Marler Clark to Cargill: Step up, pay victims’ medical bills


SEATTLE, WA —Bill Marler, the Seattle attorney who has dedicated his law practice to representing victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks, called today on Cargill to front medical costs for victims of an E. coli outbreak traced to the company’s frozen ground beef patties. Victims of the outbreak include families of children who have been hospitalized in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

“Without assistance in the form of monetary compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, many of the families with members in the hospital will face financial hardship in the coming months when the bills start coming in,” said Marler, who filed a lawsuit against Cargill on behalf of a Minnesota family yesterday. “Cargill should do the right thing and begin compensating victims of this outbreak for those most basic needs now. Of course, Cargill will still be responsible for the costs of long-term medical care for victims, but it is better to step up now,” Marler added.

Marler noted that other companies like Dole, Odwalla, ConAgra and Jack in the Box willingly paid medical bills and wage loss when their products were identified as the source of E. coli outbreaks. “Cargill knows it’s going to pay those medical expenses in the end in the form of a settlement or jury verdict,” Marler continued. “The question is, since they know their product was the cause of these kids’ illnesses, why wait?”

BACKGROUND: Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box after its 1993 E. coli outbreak. Since that time, he has represented hundreds of victims of E. coli, including dozens of children and adults who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome and required life-long monitoring and medical treatment. Marler Clark has represented victims of high-profile E. coli outbreaks traced to ConAgra, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, AFG, Supervalu, Sizzler, and Dole, and recently filed a lawsuit against Topps. Marler provides commentary about foodborne illness outbreaks and food safety at his blog, www.marlerblog.com.

More about the Cargill E. coli outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.