On December 13, 2006, the CDC announced that at 71 people had become ill with E. coli infections associated with the Taco Bell restaurant outbreak. Of those 71, 53 people had been hospitalized, 48 people were confirmed ill with E. coli, and 8 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The investigation into the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak focused first on green onions as the source, but CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators later changed their focus to lettuce. According to an FDA news release on December 13, FDA investigators were working to trace back the potentially contaminated lettuce that had been served at Taco Bell restaurants to the farm where the lettuce was grown.
Marler Clark filed an E. coli lawsuit against Taco Bell and Ready Pac Produce in Philadelphia on December 8, 2006, and a second E. coli lawsuit against Taco Bell and Ready Pac Produce in New York on December 11, 2006. The E. coli lawyers filed a third lawsuit against Taco Bell and Ready Pac Produce in New York on December 28, 2006. Marler Clark represented six victims of the outbreak; all six cases were successfully resolved.