E. coli Lawsuit Filed Against JBS Swift Beef Company
A Wisconsin family sickened in the JBS Swift Beef Company outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 filed suit against the company today. The lawsuit was brought by the Seattle-based foodborne illness law firm Marler Clark in the Federal Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin. This is the third lawsuit filed by Marler Clark in the aftermath of the JBS Swift outbreak, which sickened at least 23 people in nine states, 12 of whom had to be hospitalized.
“This has been a very difficult summer for contaminated meat,” said the family’s attorney, Drew Falkenstein. “Not only have there been several E. coli recalls, but now there is also a large recall of beef contaminated with Salmonella by Beef Packers Inc. With the huge uptick of tainted meat in the last several years, it’s vital that we dedicate resources on every level to prevent more families from going through what the Rosplochs had to endure.”
Nicole and Gerard Rosploch purchased ground beef from a Pick N Save near their home in Brookfield; the meat was later determined to be part of the recall of 420,000 pounds of beef by the JBS Swift Company of Greeley, Colorado. The family (except for Nicole, a vegetarian) made and consumed hamburgers on Sunday, July 19. By Thursday, Gerard and their two sons began to have abdominal cramps and nausea. On Friday, the 7-year-old began to experience frequent episodes of vomiting and frequent diarrhea, some of it bloody. His parents took him to the ER, where he was checked and released, having submitted a stool sample. Meanwhile his older brother, 11, began to show increased signs of illness including vomiting and diarrhea. Gerard’s illness also continued, although not as severe as his sons’.
When the youngest child continued to worsen, he was returned to the ER, where it was learned that the stool sample he previously submitted was positive for E. coli O157:H7. He was admitted to the hospital, where he continued to be very ill. By July 28, tests revealed that he had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS—a complication of E. coli infection. The child was placed on dialysis and received several blood transfusions as well. He was ultimately discharged on August 15, 2009.
Their younger son is now also at home, and continues to recover from his illness. He is still on medication to regulate his blood pressure. The genetic fingerprint of the E. coli in his stool sample was a match to that of the JBS Swift outbreak. The 11-year-old boy has recovered fully.