USA: Lawsuit filed against Emmpak, Cargill as burger is linked to E. coli outbreak


A victim of E. coli has filed a lawsuit against Cargill subsidiary Emmpak Foods after tests linked a burger from the company to her illness.

Susan Woodson was hospitalized for several days in late August and early September with an E. coli O157:H7 infection, one of 57 traced to Emmpak's Peck Meats Packing division in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Seattle law firm Marler Clark yesterday [Thursday] filed a lawsuit on behalf of Woodson and her husband.

A leftover burger found in Woodson's refrigerator enabled health officials to trace the infections to Emmpak ground beef through genetic testing. The same E. coli strain that caused Woodson's illness is the one that led to Emmpak's 400,000-pound ground beef recall on 1 October. That recall was expanded to 2.8 million pounds on 3 October.

"Scientific testing has proven that Mrs. Woodson's E. coli infection was the direct result of consuming Emmpak ground beef," claimed William Marler, Woodson's attorney.

Emmpak closed its Peck Meats plant on 3 October, but issued a new recall of 568,000 pounds of fresh beef yesterday. The meat produced in the latest recall was produced on 23 September.