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San Mateo woman sues Nestle over E. coli tainted cookie dough

By Joshua Melvin

San Mateo County Times

June 22, 2009

REDWOOD CITY — A San Mateo teenager became seriously ill and eventually had to be hospitalized after eating E. coli-tainted raw cookie dough made by Nestle USA Inc., according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

Attorneys for Jillian Collins, 18, allege that Nestle's flawed production process resulted in a dangerous and deficient product being sold to consumers.

The suit, filed in San Mateo County Superior Court by the Washington state-based firm of Marler Clark LLP, seeks unspecified damages.

The suit comes just days after Nestle issued a voluntary recall on June 19 for a long list of its raw cookie-dough products. Nestle began the recall after being informed that the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were conducting an investigation into reports that an E. coli outbreak was linked to the cookie-dough products, according to a written statement from Nestle.

Nestle spokeswoman Laurie MacDonald said that E. coli bacteria hasn't been found in any company products and that the recall was initiated as a precaution.

Collins lawsuit tells a different story.

She ate cookie dough between May 20 and 22, according to the suit. On May 25, she began to have severe abdominal pains. By the next day they'd gotten bad enough that she was rushed to an emergency room, according to the suit.

"By this time, her bout of diarrhea had turned bloody and her abdominal pain had become severe,"the suit claims.

Collins' attorneys claim she spent a week at Stanford Hospital.

"We haven't reviewed the suit so can offer no comment on it, but we're obviously very concerned about those who have become ill and also grateful to know that they are recovering," said MacDonald.

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