First Lawsuit Filed in SoyNut E. coli Outbreak


A lawsuit is being filed against The SoyNut Butter Company of Illinois. The minor child. T.S., of Plaintiffs Mosby and Erin Simmons, residents of Santa Clara County, CA, contracted E. coli O157:H7 after eating SoyNut Butter that originated from the Illinois company. The Plaintiffs, parents of minor child T.S., one of twelve affected by the multi-state outbreak, have filed a lawsuit for damages caused by the illness, from which T.S, is still recovering, and is represented Marler Clark LLP, the Food Safety Law Firm and by Newland & Newland, LLP.

The case number is 1:17-cv-01756.

The Plaintiffs purchased SoyNut Butter, which T.S. consumed regularly in the days preceding his E. coli illness. On or about January 25, 2017, T.S. developed abdominal symptoms that worsened over the following days. After multiple visits with his treating physicians, T.S. was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California on January 30, 2017.

His condition continued to deteriorate and he was transferred to Lucille Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto on February 2, where he would remain until being discharged on February 23, 2017. While there, he was diagnosed with an E. coli O157:H7 infection and treated with dialysis and blood transfusions for life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome. T.S. continues to recover at home and faces uncertain future medical complications.

“E. coli O157:H7 is a deadly pathogen, especially harmful to children,” said Bill Marler of Marler Clark, LLP. “Parents should feel confident that the food they purchase and give their children is safe to eat and is free of potentially lethal toxins. This is an unfortunate step backwards.”

The FDA and the CDC, along with state and local health officials, are investigating the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to the consumption of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter produced by The SoyNut Butter Company of Glenview, Illinois. According to the CDC, as of March 2, 2017, a total of 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from five states.

Thus far, the number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (4), California (4), Maryland (1), New Jersey (1), and Oregon (2). Six ill people have been hospitalized, and four people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening type of kidney failure. Eleven of the 12 illnesses were reported in children under the age of 18. No deaths have been reported.

An estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 occur each year in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are hospitalized, and 60 people die as a direct result of E. coli O157:H7 infections and complications, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and kidney failure. Symptoms of E. coli include the sudden onset of abdominal pain and severe cramps, followed by watery, sometimes bloody, diarrhea. Vomiting can also occur, but there is usually no fever.

A severe, life-threatening complication of E. coli O157:H7 is Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Although most people recover from this infection, about 5-10% of infected individuals goes on to develop HUS. E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for over 90% of the cases of HUS that develop in North America. To learn more about HUS, please visit http://www.about-hus.com.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.