E. coli Settlement Will Top $40 Million


Tax-Free Annuities Will Enhance Redmond Girl's Compensation

Over her lifetime, E. coli victim Brianne Kiner will receive more than $ 40 million from a settlement with Jack In The Box that became final Wednesday.

The total amount she will receive is far more than the current value of the $ 15.6 million settlement approved Wednesday by a King County Superior Court commissioner. That's because part of the settlement - $ 4 million - will be paid to Kiner in tax-free annuities for the rest of her life. The annuities will total $ 25 million, said her lawyer Bill Marler.

Jack In The Box's parent company, Foodmaker Inc. of San Diego, agreed recently to settle Kiner's lawsuit over chronic injuries she received after eating a bacteria-contaminated hamburger in 1993. Von's Stores Inc. and numerous meat processors also are part of the settlement.

The E. coli bacteria contained in the burger sent the Redmond girl into a coma for 40 days and left her with damaged kidneys and learning disabilities. Most of her colon was removed, and her pancreas was permanently damaged.

Brianne's parents, Rex and Suzanne Kiner, and her two sisters will receive about $ 1.7 million from the settlement.

Another $ 1.6 million of the settlement goes toward Brianne's past medical expenses, family travel costs and lost income, Marler said. That amount already has been paid.

Brianne is now in a special school in New Mexico.

After the lawyers take their share, the rest of the settlement will be placed in a trust for Brianne, Marler said. He did not say what the lawyers' share amounted to.

Marler said his law firm will donate $ 25,000 to start the Brianne Kiner Foundation, and another $ 25,000 to a hospital.