Monroe County Marketplace possibly linked to E. coli outbreak


MENDON, NY – Mendon Meadows Marketplace recalled all ground beef products, including veal, and fresh ground beef patties, that were purchased between November 7 and November 14, 2004 due to potential contamination with E. coli O157:H7. Two E. coli O157:H7 infections have been reported in Western New York, and Monroe County and New York State health officials, as well as USDA officials, are investigating whether the possible E. coli outbreak may be linked to the recalled products.

Illness caused by E. coli O157:H7 bacteria causes fever, as well as severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Between five and ten percent of people with E. coli infections develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) or Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), complications of E. coli infection that can lead to renal failure and central nervous system impairment.

“E. coli O157:H7 causes severe illnesses, especially in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems,” said William Marler, whose Seattle law firm, Marler Clark, has represented over 1,000 E. coli victims over the last ten years, and represented over seventy victims of the Brook-Lea Country Club Salmonella outbreak in Rochester in 2002. “This is not just some stomach ‘bug.’ It can be devastating for a person and their family.”

Marler represented a six-year-old Orangeburg, NY girl against BJ’s Wholesale Club after she became ill with an E. coli infection and developed HUS. She is now an insulin-dependent diabetic and will likely have to have at least one kidney transplant in her lifetime. He also represented the parents of a 20-month-old Parsippany, NJ boy who died after developing HUS allegedly as a result of consuming E. coli-contaminated ground beef from Karl Ehmer Quality Meats.

“Mendon Meadows did the right thing by voluntarily recalling the potentially contaminated product,” Marler continued. “But just because the meat has been recalled, that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there. Consumers should check their freezers to make sure they haven’t saved any of the potentially contaminated product for future use.”

Marler Clark sponsors a site on E. coli O157:H7 for consumers who want to learn more about the bacterial illness, its symptoms, and how to prevent infection. The site lists recent outbreaks, and provides resources for victims of E. coli infections.

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BACKGROUND: William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million E. coli settlement with Jack in the Box. In 1998, the families of five children who were injured as part of the Odwalla E. coli outbreak settled claims for a reported $12 million. In 2003, the Washington Supreme Court declined to review last year's Court of Appeals decision upholding a $4.6 million award to 11 children injured in a 1998 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was linked to undercooked taco meat served as part of a school lunch at Finley Elementary School. Marler Clark represented eleven children against the school district both at trial and on appeal. Total recoveries exceed $175 million. The partners at Marler Clark speak frequently on issues of safe food through OutBreak, Inc., a non-profit business dedicated to training companies on how to avoid foodborne diseases.