Attorney Ryan Osterholm filed a second HUS lawsuit in Pizza Ranch E.coli outbreak. The second lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska (Case Number: 8:16-cv-00136) on behalf of a young girl who was severely sickened with E.coli.
The eight year old girl, named L.P in the complaint, ate at Pizza Ranch Lincoln NE with her family last New Years Eve, December 31, 2015. A few days after the meal she started throwing up and developed bloody diarrhea. Her parents brought her to the hospital where the doctor ordered a stool culture. The culture came back positive for E.coli O157:H7. This strain of E.coli is especially dangerous because of the Shiga toxin it produces. When Shiga toxin infiltrate the blood stream they can travel to other organs in the body like the kidneys or spinal cord and cause permanent damage or death.
While hospitalized L.P. developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infections. The Shiga toxins accumulate in the kidneys and destroy red blood cells causing a condition called thrombi, tiny blood clots in the filtering system. HUS is very serious and is the most common cause of acute renal failure (ARF) in children. Ryan explains, “Due to L.P.’s dangerously low kidney function, doctors were forced to place a port for dialysis. L.P also developed pancreatitis as a complication. Over the next three weeks this child endured five blood transfusions, nine rounds of dialysis, and had a feeding tube placed in her intestines.”
The Nebraska Health Department determined L.P. had contracted E. coli O157:H7 with a PFGE pattern that matched infections suffered by other people, including a Kansas girl who suffered HUS as well. Thirteen people were sickened in this outbreak from December 2015 through February 2016, in nine states Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Dough used to make dessert pizza is the suspected source of the E.coli bacteria, but health officials have not yet determined how it became contaminated. L.P. reported eating dessert pizza. CDC has commented that the outbreak is over, and Pizza Ranch has ceased use of the suspected contaminant.
Watch an NBC (Nebraska affiliate) video: “Family sues Pizza Ranch says E. Coli nearly killed their 8 year old.” Hear our clients discuss how their daughter was hospitalized for a month and almost died:
“It was your worst nightmare. You never wish this on anybody to see your child in this much pain, and she didn’t do anything wrong, she didn’t do anything. She ate some pizza. And now it’s going to change the course of her life forever because she ate pizza.”