New York Man Files E. coli Lawsuit Against Taco Bell

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Marler Clark, the Seattle E. coli lawyers, filed a lawsuit Monday against Taco Bell and Ready Pac Produce. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Utica, New York, resident who became ill with an E. coli O157:H7 infection and was hospitalized after eating at Taco Bell.

This latest outbreak is proof that the food industry has not done enough to protect consumers from deadly pathogens like E. coli O157:H7

The Seattle law firm Marler Clark (http://www.marlerclark.com) filed its second lawsuit in the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak Monday afternoon in New York Federal Court for the Northern District of New York. The lawsuit* names Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bel, and Ready Pac Produce Inc., the company that packaged and distributed fresh produce to Taco Bell restaurants.    

According to the complaint, Jared Keller, a Utica, New York, resident, became ill with symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection, including intense abdominal cramping and diarrhea, on November 27th, two days after eating at the North Genesee Street Taco Bell location in Utica. Mr. Keller's symptoms worsened over the course of the next few days, and he was admitted to St. Luke's Hospital on November 29. He was released on December 1st.

"This latest outbreak is proof that the food industry has not done enough to protect consumers from deadly pathogens like E. coli O157:H7," said William Marler, a food safety advocate who has represented over a thousand victims of E. coli outbreaks. "It is time for Congress to step into the arena and call hearings to explore the causes of recent outbreaks and to help prevent future outbreaks from happening."

Marler has proposed congressional hearings focused on the following:

  • A thorough, scientifically-based discussion on how recent outbreaks actually happened and what can be done to prevent or limit the next one.
  • Increased funding for university-based research, health department epidemiological surveillance, and prevention of bacterial and viral contamination.
  • Consideration of pre-consumption bacterial and viral testing of raw food products, especially those where no "kill step" is expected.
  • A discussion of making mandatory good agricultural and food handling practices.
  • A review of the proposal to create a single federal agency charged with ensuring the nation's food safety.

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark, the nation's leading foodborne illness law firm, has represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks since Bill Marler represented victims of the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. The firm has litigated high profile E. coli cases against McDonald's, Wendy's, ConAgra, Dole, and other food companies. See http://www.marlerblog.com and http://www.marlerclark.com for more information. Please contact Suzanne Schreck at (206) 346-1879 for additional information.

*Case number: 5:00-at-99999. The first lawsuit filed by Marler Clark was filed in United States District court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, case number 06-5392.

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Suzanne Schreck
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