Dangers of eating sushi emphasized after E. coli outbreak at Reno restaurant


SEATTLE —In light of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened several people who ate at Sushi Pier 2 in Reno last month, the Marler Clark attorneys, who are nationally recognized for the successful representation of E. coli victims, would like to call the public’s attention to the dangers of eating raw food.

“Consumers – especially the elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems – should take extra precautions when eating raw or under-cooked foods, and sushi in particular,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark.

“Even though raw foods may look appetizing, it only takes a microscopic amount of E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria to make someone ill. The food doesn’t even have to taste bad. I’ve had many clients tell me the meal that made them sick was one of the best meals they’ve ever had.”

Several outbreaks have been traced to sushi in recent years, including E. coli outbreaks in Japan in 1996 and 1998, a 1999 Salmonella outbreak in California, a 2001 staphylococcus aureus outbreak in Ohio, and a 2002 Norovirus outbreak in British Columbia, Canada.

Marler, who has represented hundreds of E. coli victims, represented a Seattle high school student who was hospitalized after consuming contaminated Sushi in 2002. The boy’s illness was traced to a Redmond, Washington, Todai sushi restaurant.

Marler Clark sponsors a Web site about E. coli. “We’ve found that when a family member becomes ill, the first place people go to find information is not always to their doctor or the health department – it’s the Internet,” Marler concluded. “Our Web site provides some of the most comprehensive material out there about E. coli O157:H7, its symptoms, risks of infection, treatment, and outbreaks.”

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BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illnesses. William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box in 1993. In 1998, Marler Clark resolved the Odwalla juice E. coli outbreak for five families whose children developed Hemolytic Uremic syndrome and were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice. The cases settled for a reported $12 million. Marler Clark has successfully resolved claims on behalf victims of E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria, Norovirus, and hepatitis A outbreaks in several states.