Several lawsuits have been filed against The SoyNut Butter Company on behalf of people sickened in an E. coli food poisoning outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products. Many of the 32 people sickened were children who were exposed to these products at a daycare or preschool. Nine of these children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal complication that causes renal failure, pancreatitis, stroke, heart damage and other serious health problems.
There is a limited amount of time to file an I.M. Healthy lawsuit for E. coli compensation, and there may be a limited amount of money available for outbreak victims. For parents whose children were sickened, it is important to note that you can sue on your child’s behalf.
If you have questions, you can contact us for a free consultation with Fred or another E. coli lawyer at our law firm. Read about the first SoyNut Butter Company lawsuit filed by our law firm. Attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm filed that suit. It was not a class action.
CDC Says 32 Got E. coli Food Poisoning, 9 Developed HUS
From January 4 to April 18, 2017, 32 people from 12 states became ill from a genetically identical strain of E. coli O157:H7. This genetic connection means they were all sickened by the same food product. An enormous amount of evidence, epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback, points to I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter as the likely source of this outbreak, according to our investigation and CDC analysis.
Nine of the people sickened developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Some of these little ones with HUS spent weeks in the hospital. Thankfully all of them survived.
One of our many concerns about this outbreak is that people will continue to get sick because:
- I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products have a long shelf life; and
- This product is sold to be eaten right out of the jar, without being heated to a temperature high enough to kill this deadly bacteria.
People sickened to date range in age from 1 to 70 years, with a median age of 9. Twenty-six of them are younger than 18 years old. To date the states and number of people sickened in each is as follows:
Arizona (4), California (5), Florida (2), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), Oregon (11), Virginia (2), Washington (2), Wisconsin (1).
Free Consultation about an I.M. Health Lawsuit
Below are some questions you may have about an I.M. Healthy lawsuit against The SoyNut Butter Company.
Do I have to file a lawsuit against SoyNut Butter Company to get compensation?
No, you don’t have to file a lawsuit to get compensation. A settlement can be negotiated before a suit is filed. This being said, an E. coli lawsuit is valuable for several reasons, including the following:
- Legal options for getting documents, emails and other evidence from the company can uncover important information;
- You are claiming a right to whatever funds are available;
- You are sending a statement that it is not okay to sell unsafe food.
What if my child is part of the outbreak but I did not see him or her eat an I.M. Healthy product?
A lawsuit is still possible because the most important evidence in these cases is test results on E. coli bacteria found in the people sickened and in product. If your child is part of this outbreak, it means E. coli bacteria were found in your child’s stool sample and that further testing determined the DNA fingerprint of that bacteria matched the DNA fingerprint of bacteria found in the other victims and in unopened jars of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter. Finding this DNA fingerprint is generally done with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and/or whole genome sequencing (WGS), which is newer technology.
Because your child is part of this outbreak, it means he or she was sickened by the same food as the other people sickened in the outbreak. That is evidence enough to win full and fair compensation, which can be millions. Our law firm just won $7.55 million for a little girl who suffered permanent kidney damage from E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Can I sue SoyNut Butter Company and another business?
It is possible that you can sue both SoyNut Butter Company and another business. Several of the children sickened in the outbreak were exposed to the contaminated product at a daycare or school. These businesses may be legally responsible. This is something you should discuss with one of our lawyers during your free consultation. Our lawyers are sensitive to the fact that you may not want to sue a business that is legally responsible, and we will always respect your decision.
Do I have to pay a lawyer an hourly fee to take my case?
No, you do not have to pay an hourly fee, nor do you have to pay any money up front. Our law firm works on a “contingency” basis, meaning we are not paid unless we win money for you.