Couple files lawsuit after two children sickened with E. coli

MILWAUKEE - A southeastern Wisconsin couple has filed a federal lawsuit against two spinach companies after their two children were sickened by E. coli.

The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, is the second related to the outbreak that has been filed in Wisconsin by the Seattle-based law firm Marler Clark. The outbreak has been linked to fresh spinach and the suit names Dole Food Co. and Natural Selection Foods.

According to the complaint, Anne Grintjes, of the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, bought several packages of Dole baby spinach in late August.

Her children, Willem, 6, and Ella, 3, ate the spinach on several occasions. Willem became sick Sept. 2, suffered bouts of diarrhea and went to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin twice before developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal form of kidney failure.

He was hospitalized until Sept. 17 and underwent multiple blood transfusions.

Ella Grintjes became sick Sept. 11 and tested positive for the E. coli strain Monday.

She has recovered but went to the emergency room a couple of times. She never developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Seattle-based Bill Marler, who has represented dozens of clients in lawsuits connected to contaminated bagged leafy greens, said late last week that he's representing more than 30 clients from 12 states over the current E. coli outbreak.

Forty-two Wisconsin residents had been confirmed to be sickened by this E. coli outbreak as of Friday. Nationally 166 people in 25 states have been sickened.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration said it was safe to eat spinach grown outside California's Salinas Valley.