William Marler, Attorney for E. coli Victims, Reacts to Federico’s Announcement
William Marler, the Seattle-based attorney who represents over a dozen victims of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among customers of the Litchfield Park, Arizona Federico’s restaurant, responded to the restaurant chain’s announcement today that it had hired the “Queen of Clean” to assess the cleanliness of its restaurants in an effort to prevent future E. coli outbreaks.
“Although I commend Federico’s for assisting the health department in its E. coli outbreak investigation, and for now hiring the Queen of Clean, those efforts are a bit late for my clients,” said Marler.
On August 30, Maricopa County Health Department spokeswoman Jeanene Fowler told Food Safety News that 79 E. coli cases had been traced to the Federico’s Mexican Restaurant in Litchfield Park. Of those ill, at least 23 were hospitalized, including 2 children who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening complication of E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure.
According to Marler, the two children who were hospitalized with HUS required blood transfusions, dialysis and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment to survive. Federico’s has pledged to donate 20 percent of gross sales to the Arizona chapter of the National Kidney Foundation on September 30.
“Both of my clients who suffered HUS are at risk for future complications, including kidney failure and transplantation. For them, this is a nice gesture, but the effort is too little, too late.”