Dominic's and AFG should be held responsible for E. coli outbreak, attorney says


SEATTLE, WA -- Victims and families of the Chicagoland E. coli O157:H7 outbreak are no doubt overwhelmed with concerns of health and recovery. However, it will not be long before the medical bills will begin to roll in and add up. For this reason, Bill Marler, the Seattle, Washington attorney known for his advocacy on behalf of foodborne illness victims, is calling on both Dominick’s and American Foods Group, Inc (“AFG”), the businesses responsible for this outbreak, to step up and offer to pay all related medical costs now.

Marler’s law firm, Marler Clark, is currently suing AFG, the meat packer that sold the contaminated beef to Dominick’s, in Minnesota state court. That lawsuit stems from a November 2000 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak traced to contaminated beef manufactured by AFG and distributed to Supervalu and Cub Food stores throughout the Midwest. Among the firm’s clients in that action is a three-year old girl who tested positive for the bacteria and suffered kidney failure. She was hospitalized for over a month.

“AFG has now been implicated in at least four E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks or recalls in the last three years,” Marler continued. “Eight years after the Jack-In-The-Box outbreak, meat suppliers are still producing contaminated beef that is then sold to consumers in restaurants and grocery stores. What exactly has to happen to get the attention of these suppliers, so that they stop passing contaminated food on to the public? How many kids have to suffer kidney damage, major organ failure, and death? Is 100 enough? Maybe 200?

The deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria is found in about half the cattle at the nation’s feed lots, according to the latest United States Department of Agriculture study. Additionally, about 100 deaths and over 70,000 illnesses are caused by the bacteria annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information about E. coli O157:H7, visit www.about-ecoli.com.

More about the AFG / Supervalu E. coli outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.

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Marler Clark is presently lead counsel in actions arising from E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Hepatitis outbreaks in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington, Georgia, Oregon, California, Ohio, Missouri, and Arizona.

Mr. Marler began representing victims of foodborne illnesses in the aftermath of the 1993 Jack-In-The-Box outbreak and was awarded $30 million in compensation for his clients. In February 2001, Marler Clark secured a $4.75 million jury verdict against the Finley School School District in Eastern Washington for several children who were infected with E. coli O157:H7 after eating contaminated beef served to them in a school lunch. These were the first E. coli O157:H7 cases in the country to go to the jury.