Things about E. coli and HUS Kidney Failure

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who recently won $40,000,000 for clients injured by an unsafe product, is now investigating an outbreak of E. coli poisoning linked to the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina. Several children who contracted E. coli after attending the fair developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication that causes kidney failure. Tragically, a 2-year-old boy who contracted E. coli-HUS has died. Fred recently resolved a case were a llama at a petting zoo sickened several children, including a young boy who developed HUS. The father’s boy hired Fred shortly after the HUS diagnoses to help determine the source of the illness and who was responsible.

Fred would like parents and adult victims to know 5 things about E. coli and HUS:

  1. To win an E. coli lawsuit, it is not necessary to find the specific animal that caused the illnesses.  Often epidemiological evidence (statistical conclusions based on interviews with victims, etc.) is all that is needed to win a case and money damages.
  2. E. coli and HUS patients are at risk for future kidney problems and may need kidney transplants. The kidney problems also lead to additional health problems. It is critical that your attorney (Fred can be reached for a free consultation here) seek compensation for these expected future needs.
  3. Children have legal rights that need to be protected.
  4. You need a lawyer who has successfully handled E. coli and HUS cases. It is important for your lawyer to understand the science behind the evidence, to know how to use the evidence to build a winning case, to know how much money your case is worth and to understand the illnesses and how they affect victims’ lives.
  5. These cases should not (and legally cannot) be part of a class action lawsuit.

Updated E. coli Outbreak Information from the North Carolina Department of Health

To date, 81 people who attended the Cleveland County Fair have laboratory-confirmed cases of E. coli. Preliminary findings
suggest animal exposure may be the source of this outbreak. As of 2 p.m., 52 children, including one who died, and 29 adults are known to be/have been affected by this
outbreak. Eleven individuals, including the boy who died, have been or are currently hospitalized.

The county case counts are as follows:

Cleveland County – 48
Gaston County – 11*
Lincoln County – 13
Catawba County – 1
Mecklenburg – 1
Union County – 2
Rutherford – 2
York County, South Carolina – 2
Cherokee County, South Carolina – 1

The time between exposure to E. coli O157 and onset of illness (incubation period) can be as long as 10 days. Now that we have passed 10/17, we do not anticipate many new cases associated with the initial exposure; however, there is still the possibility of secondary cases (person to person transmission) for several weeks. Symptoms of E. coli infection may include:

  • diarrhea, often bloody
  • severe abdominal crams
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • low-grade fever

The illness can move quickly, and HUS can develop within a day of onset of illness. It is very important for parents to get a child with symptoms to a doctor as soon as possible.


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Category: Food Poisoning
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