In December 2006, Iowa and Minnesota health officials investigated an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among patrons at Taco John’s restaurants in Ceder Falls, Iowa, and Albert Lea and Austin, Minnesota. As of December 13, 2006, the Iowa Department of Health had confirmed that at least 50 Iowans had become ill with E. coli infections after eating at Taco John’s, and the Minnesota Department of Health had confirmed that at least 27 Minnesotans were part of the outbreak.
Although the outbreak occurred at the same time as the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak on the East Coast, the Taco John’s outbreak had not been linked to the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak by mid-December; however, health officials were investigating lettuce as the potential source of both E. coli outbreaks.
Marler Clark filed an E. coli lawsuit on behalf of a Cedar Falls, Iowa, family whose nine-year-old daughter was hospitalized with an E. coli infection and hemolytic uremic syndrome on December 14, 2006. The firm filed a second E. coli lawsuit against Taco John’s on December 19, 2006. All claims Marler Clark brought against Taco John's were resolved in late 2007.