E. coli-stricken Navy family files lawsuit against meat packer


SEATTLE - A young Navy family today filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin meat supplier for making them sick after they ate E. coli tainted meat purchased from a Cub Food Store in Waukegan, IL. The Burton Family is represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle based law firm nationally known for representing victims of food-borne illness, and Fox, O’Neill and Shannon, a Milwaukee law firm. The suit was filed in Federal District Court in Wisconsin.

Sailor Reginald Burton, Jr., his wife Tasha, and their one-year old daughter sued American Foods Group. Inc., the Green Bay meat packer involved in a 1.1 million pound meat recall involving hundreds of grocery stores throughout the Upper Midwest. The recall now includes not only Supervalu and Cub, but also Save-A-Lot Food Stores, which operate nearly 900 stores in 36 states. The Department of Health linked 22 cases of illness to E. coli bacteria in ground beef purchased in Minnesota as well as Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.

Burton is based at the Great Lakes Naval Station. He and his family became ill shortly before Thanksgiving. According to William Marler, “the Burtons join a growing list of victims of an E. coli outbreak that first struck Minnesota before moving east to Wisconsin and Illinois.” He added, “Given the amount of meat being recalled, most of which has already been consumed, I believe this outbreak will be very large. Nearly 10 years after Jack in the Box outbreak, there is no excuse for a meat packer shipping E. coli contaminated meat to stores and consumers.”

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Background: Marler Clark and Fox, O’Neil and Shannon also teamed up to represent 20 people who were victims of the Sizzler outbreak in Milwaukee last July. In that litigation Sizzler restaurants and Excel Corp are responsible for making 60 people sick and causing the death of one child. Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of food-borne illness. William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box, and also secured $30 million other victims of the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. In May 1998, Marler Clark settled the Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak for the five families whose children were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice. Marler Clark is currently lead counsel in actions stemming from several E. coli outbreaks in Washington, California, Ohio, Georgia, Missouri and Arizona. Marler Clark has litigated on behalf of children against KFC, McDonalds, Sizzler, Wendy’s, Hardees, Subway, Carl’s Jr. and several meat suppliers.

For more information on E. coli O157:H7, visit the Marler Clark sponsored Web site about E. coli.

More about the AFG / Supervalu and Cub Foods E. coli Outbreak can be found in the Case News section of the Marler Clark site.