Two victims of the 2018 E. coli Romaine Lettuce Outbreak File Lawsuits Against Panera Bread and Freshway Foods

Lawsuits were filed in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri on behalf of Stephanie Ingberg and on behalf of Brianna Ruocchio, a minor, in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.

Both plaintiffs became ill with E. coli O157:H7 after eating romaine lettuce at Panera Bread.  Ms. Ingberg and  Ms. Ruocchio are represented by Marler Clark, the Food Safety Law Firm, Gregory Aleshire of Aleshire, Robb & Rapp, a Springfield, Missouri law firm (Petition for Damages #20Sl-CC03116), and Paul Nunes of Heisman, Nunes & Hull, a New York law firm (Complaint #06092020).

The 2018 romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak infected 240 people with E. coli O157:H7, which was reported from 37 states and Canada.  Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018, to August 22, 2018.  Of the 201 people with information available, 104 were hospitalized, including 28 people, like Ms. Ingberg and Ms. Ruocchio, who developed acute kidney failure.  Five people died.

A week after eating the salad, and following an emergency airlift to a medical facility, and three weeks of hospitalization, Ms. Ingberg suffered life-threatening HUS that included acute renal failure, pneumonia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, sepsis with multisystem organ failure, tonic/clonic seizures, brain injury, and severe caloric malnutrition. She continues to have regular outpatient hemodialysis, pulmonary, neurology, nephrology, and physical therapy and is at high risk of future medical complications.

Four days after eating a salad, Ms. Ruocchio began experiencing symptoms of an E. coli infection, which included diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.  Ms. Ruocchio was hospitalized and developed severe HUS as manifested by the need for dialysis which lasted several weeks; she remains at risk for future health complications.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne outbreaks including E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis and Norovirus. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our lawyers have litigated cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.