A second lawsuit stemming from the E. coli outbreak linked to Pizza Ranch restaurants was filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska (in Case 8:16-cv-00136). The suit was filed on behalf of a Nebraska child who was hospitalized for four weeks with complications from E.coli food poisoning.
According to the lawsuit, the child’s family ate at a Pizza Ranch in Lincoln, Nebraska on Dec. 31st 2015. The girl, who is in third grade, began experiencing symptoms three days later. She became severely dehydrated and was admitted to the hospital where it was confirmed that she had an E. coli infection. She then developed pancreatitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a potentially fatal complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke and coma.
“This is the second child to develop HUS in connection to this outbreak,” said the family’s attorney. Over the next three weeks the young girl endured five blood transfusions, nine rounds of dialysis, and had a feeding tube placed in her intestines. “It is our hope that through civil action we can make Pizza Ranch and other companies live up to their promises of safe products.”
The girl’s father echoed that thought. “Our intent in pursing this case is holding the wrongdoers accountable. On New Year’s Eve we went to lunch as a family and as a result our daughter suffered horrific pain, developed a nearly fatal disease, and faces potential lifelong complications. That should not happen to any family, period. If we had known about the situation we could have made different choices.”
Dough used to make desserts is the suspected source of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which occurred between December 2015 and February 2016. Pizza Ranch discontinued using the dough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the outbreak over. The dessert pizzas may have been made with thicker dough, or perhaps the dough was cooked for a shorter time period than regular pizzas.
Illnesses were reported from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Each state reported one case except Minnesota, where five people were sickened by the pathogenic bacteria.