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Litigation results from E.coli outbreak at Schnucks Markets – December 19, 2011

The Padberg Corrigan Law Firm has recently begun representation for injured parties in the recent Schnucks Market E. coli outbreak.


The  outbreak, which has sickened 60 people over 10 states has resulted in at least one lawsuit in St. Louis County against St. Louis based Schnucks Markets with additional lawsuits expected.  A County woman who ate some of the romaine lettuce contaminated by the E. coli bacteria at the Des Pere Schnucks on Manchester Road, spent 11 days in and out of the Mercy hospital intensive care unit with kidney failure, a blood clot in her lung and atrial fibrillation as a result of the contamination.


The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported December 7th that illnesses began October 10, 2011 and extended through November 4, 2011. Sixty people have reported being infected from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri  and Nebraska.  Of the 45 persons with available information, 67% required hospitalization and 2 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.   To date, no deaths have yet been reported.


The collaborative investigation efforts of state, local and federal health officials have pinpointed the likely source to romaine lettuce sold at several locations of Schnucks markets.  Affected persons reported eating romaine lettuce from the Schnucks salad bars between the dates of  October 5 and October 24, 2011.   The outbreak was traced back to a single lot of romaine lettuce harvested by a single farm via a single distributor. The distributor was not named in the CDC report but is believed to be Vaughan Foods of Oklahoma.


This outbreak is one of the largest involving E. coli 0157 in recent years. Symptoms include  bloody diarrhea and severe stomach cramping between one to 10 days after exposure. Although the illnesses usually resolve within a week, some people can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure.  While the CDC noted that this particular outbreak appears to be over, they stress that E. coli remains a threat to public health and people can avoid being sickened by thoroughly cooking all meat, washing fruits and vegetables and avoiding cross-contamination with good hygiene.


If you believe that you or a loved one has been sickened or injured by this recent E.coli outbreak please contact our office for a free consultation.

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