Family of Boy Stricken by E. coli Sues Juice Maker

The family of a former Greenwood Village boy who was stricken by E. coli poisoning last year - apparently after drinking Odwalla apple juice - filed suit in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday seeking product liability and punitive damages against the juicemaker.

The parents of Brian Dimock, now 6, asked for damages to be determined in court, according to their attorneys. The Dimocks now live in Maryland.

Brian suffered kidney failure Oct. 21 and was hospitalized at Swedish and Presbyterian/St. Luke's medical centers. Samples of his stools were genetically matched with Odwalla's contaminated apple juice, the attorneys said in a news release.

The youngster spent two days in the intensive-care unit. His infection reportedly triggered a breakdown of red blood cells, clogging his kidneys. He was released from the hospital Nov. 6.

Benson Klein of Washington, D.C., one of the attorneys representing the Dimocks, said, "Due to the fact that Odwalla is now under a federal grand-jury investigation, the filing of a lawsuit now is necessary to protect Brian's interest."

Seattle attorney William Marler, who also represents the Dimocks and other alleged victims of Odwalla products, said, "There appears to be strong evidence developing that Odwalla failed to be properly concerned about the risks that unpasteurized, contaminated juice posed to purchasers of its product - especially children."

The family of a 16-month-old Greeley girl, Anna Gimmestad, who died from E. coli poisoning after drinking Odwalla juice during the same outbreak, decided not to file suit against the company.

An Odwalla spokesman didn't return a telephone message Tuesday.