Second lawsuit filed by victims of E. coli outbreak traced to spinach


MILWAUKEE, WI – A Milwaukee family filed suit against Dole today in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The lawsuit was filed by Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm that filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of an Oregon woman on Thursday. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed today are Milwaukee residents Paul and Anna Zeintek and their two minor children, both of whom were hospitalized with E. coli O157:H7 infections and developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after eating Dole brand baby spinach.

The Zeintek children are two of at least fifty people who are part of a nationwide outbreak of E. coli that the FDA, CDC, and state health departments have traced to contaminated bagged spinach. On September 14, the FDA issued a press release urging consumers to throw away bagged spinach and not to eat the product until its safety could be ensured. Illnesses have been confirmed in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. At least eight people developed HUS and one person died as part of this outbreak.

“The fresh produce industry has been plagued with an E. coli problem over the last several years,” said Bill Marler, attorney for the Zeintek family who has represented hundreds of victims of E. coli illnesses since the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. “Dole and other companies who sell ready-to-eat products such as bagged spinach have been working to prevent E. coli from getting into their products; unfortunately for the victims of this most recent outbreak, the prevention measures currently in place were not enough.”

BACKGROUND: Bill Marler has dedicated his practice to representing victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks since the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. See www.marlerblog.com and www.marlerclark.com for more information.

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