Pho One E.coli O157:H7 Outbreak Lawsuits - Hawaii (2017)


Marler Clark represented a Canadian family whose children acquired E. coli O157 infections, and suffered the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), as a result of eating at a Honolulu restaurant. Both children were hospitalized in Hawaii before returning to Canada for further care. The claims presented an epidemiologic challenge because they were not part of a larger outbreak and the family had many food exposures in the days before the illnesses. Marler Clark used public health information, its own experts, and detailed factual discovery to build a compelling causation case. The restaurant defended the lawsuit vigorously and asserted there was inadequate proof that it was the source of the E. coli infections.

The claims resolved at a mediation. Marler Clark was able to obtain compensation for the children both as to their past suffering and in recognition of future health risks. While isolated foodborne illness cases are inherently difficult, Marler Clark’s expertise and hard work provided a good ending to this family’s nightmare vacation.