Cyclosporiasis Food Poisoning Outbreak Grows, Lawyers Investigate

Our lawyers are investigating an outbreak of cyclosporiasis food poisoning that has now grown to 202 people in 19 states. Attorney Ryan Osterholm is our lead lawyer for these cases. He is also representing people sickened in a 2013 cyclosporiasis outbreak (click here to view his video about the outbreak).

Compensation for Cyclosporiasis from Contaminated Food

Cyclosporiasis causes severe diarrhea that lasts an average of 57 days. Having to miss that much work results in a significant loss of income and can result in job loss. People sickened in the outbreak can contact Ryan to find out if they can sue for compensation. 

We suspect imported produce (possibly more than one kind) as the source of this outbreak. Some of the illnesses in the 2013 outbreak were linked to bagged salad mix, specifically the cilantro in that mix that was grown in Mexico. However, hundreds of cases were not linked to any food source.

It looks like at least one restaurant chain may be involved in the outbreak. Restaurants are liable (legally responsible) for illnesses cause by food they serve. This means that people whose cases are associated with eating at a restaurant can, in most cases, get compensation from the restaurant, even if a specific food source can't be determined.

The Outbreak is Growing Fast

Over 70 new cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported in just the last week. Most of the new cases are in Texas, which has been hit hard by this outbreak. The state now has 110 people sickened in the outbreak in several counties. The counties with the highest number of illnesses include Dallas (21 cases), Tarrant (11 cases), and Harris (8 cases).

States who previously reported illnesses include Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas. Six more states reported cases in the last few days: Michigan, Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Ohio.

Cyclosporiasis Information

Cyclosporiasis is caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, which is found in tropical and subtropical areas. Humans get sick by drinking water or eating food that is contaminated by feces. In the United States, cases are caused by eating imported produce or traveling to a tropical or subtropical country and eating contaminated produce or drinking contaminated water. 

Cyclosporiasis symptoms begin 2 to 14 days after ingesting Cyclospora oocytes (contagious form of the parasite), and include extremely bad diarrhea that can last for months, anorexia, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, and fever. If you experience these symptoms, please see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with a Cyclospora infection, contact our law firm for help.

Cyclospora Food Poisoning Outbreak Hits

The FDA, CDC and state health officials are investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora food poisoning (cyclosporiasis) that has sickened 125 people in 13 states. Health officials are still trying to determine the source (or sources) of these illnesses. Most people got sick in May and June of 2014.

Most of these illnesses (61) are in Texas. The other states involved in the outbreak are Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Tennessee. Some of the New York cases are in New York City.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal disease caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a parasite that is not generally found in the United States. Outbreaks in the U.S. are caused by imported produce, including rasberries, basil, snow peas, lettuce and cilantro.

Last year, a cyclosporiasis outbreak sickened over 600 people in 25 states. Some of the illnesses were linked to bagged lettuce distributed to restaurants. Interviews with people sickened in the outbreak helped pinpoint the source. An analysis of the Iowa and Nebraska interview data found that many of the people sickened had eaten at one of 2 restaurant chains. Further investigation pinpointed the bagged salad, which contained ingredients from Mexico.

Cyclospora Food Poisoning Symptoms

Symptoms of Cyclospora food poisoning can begin 2 to 14 days after eating food containing Cyclospora oocytes. The primary symptom, and one clearly indicating a Cyclospora infection, is extremely runny, explosive, profuse diarrhea. This extreme diarrhea can last weeks to months and make it impossible to carry on life as usual. Other symptoms include anorexia, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever. Obviously, some of these symptoms are caused by the diarrhea.

Have you been diagnosed with a Cyclospora infection (cyclosporiasis)? If so, what do you think made you sick? Let our lawyers know (1-888-377-8900). We are investigating this outbreak and anticipate that lawsuits will be filed when the source is found.

E. coli Lawsuit vs. Minnesota Applebees

Apple Minnesota LLC has been sued in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in connection with an outbreak of E. coli O111 that has sickened 15 people in the state and garnered the attention of the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the latest release of information from the Minnesota Department of Health, nine Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants have been associated with the illnesses.

Those locations include Woodbury, Roseville, Duluth, Bemidji, Willmar, Monticello, New Hope and two Applebees in Blaine.The Woodbury Applebees is where Keith Comstock, a resident of a nearby suburb, ordered and consumed an Oriental Chicken Salad on June 24. "Unbeknownst to him, the oriental chicken salad consumed that day was contaminated with E. coli O111 bacteria and wholly unfit for human consumption,'' according to the complaint filed by E. coli lawyers Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm.

