Judge OKs Minnesota woman, Cargill E. coli settlement

A judge has approved a settlement between the meatpacking arm of agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. and a Minnesota woman who became ill with an E. coli infection from a tainted hamburger.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank approved the settlement Tuesday. Terms of the settlement are confidential.

Stephanie Smith of Cold Spring became ill in 2007 after eating a patty produced by Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a Wichita, Kans.-based unit of Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc. Her E. coli infection led to kidney failure. She went into seizures and was kept in a medically induced coma for three months.

Smith and Cargill announced the settlement last month, saying it would provide for Smith's care throughout her life.

The former children's dance instructor was left paralyzed, with cognitive problems and kidney damage.