E. coli attorney calls on Dole to pay victims' medical bills and lost wages


SEATTLE, WA - William Marler, a nationally-known attorney who has represented the most seriously injured victims of E. coli in the United States, today called on Dole’s corporate leaders “to do the right thing and immediately pay the medical bills and wage loss of those sickened with E. coli in the Dole lettuce outbreak. In many past outbreaks, corporations have stepped up and taken care of the customers they poisoned,” said Marler.

To date, twenty-three people in Minnesota have been sickened with E. coli, eight have been hospitalized, and one child developed HUS—all from eating bagged, “pre-washed” lettuce. According to the FDA, more that 245,000 bags of lettuce may be affected nationwide. An alert and recall has been launched.

On Thursday, Marler filed suit in Minneapolis Federal Court against the Dole Company, Inc., on behalf of Leonard and Carol Tvedten of Fairmont, Minnesota.

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Background: William Marler is the managing partner in the law firm Marler Clark L.L.P., P.S. He speaks frequently on issues of safe food and has formed OutBreak, Inc., a non-profit business dedicated to training companies on how to avoid food borne diseases.

Since 1993, Marler has represented thousands of victims of E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Listeria, Shigella, Campylobacter and Norovirus illnesses in over thirty States. His first client sickened by the E. coli bacteria was nine-year-old Brianne Kiner, who fell ill after eating a contaminated hamburger during the now-infamous Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak in 1993. Marler negotiated a $15.6 million settlement for Brianne’s injuries, a record in the State of Washington for personal injury cases. He resolved several other cases from the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak for over $2.5 million each.

In 1998, Marler negotiated a reported $12 million settlement for the families of children who fell ill after drinking E. coli-contaminated apple juice sold by Odwalla; and in 2001, a jury awarded the families of eleven children that Marler represented $4.6 million for the injuries they received during an E. coli outbreak traced to school lunch served at Finley Elementary School in Finley, Washington. He also resolved dozens of E. coli cases in 2003 related to one of the largest meat recalls in United States. In 2004, Marler settled an E. coli case for a young girl for $11 million. He has also been lead counsel in dozens of E. coli outbreak-related cases.

More about the Dole lettuce E. coli outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.