E. coli-Infected Resident to Sue

A New Albany woman is suing the Kroger Company and a beef supplier after allegedly being sickened by E. coli bacterium found in beef she purchased from a Dublin Kroger.

Cleveland-area attorney Nicholas Phillips, of the firm Phillips, Mille & Costabile Co. is serving as co-council in representing Amanda J. Adam, who claims she became ill after consuming beef hamburger patties she purchased at a Kroger grocery store at 7100 Hospital Drive in Dublin.

Marler Clark spokeswoman Mary Siceloff said Adam declined to comment on the suit.

Bill Marler's team of attorneys will represent Adam.

"He does a number of food infection cases," Phillips said of Bill Marler, an attorney who has worked on food-bourne illness cases since 1993. "I've worked with him before as local consul. He is dedicated to keeping foods pure. With tainted food, you only end up with injured people."

Phillips said it was announced Tuesday, July 1 that the supplier of the tainted beef was Nebraska Beef Ltd..

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced July 1 that the company is recalling 531,707 pounds of ground beef that could be infected with E coli.

An updated complaint will be filed against Nebraska Beef by Marler Clark Attorneys at Law on Wednesday, July 2. The suit filed Monday, June 30 named the unknown supplier as simply "John Doe."

A manager at the Dublin store asked all questions to be directed to the division office of Kroger located in Westerville.

"We are not permitted to comment on the lawsuit," said Mary Frankey, advertising assistant for the division office.

An attorney with Marler Clark, R. Drew Falkenstein, said the firm wishes to get to the bottom of the case and see how far it goes.

"Some other known outbreaks may be linked," said Falkenstein "There's an outbreak going on in Georgia that may be linked to beef, like the Ohio and Michigan cases. We want to find out the whole story."

Falkenstein said Adam allegedly became ill within a few days after eating the beef.

"She purchased ground beef from the Kroger, and that same day ate a hamburger," said Falkenstein. "She became ill four days later, and was unfortunately hospitalized. We have a significant amount of discovery to make into her illness."

Falkenstein said Adam reportedly was the only person in her household to be infected.

He advises people who think they may have become ill from ingesting E. coli to seek medical attention.

"As far as what people do to avoid becoming sick, we need to lean on the entities that produce these foods," he said. "We're talking about a microscopic bacteria that can be difficult to kill."

As for what will be next in the case, Falkenstein said there is more to look into.

"The next step is to gather further information from the dependents and public health investigative agencies," he said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, 12 of the 23 confirmed and probable cases of E. coli in recent weeks are in Franklin County. One confirmed case also was reported in Delaware County. An average 140 cases are reported in Ohio each year.

The department lists the following as symptoms of E. coli: diarrhea, which can be bloody and severe and abdominal cramps two to eight days after infection. The Department advises people with these symptoms to see a physician.