All News / Outbreaks /

Taco John’s sued in E. coli case

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – An E. coli lawsuit was filed against Taco John’s Thursday in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ryan and Angela Saul, a Cedar Falls couple whose nine-year-old daughter, Autumn, is hospitalized at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City. The Sauls are represented by Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm that has represented hundreds of victims of E. coli outbreaks, including 93 victims of this fall’s outbreak traced to contaminated spinach, and dozens of victims of the recent E. coli outbreak traced to Taco Bell.

According to the complaint, Autumn Saul ate two soft shell tacos purchased from the University Avenue Taco John’s restaurant in Cedar Falls on November 29, and became ill with symptoms of an E. coli infection on December 2. Autumn’s symptoms worsened, and she was admitted to the hospital after an emergency room visit on December 7. She was subsequently transferred to the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, where she remains hospitalized and is being monitored for complications of E. coli infection, including hemolytic uremic syndrome.

“I have heard rumors that lettuce was the source of this outbreak,” said Bill Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “Taco John’s, Taco Bell, and other restaurants who are serving lettuce, tomatoes, and other fresh produce with a history of E. coli and Salmonella contamination need to monitor their suppliers and do a better job of preventing contaminated produce from entering their restaurants.”

The Black Hawk County Health Department has confirmed 33 people as being ill with E. coli infections after eating at the Cedar Falls Taco John’s location, including 14 people who were hospitalized, and the Minnesota Department of Health has reported related illnesses among patrons of the Albert Lea and Austin, Minnesota, Taco John’s locations.

“Something has got to be done to make produce safe in this country,” Marler continued. “It’s time Congress stepped in and worked with regulators, health officials, industry, and consumers to come up with a solution.”

BACKGROUND: Bill Marler, the nation’s leading foodborne illness lawyer, 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. He has resolved cases against such defendants as McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Odwalla, Dole, and Wendy’s.

More about the Taco John's E. coli outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.

Get Help

Affected by an outbreak or recall?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

Get a free consultation
Related Resources
E. coli Food Poisoning

What is E. coli and how does it cause food poisoning? Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a highly studied, common species of bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae, so...

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli O157:H7 is a foodborne pathogen that causes food poisoning. E. coli O157:H7 is the most commonly identified and the most notorious Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serotype in...

Non-O157 STEC

Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli can also cause food poisoning. E. coli O157:H7 may be the most notorious serotype of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), but there are at least...

Sources of E. coli

Where do E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) come from? The primary reservoirs, or ultimate sources, of E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC in nature are...

Transmission of and Infection with E. coli

While many dairy cattle-associated foodborne disease outbreaks are linked to raw milk and other raw dairy products (e.g., cheeses, butter, ice cream), dairy cattle still represent a source of contamination...

Outbreak Database

Looking for a comprehensive list of outbreaks?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

View Outbreak Database