As of June 24, 2019 the Missouri Department of Health has identified five people who have been sickened with E. coli after coming in contact with animals at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis County. Those sickened have a form of E. coli called Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) which can be particularly dangerous, especially to young children, the elderly and immune-compromised individuals. In 5-10% of cases, STEC infections can lead to a very serious kidney condition called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Missouri State and federal officials are currently investigating to determine what procedures led to visitors coming into contact with this strain of E. coli.
Pritzker Hageman has represented clients in serious E. coli cases involving petting zoos in the past, including winning a $7.55 verdict against a petting zoo for a devastating case of E. coli in a young child, that led to HUS. Petting Zoos that don’t have adequate procedures in place can easily becomes sources of disease outbreaks.