Juice Maker Settles Food Poisoning Case

Odwalla, the company that produced apple juice contaminated by bacteria that killed one child in 1996, has agreed to a settlement of at least $12 million with the families of five children who became ill in the outbreak.

Most of the money is expected to go to the families of the three children who were most seriously injured by the toxic bacterium E. coli 0157:H7. Those children suffered a blood and kidney disorder, hemolytic uremic syndrome, which brings a risk of permanent kidney damage.

William Marler, who represented the families, in the mediation sessions that led to the settlement, said, "What we tried to do in each of these settlements is look at how these kids were injured, the extent of their injures and the extent that they might suffer risks in the future."

The Odwalla outbreak had a nationwide impact because it showed that this strain of E. coli could infiltrate fresh produce, which has recently soared in popularity.