A lawsuit has been filed in the E.coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products. All I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products and I.M. Healthy granola have been recalled as a result of this outbreak. Class action lawsuits are usually not appropriate in these cases, since every case is unique.
In the investigation, the Oregon Health Authority found E. coli bacteria in an opened sample of an I.M. Healthy product taken from a home where two brothers were sickened. Epidemiologic evidence collected by the CDC also links the products to the illnesses. In the latest CDC update, fifteen of fifteen people interviewed about their illnesses said they ate I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter at home, at a facility that served it, or at a childcare center that served it the week before they got sick.
Public health officials are using the PulseNet system to find people who may be part of this outbreak. If you have consumed any I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter product and have been experiencing the symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection, see your doctor. You may be part of this outbreak. Those symptoms include severe stomach and abdominal pains and cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, and a mild fever. It only takes 10 E. coli bacteria to make someone very sick.
Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened by this pathogenic bacteria, said, “it’s tragic that people get sick just because they ate a ready to eat food that most see as a healthy snack. Corporations have a legal responsibility to sell food that is not contaminated with pathogenic bacteria.”
In the last CDC update on March 13, 2017, illnesses began on dates ranging from January 6, 2017 to February 15, 2017. This outbreak will most likely grow, since it can take two to three weeks between the time a person gets sick, sees a doctor, has tests, and those tests are sent to public health officials.
We know that the outbreak has grown since the Multnomah County Health Department has been investigating an E. coli outbreak at Montessori of Alameda preschool. That Department issued a press release on March 15, 2017, stating that seven people were sick at that school, and that two of those patients were sickened with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that match the national outbreak strain.
Six of those sickened in this outbreak have been hospitalized, and four people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. HUS is more likely to develop if a patient is young. The CDC says that more than 90% of the patients in this outbreak are under the age of 18.
The symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include little or no urine output, easy bruising, lethargy, pale skin, a rash, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. Since this condition can cause kidney failure and death, anyone suffering from these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
Pritzker Hageman law firm helps people sickened by contaminated food get answers, compensation and justice. Our attorneys have represented patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against food manufacturers, restaurants, retailers, schools, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won a $7.5 million judgment on behalf of a young client whose kidneys failed because he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli infection.
If you have a question about this outbreak, ask us about it and leave a comment about this story. We will keep you informed as more information is released.