Lawsuit Filed in Michigan
Following Outbreak from Contaminated Lettuce
October 13th, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/ecoli-lawsuit-over-michigan-outbreak-from-lettuce-1336/
poisoning lawsuit was filed last week by a Michigan State
University student who
became sick after eating iceberg lettuce contaminated with E.coli
bacteria last month. At least 36 other people in Michigan
have also been sickened by the lettuce which originated in California.
Between September 8th and September 19th, an E.
coli outbreak emerged in Michigan with
several cases reported at Michigan State University
and a jail in Lenawee
County. It subsequently
spread throughout the state, with cases of food poisoning identified in the Detroit area and five
The first E.
coli lawsuit tied to the Michigan
outbreak was filed by Samantha Steffen of East Lansing against Aunt Mid’s Produce of Detroit, who was the local supplier for
the contaminated lettuce.
The lawsuit alleges that Steffen was sickened by tainted iceberg lettuce
she ate in mid-September at Michigan
As a result of severe food poisoning, she suffered bloody diarrhea and was
hospitalized with dehydration. Stool samples have confirmed the presence of
E. coli O157:H7, which is the strain of bacteria seen in the outbreak.
E.coli O157:H7 is one of the more common strains
of bacteria linked to food poisoning in the United States. When left
untreated, it can lead to dehydration.
While most healthy adults recover within a few week from Ecoli food poisoning, young children and the elderly
could be at risk for more severe illness. If the toxin enters the blood
stream, E. coli could lead to kidney failure known as Hemolytic-Urenia Syndrome (HUS).
state health officials have confirmed 36 cases of food poisoning associated
with the contaminated lettuce, and at least 18 people have been hospitalized
as a result of their injuries.
Although the exact cause of the E. coli contamination of the iceberg
lettuce has not yet been identified, investigators indicated on Thursday that
the produce originated in California before
being shipped to Michigan.
Since no new cases have been reported in recent weeks, a Michigan
Department of Agriculture spokeswoman indicates that the contaminated lettuce
is likely no longer on the market. However, the investigation is ongoing.