Three days later, Mr. Comstock began to suffer severe abdominal cramping, so bad that he sought medical treatment. While under a doctor's care, he tested positive for E. coli O111 and remained sick for several weeks. Like other victims of this outbreak, Mr. Comstock is at dramatically increased risk for a variety of chronic conditions, including high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

Other Minnesotans infected in this outbreak have since contacted the Pritzker law firm and the attorneys are continuing to sign additional cases. In a previous E. coli outbreak, Mr. Pritzker won $4.5 million for a young woman who ate at Applebees with her parents and developed E. coli HUS -- a potentially fatal disease -- from eating contaminated steak.

Putting a dollar value on a person's past physical and mental pain is not the only function of a food poisoning lawsuit. The suits recognize past and future medical and hospital expenses, past and future loss of income and future pain. They shift the financial burden onto parties responsible for the contamination to hold them accountable for negligence. E. coli O111 has no place in food and its presence in restaurants is preventable.

As investigators continue to look for the precise cause of the Minnesota Applebees E. coli outbreak, attorneys at PritzkerOlsen P.A. will be meeting with their clients as they chart the course of litigation. If your or a loved one has been sickened in this outbreak, contact us now for a free consultation, You pay us nothing until your case is won.

Q&A: Minnesota Applebees E. coli Lawsuit

Minnesota E. coli lawyers at PritzkerOlsen bring lawsuits on behalf of victims, including those sickened in the current  Applebee's E. coli O111 outbreak confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Contact staff attorneys Brendan Flaherty or Ryan Osterholm for an immediate and free consultation to protect your rights and understand your options. You will owe us nothing until your case is won.

What do we know about this outbreak?
Seven people who ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota in late June were infected by E. coli O111, a type of germ that emits a dangerous toxin. State health investigators confirmed this discovery through a scientific investigation.

What are the health risks?
Severe diarrhea, fevers and painful cramping are symptoms of infection, often bad enough to land victims in the hospital. In this outbreak, four people were hospitalized. But studies have shown long-term effects, as well. Toxic E. coli infections can lead to kidney problems, anemia, hypertension and vascular injury later in life.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is the most dreaded complication. HUS is a progression of illness early on after infection that causes kidney failure and can cause neurological damage, heart damage and even death.

 

Who should pay?
Restaurants like Applebee's have responsibility under the law to serve safe food. Even if the contamination was in vegetables supplied to the restaurant chain, victims can hold the Applebee's chain liable. If further investigation pinpoints the source of food that made people sick, others in the supply chain could be brought in.

Is there a lawsuit?
Yes. PritzkerOlsen has filed an E. coli lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of a Woodbury, Minnesota, man who was infected with E. coli O111 after eating Oriental Chicken Salad at the Woodbury Applebees. The firm is continuing to accept additional clients, providing free case consultations.

I didn't eat at Applebees, but I also was sickened by E. coli O111
There is a possibility you may be part of this outbreak and you should contact attorneys at PritzkerOlsen. The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed that six individuals who did not eat at Applebees in late June were in the initial cluster of outbreak victims. Health investigators believe the outbreak could be wider and include people in other states because the cause of illness could be contaminated carrots, cabbage, greens or other fresh produce supplied beyond the Applebees chain.

Should I accept settlement offers without hiring an attorney?
No. Some companies try to limit their liability in food poisoning outbreaks by offering discounted direct sums to victims. In our experience, those sums often pale in comparison to what victims rightfully deserve to cover all medical expenses, lost wages, travel, related daycare expenses, losses to their quality of life, future medical expenses and the possibility of future loss of wages. Our attorneys seek complete and fair compensation.

Does PritzkerOlsen have experience against  large companies?
That's what we do. In a previous E. coli food poisoning outbreak involving Applebees, our firm won a multi-million dollar settlement for a college student who was severely injured. We are active in nearly every major outbreak of food poisoning in the United States and are one of the very few law firms in the U.S. to concentrate on foodborne illness as an area of public concern.

E. coli Lawyer Files Applebees Lawsuit

                                                                                                                                                     Our law firm today filed an Applebee's E. coli lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on behalf of a young Twin Cities man sickened by E. coli O111. Keith Comstock retained PritzkerOlsen P.A. just one day after the Minnesota Department of Health announced that an outbreak of toxic E. coli infections is associated with food -- probably a raw produce item of some kind -- served at Applebee's restaurants in Blaine, Duluth, Monticello, Roseville and Woodbury. Mr. Comstock is the first of at least 13 confirmed outbreak victims to bring a lawsuit in the case.

Minnesota E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker said his firm is continuing to accept additional cases. He previously won a multi-million dollar settlement for a client sickened in a separate Applebee's E. coli outbreak. If you or a loved one has been sickened in the current outbreak, contact Fred now.

