August 18, 2019

Applebee’s E. coli Lawsuit Was News After All Star Game

Television coverage of ¬†baseball’s 2014 Major League All Star Game was immediately followed in the host city of Minneapolis with a news report of the first lawsuit in Minnesota’s Applebee’s E. coli outbreak. E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker, whose law office overlooks Target Field in the city’s downtown core, was interviewed at length by Fox 9 News in a story that immediately followed the game.

E. coliPritzker represents a young man from Woodbury, Minnesota, who is one of 13 confirmed victims of the outbreak. On the victim’s behalf, attorneys at PritzkerOlsen P.A. sued Apple Minnesota LLC in United States District Court just hours before the first pitch was thrown in the All Star game. The case and the outbreak could have national implications because investigators suspect the outbreak could have been driven by contaminated raw produce with broader distribution than Applebee’s in Minnesota. Indeed, six of the confirmed outbreak victims did not eat at Applebees in late June, when the illnesses started to occur.

According to the E. coli lawsuit, Keith Comstock of Woodbury, Minnesota, fell ill will a quick progression of classic E. coli symptoms after ordering and consuming the Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebee’s in Woodbury. The restaurant chain in Minnesota pulled the item from its menu after investigation of the outbreak by the Minnesota Department of Health.¬†

“He likened it to being stabbed in the stomach on an ongoing basis,” Pritzker told Fox 9 News Reporter Iris Perez. “I mean, the cramping is just intense.”

Pritzker said the essence of the lawsuit is that the contamination could have and should have been prevented. The toxic E. coli type O111, which is the strain active in the outbreak, can cause kidney failure, neurological damage and death if infections become complicated. The very young, elderly and others with undeveloped or weakened immune systems are most at risk for severe injury. Four of the confirmed victims were hospitalized.

“Every level of the distribution chain is designed to prevent this from occurring,” Pritzker said. “Something like E. coli is a really, really debilitating illness that, obviously, can cause lifelong injury and death.”

Click here to view the interview by Iris Perez.

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