E. coli information available on Web

CHATTANOOGA, TN – The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department reported that Ryan’s Restaurant in Hixson, Tennessee, was the potential source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the Tennessee Valley earlier this summer. Seven of eight individuals who became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections as part of the outbreak reported eating at the restaurant, located at 5104 Hixson Pike, between July 8 and July 20. Four children from one family all became ill, with at least one child needing supportive care when she developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness that results in painful abdominal cramping, nausea, and bloody diarrhea. www.about-ecoli.com provides information related to the symptoms and risks associated with E. coli O157:H7 infection, how E. coli is detected, possible ways to prevent infection, as well as recent news associated with outbreaks.

Five to ten percent of children who become ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication that can cause kidney failure as well as damage to the pancreas, liver, brain, and heart (see www.about-hus.com). In fact, HUS is now recognized as the most common cause of childhood kidney failure. Children with HUS can develop medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, and often require medical monitoring and treatment throughout the rest of their lives.

“Most people have heard of E. coli, but until someone they know falls victim during an outbreak, they don’t realize how devastating E. coli infection and HUS can be,” said William Marler, a Seattle attorney who has represented hundreds of victims of E. coli outbreaks. “That’s where the information on these sites comes in.”

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark (www.marlerclark.com) 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 a reported $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 outbreak that was linked to school lunch at an elementary school. Marler Clark represented the children at trial and on appeal. In 2004, Marler Clark settled the claim of a six-year-old New York girl who developed HUS after eating an E. coli-contaminated hamburger for $11 million.