According to the lawsuit, the outbreak involves people who ate at Applebee's in Minnesota between June 24 and June 27. Mr. Comstock dined at Applebee's in Woodbury, east of St. Paul. He ordered and consumed Oriental Chicken Salad, which contained among other things, carrots, cabbage and greens. Applebee’s in Minnesota responded to the outbreak investigation by pulling the Oriental Chicken Salad from its menu, as well as ingredients used in that item from other foods. Chicken is not usually a source of E. coli outbreaks, so, according to Pritzker, the likely culprit is a fresh vegetable with no cooking, or “kill step”, to destroy pathogenic bacteria.

"Our client hopes to use the power of the courts to help get answers and keep more people from getting sick,'' said Brendan Flaherty, an attorney at PritzkerOlsen. He said it is too early to tell how many people have been affected by the Applebees E. coli outbreak in Minnesota.

E. coli O111 Associated with Minnesota Applebees Restaurants; Attorneys Investigate Lawsuit

Our lawyers are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O11 food poisoning associated with eating at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota between June 24 and 27. At least 13 people have been sickened in the outbreak, and some of them did not eat at Applebee's.

Our lawyers have successfully handled E. coli lawsuits involving food served at Applebee's in the past. You can contact them at 612-338-0202. Their offices are in Minneapolis, MN, and they represent people with E. coli infections throughout Minnesota and the United States. 

Applebee's Connection

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has interviewed people sickened in the outbreak, and 7 of them reported eating at an Applebee's restaurant in Minnesota prior to illness. The restaurants are in Blaine, Duluth, Monticello, Roseville and Woodbury. Health officials suspect Oriental Chicken Salad may be the menu item that was tainted. They are still looking for the specific food item that was contaminated.

Six of the people sickened did not eat at Applebee's. This means the food item contaminated with E. coli O111 bacteria was probably sold by a distributor to Applebee's and other restaurants. 

Can You Sue Applebee's for E. coli Food Poisoning?

If you were diagnosed with the outbreak strain of E. coli O111 and you ate at Applebee's between June 24 and 27, you may have the right to sue for compensation. Our lawyers will need to review your case (click for free case evaluation). In most of these cases, we file claims against the food processor who sold the contaminated food to the restaurant, not the restaurant. 

You can call 612-338-0202 to find out if you have the right to file a lawsuit. Attorneys Elliot Olsen, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm are our lead lawyers for these cases. You can contact our lawyers directly by email: Elliot Olsen, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm.

Four of the 13 people sickened were hospitalized. E. coli infections can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe form of kidney failure. Our lawyers have successfully handled many HUS cases for clients.

Energy Drink Wrongful Deaths - 5-Hour Energy, Monster and Rockstar

There have been 34 deaths linked to drinking energy drinks, according to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI):

  • 22 deaths linked to 5-Hour Energy;
  • 11 deaths linked to Monster; and
  • 1 death linked to Rockstar.

CSPI analysis of FDA documents also found 56 injuries that the agency had not disclosed to the public. The injuries included severely high blood pressure, convulsions and heart problems, including heart attacks.

"We are calling on the FDA to immediately take action," said Fred Pritzker, a food safety attorney who represents clients in wrongful death lawsuits against food companies. "People expect food they purchase to be safe. It is up to the FDA to make sure food products under its jurisdiction are safe or pulled off of the market."

You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) to contact Fred Pritzker and our other food safety lawyers.

We are joining the CSPI in urging the FDA to do the following:

  • Require warning labels on energy drink containers;
  • Force manufacturers to lower caffeine levels to 0.02 percent, or 71 milligrams per 12 ounces, the maximum amount considered safe in cola beverages; and
  • Require studies on the effects of chemicals and herbs (and their interactions) that are in energy drinks, including taurine, glucuronolactone, carnitine, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, milk thistle extract, and guarana seed.

We would also ask that the FDA take steps to further warn the public of the dangers associated with these drinks.

E. coli and Salmonella Food Poisoning Linked to Decatur, Alabama Church

Our lawyers are investigating an outbreak of illnesses, including E. coli and Salmonella food poisoning, linked to a chicken dinner served at a church event in Decatur, Alabama, on May 30, 2014. There are 19 reported illnesses, 2 of them confirmed. At least one person was diagnosed with both E. coli and Salmonella infections.

You can click here now to contact our lawyers for your free consultation.

The chicken dinner served at the church was catered. This means that those sickened may have personal injury claims against the catering company and the processor of the specific food item that caused the illnesses. Each case must be evaluated based the evidence.

One person with an E. coli infection died. If this case can be linked to the church event, the family has wrongful death claims against the caterer and the food processing company. They have the right to sue for compensation and hold the wrongdoers accountable.

The news reports regarding this outbreak have different information. WHNT TV states that one of the ill persons who may be part of this outbreak ate at a public luncheon at a church in Decatur, Alabama on May 30. DecaturDaily.com states that the event was at Bridge Builders Church on Beltline Road and  that it was a workshop for seniors.

