E. coli Lawsuit Filed Against Washington State Raw Milk Dairy

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON – The family of a child who was hospitalized with an E. coli O157:H7 infection has filed a lawsuit against Tenino, Washington-based Cozy Valley Creamery, a producer and seller of unpasteurized (raw) milk. Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm dedicated to representing victims of E. coli, is representing the family.

According to a complaint filed in Thurston County Superior Court (#122000058), a five-year old Yelm, Washington girl began experiencing symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection, including bloody diarrhea, on November 4, 2011 after repeatedly consuming Cozy Valley raw milk in the weeks prior. On November 6, the family was alerted that she had tested positive for E. coli following a doctor’s office visit on the day symptoms began. By November 9, she was admitted to Seattle Children’s Hospital following tests showing her E. coli illness had developed into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal condition that results in kidney failure. The girl remained in Children’s for one week where she became dangerously anemic and required a blood transfusion. Since the girl’s release from the hospital, the family has been informed that her E. coli strain is the same as that in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Cozy Valley Creamery.

“Raw milk is often marketed as a “super food” or a “magic food” that has the ability to prevent things like autism or asthma in children. However, many such claims are merely anecdotal and lack the scientific evidence to back them up,” said Marler Clark E. coli attorney William Marler. “What science has shown is that there is that there is an increased risk – especially for children – for foodborne illnesses such as E. coli when consuming raw dairy products.”

In November 2011, after three children who had tested positive for the same genetically indistinguishable strain of E. coli O157:H7 had reported to have all consumed raw milk products from Cozy Valley Creamery, the Washington State Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation that found matching samples of the E. coli strain at the dairy. The lawsuit also points out that in addition to the Cozy Valley E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, from 2000 to 2007 contaminated raw milk caused at least 39 documented E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter outbreaks in the United States.

MARLER CLARK is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illnesses related to raw milk. The firm’s E. coli attorneys have unmatched experience and have recovered over $600 million for food poisoning victims and their families. For more information, to speak with an attorney, or if you are a member of the media and would like a copy of the complaint, contact Cody Moore at 1-206-407-2200 or cmoore@marlerclark.com


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