E. coli infections particularly dangerous for small children


OLYMPIA — Recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks across the country in recent months, and several illnesses in Olympia, Washington have prompted the Marler Clark attorneys to expand the information available on E. coli O157:H7, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, and Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, complications of E. coli infections, that is available on the Internet. The firm has focused on E. coli litigation for over ten years, and sponsors Web sites about several foodborne pathogens.

According to a story published in the August 13, 2004 Olympian, a 2-year-old Olympia girl is hospitalized at Children’s Hospital in Seattle with what appears to be Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.

About ten percent of individuals (mostly young children) with E. coli infection goes on to develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a severe complication that can lead to kidney failure, and damage to the pancreas and central nervous system. HUS is now recognized as the leading cause of kidney failure in childhood, and E. coli O157:H7 is the cause of ninety percent of cases of HUS in North America.

“Most people have heard of E. coli, but until someone they know falls victim during an E. coli outbreak, they don’t realize the seriousness of infection,” said Bill Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “The media can help educate consumers by knowing the facts about E. coli O157:H7 bacterial infections, symptoms and risks of infection, and how to prevent infection to begin with.”

Marler continued, “When a family member becomes ill with an E. coli infection, people want to know all they can about what is making that person sick. The Marler Clark “about sites” provide some of the most comprehensive material on the Internet about E. coli O157:H7, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, and Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.”

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BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of E. coli bacterial infections. The firm has represented over 1,000 E. coli victims since 1993, when William Marler represented HUS survivor Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million E. coli settlement with Jack in the Box. In 1998, Marler Clark resolved the Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak cases for five families whose children developed HUS and were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice for $12 million. In September, 2003, the Washington Supreme Court declined to review a decision upholding a $4.6 million award to 11 children injured in a 1998 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was linked to school lunch at an elementary school. Marler Clark represented the children at trial and on appeal.