Romaine lettuce E. coli lawsuits have been filed on behalf of some victims of the outbreak which now includes 149 people in 29 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sixty-four people have been hospitalized, 17 of whom are battling a life-threatening form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for HUS from an E. coli infection.
“HUS is characterized by damage and destruction of red blood cells which clog the filtering system of the kidneys,” said noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, whose national food safety law firm, Pritzker Hageman, has won multiple multi-million-dollar awards for E. coli HUS clients, including a $7.5 million verdict.
Pritzker Hageman’s team of E. coli attorneys are representing clients in this outbreak.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC continue to warn consumers to avoid eating romaine lettuce unless they are sure it was not grown in Yuma. Federal and state health officials have not released the names of affected brands, grocery stores that sold the greens or restaurants that served them. E. coli lawsuits that have been filed have named Panera Bread and Red Lobster.
Since the CDC’s last update on May 2, the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak has grown to include 28 more illnesses and four more states, including Minnesota which is reporting 10 cases of E. coli poisoning. By state, the case count is as follows: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (30), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (4), Minnesota (10), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (8), New York (4), North Dakota (2), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (20), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (2).
Onset-of-illness dates range from March 13, 2018 to April 25, 2018. Sixty-five percent of those sickened, who range in age from 1 to 88 years old, are female. Half of all case-patients in this outbreak have been hospitalized, including the 17 who have developed HUS. One person in California has died.
The FDA says the romaine lettuce associated with this outbreak was grown in Yuma, AZ , but has not been able to zero in on a farm or farms responsible for all of the illnesses. Last week, the agency said that romaine lettuce is no longer being produced or distributed from Yuma. At this time of year, romaine production typically moves to California growing regions.