Camp Bournedale-South Shore Meats E. coli Outbreak Litigation - Rhode Island, Massachusetts (2009)


The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) learned on October 19, 2009 that several sixth grade students from Lincoln Middle School in Lincoln, Rhode Island, had become ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after visiting Camp Bournedale. The camp is located in the Cedarville section of Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Great Herring Pond.

The outbreak affected 20 students. Two were hospitalized.

Camp Owner and Director Arnie Gerson stated that the joint public health investigation had indicated raw ground beef was the source of the outbreak and that the camp no longer intended to serve hamburgers unless they were pre-cooked, if they were served at all.

Food safety attorney Bill Marler called on the public health agencies investigating the E. coli outbreak to announce a recall of E. coli-contaminated hamburgers.

Later that day, a recall was initiated. Brockton, MA-based South Shore Meats issued a recall for 1, 039 pounds of potentially E. coli-contaminated beef that had been distributed to wholesale distributors and institutions like Camp Bournedale.

Marler Clark filed a lawsuit against South Shore Meats, Inc. on behalf of a child who became ill with an E. coli O157:H7 infection and was hospitalized after eating a hamburger at Camp Bournedale on November 3, 2009. The firm filed a second lawsuit against South Shore Meats, Inc on November 13, 2009 on behalf of a second child who also attended Camp Bournedale and was hospitalized after becoming ill with an E. coli infection.

The firm resolved claims brought on behalf of three victims of the Camp Bournedale/South Shore Meats E. coli outbreak.