First E. coli
Lawsuit Filed Against JBS Swift
of Article: http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/
The first lawsuit
stemming from the current E. coli O157:H7 (E. coli) recall by JBS Swift
Beef Company of Greeley, Colorado that has been linked to 23 E. coli
illnesses in California, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin was filed today on behalf of an
Albuquerque-area child who was infected with E. coli after eating kabobs
prepared by his grandmother on Mother’s Day. The lawsuit was filed on
behalf of the family of 14 year old Alex Roerick by his attorneys, William
Marler of the Seattle-based foodborne illness law firm Marler Clark and
Kara Knowles of the Denver firm Montgomery, Little, Soran, & Murray.
Alex ate dinner with his
grandma on May 10, 2009. He began to experience flu-like symptoms including
fatigue, fever, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting by May 13. Alex’s symptoms
worsened and he was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital on May 15. He was
released several days later, before being rushed back again due to severe
bloody diarrhea. His doctors determined that Alex had developed hemolytic
uremic syndrome, or HUS, a devastating complication of his E. coli O157:H7
infection. The genetic fingerprint of the E. coli found in Alex’s stool
matches that of others sickened in the nationwide outbreak tied to recalled
JBS Swift Beef. He continues to experience effects of his illness.
Swift and the FSIS were much too slow about releasing information on where
the beef was distributed,” said Marler. “Even with widespread consumer pressure,
the information was only released a day before the 4th of July holiday, not
nearly enough time to get the word out to families that might have the
contaminated meat in their homes. Our government agencies need to work
faster in recall situations to prevent more people from suffering what Alex
and his family have experienced.”
In the early morning
hours of Sunday, June 28, the JBS Swift Beef Company expanded its earlier
recall of 41,280 pounds of beef contaminated with the highly toxic pathogen
E. coli to include an additional 380,000 pounds. The beef recalls are FSIS
(Food Safety and Inspection Service) Class I, meaning that the "use of
the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."
After years of large recalls, focused efforts by meat regulators brought
down E. coli contamination recalls to a low of 182,000 pounds in 2006.
Recalls shot up again in 2007, and in the ensuing years (2007-2009), over
41 million pounds of beef have been recalled due to contamination with E.