In 2001, the Gwinett County Health Department (GCHD) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) investigated an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among Georgia residents. The first reported illness was the case of a 12-year-old boy from Norcross who had become ill days after eating a hamburger made from ground beef purchased from a Sam’s Club store in Duluth.
The GCHD and GDPH tested leftover hamburger patties from the boy’s home, and isolated a genetically indistinguishable strain of E. coli O157:H7 from the strain isolated from the boy’s stool. Samples isolated from three other ill Georgia children also tested positive for the same indistinguishable strain. All reported consuming ground beef in the days prior to becoming ill.
As a result of the E. coli outbreak, Excel recalled 190,811 pounds of ground beef and ground pork it supplied to supermarkets in the Southeast.
Marler Clark represented the Norcross boy, who was hospitalized for four days, in a claim against Excel. His claim was resolved in 2002.