November 13, 2019

Pritzker Hageman Files First Lawsuit in Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak

Pritzker Hageman has filed the first lawsuit today in the E. coli O103 outbreak linked to ground beef. The lawsuit, case number 6:19-cv-00106-REW, is against K2D, a company that produces ground beef under the name Colorado Premium Foods. The plaintiff lives in Kentucky, the state hardest hit in the outbreak that was announced in March 2019.

Pritzker Hageman Files Lawsuit in Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak

There are at least 156 people sick in this outbreak. The case count by state as of April 23, 2019 is: Florida (3), Georgia (33), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (65), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), and Ohio (8), Tennessee (41), and Virginia (2).

E coli O103 is an adulterant in non-intact beef, including ground beef. It is part of the “Big Six” group of non-O157 E. coli bacteria that the USDA classified as adulterants in 2012.

Ground beef was identified as the source of the outbreak on April 12, 2019. On April 23, 2019, FSIS issued a recall notice for ground beef pucks that were produced by Colorado Premium Foods, for E. coli O103 contamination. The ground beef was produced on March 26, March 29, April 2, April 5, April 10, and April 12, 2019. This recall will likely expand.

The plaintiff consumed ground beef in late February 2019. In early March, she became very sick and went to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Kentucky. She was sent home, but returned the next morning because her diarrhea had become bloody. A stool sample tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. She was admitted to the hospital, then was transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital Main campus in Lexington, Kentucky.

Her kidneys began to fail and she spent three days in the intensive care unit at that hospital. She was discharged, but had started  experiencing seizures. She was re-admitted to the ICU for another three-day stay. She requires ongoing treatment by a nephrologist.

The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe and very painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is usually bloody and watery. Symptoms begin a few days to a week after exposure to the pathogen. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, especially after eating ground beef, see your doctor.

 

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