The investigation of this outbreak is ongoing. The specific food source of the outbreak has not been determined. Stool samples of those sickened are still being tested.

Attorney Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team represent people sickened by contaminated food throughout the United States. They have won millions for clients in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against restaurants, food companies and others.

E. coli Linked to Pita Pit, Daanen's Deli and Jimmy John's

Can I Sue for E. coli Food Poisoning from the Pita Pit, Daanen's Deli or Jimmy John's?

Yes, if your E. coli O121 infection can be linked to food you ate at the Pita Pit, Daanen's Deli or Jimmy John's in April and May of this year (2014), you have claims against:

  1. The restaurant and
  2. Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC, whose sprouts (served at the restaurants) are the likely source of your illness.

To "have a claim" means that you have the right to sue these businesses for compensation, including medical expenses, lost income (time you needed to take off of work), pain, emotional distress and other damages. In addition, you are at greater risk of having future kidney problems because of the E. coli infection. You should be compensated for this, also.

Am I Part of the E. coli O121 Outbreak?

To date there are 17 laboratory confirmed cases of E. coli O121 linked to Evergreen Fresh Sprouts eaten at the Pita Pit, Daanen's Deli and Jimmy John’s restaurants in Washington and Idaho. People in 5 states have been sickened: Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (10). Onset of illness for the 17 confirmed cases range from May 1, 2014 to May 20, 2014. The incubation period for E. coli is 3 to 10 days. This means that people ate tainted food at the restaurants in late April and the first half of May.

E. coli O121 is very rare. There have only been a handful of O121 outbreaks in the United States. If you were diagnosed with an E. coli O121 infection in late April or May of this year, there is a high likelihood that you are part of this outbreak. 

To prove conclusively that you are part of the outbreak, E. coli isolates found in your stool sample would have to undergo pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), which uses enzymes to cut up the DNA of E. coli bacteria and then uses electrophoresis to divide the pieces based on size. This creates a specific genetic pattern. If your PFGE pattern matches those of others sickened in the outbreak, you are part of the outbreak.

What Evidence is There against Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho?

Traceback investigations found that Evergreen Fresh Sprouts supplied raw sprouts to the three restaurants involved in this outbreak. Most of the people sickened in the outbreak said they ate sprouts at one of the restaurants before getting sick.

Prompted by this outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected the Evergreen Fresh Sprouts’ facility on the following dates: May 22-23, 2014; May 27-30, 2014; and June 6, 2014. During the inspection, FDA investigators observed the following unsanitary conditions:

  • condensate and irrigation water dripping from rusty valves;
  • a rusty and corroded mung bean room watering system;
  • tennis rackets that had scratches, chips, and frayed plastic” used to scoop mung bean sprouts;
  • a pitchfork with corroded metal being used to transfer mung bean sprouts; and
  • a squeegee with visible corroded metal and non-treated wood being used to agitate mung bean sprouts inside a soak vat. 

Can I Get A Free Consultation with an Attorney?

Yes, you can get a free consultation with one of our attorneys. All of them have years of experience winning E. coli food poisoning cases. You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or click here now to contact our lawyers and get your free E. coli case review.

 

E. coli Attorneys Investigate O157 Outbreak in MA, MI, MO and OH

Were You Sickened by a Burger Processed by Wolverine Packing Company of Detroit and Served at a Restaurant?

Our E. coli attorneys are investigating the outbreak of E. coli O157 linked to ground beef sold by Wolverine Packing Company and served at restaurants in the form of burgers, some of them served rare. We are a national food safety law firm representing clients throughout the United States.

You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) to contact our attorneys and get your free E. coli case review.

E coli 0157 from Rare BurgerAttorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm are our lead lawyers for these cases. They have been contacted by E. coli food poisoning patients regarding this outbreak and are now investigating.

The CDC is reporting illnesses in the following states: Massachusetts (1), Michigan (5), Missouri (1), and Ohio (4). We are looking into possible outbreak cases in other states, including Illinois and Kansas. We are expecting higher numbers of cases in the 4 states with confirmed outbreak cases and cases in other states. One reason for this is that the recall issued yesterday (May 19, 2014) was quietly updated yesterday after business hours:

EDITOR’S NOTE added on May 19, 2014: Upon further investigation, FSIS now believes the product was sent to distribution centers nationwide. (USDA Recall Announcement)

Certainly this information should have been correct earlier in the day. With all 2 million pounds of the recalled ground beef going to restaurants, the names of the restaurants should public information. Consumers should know so that they can watch for E. coli symptoms, which can onset as late as 10 days after eating a tainted burger.

Of the 11 people confirmed as outbreak cases, 6 of them were hospitalized, some of them for several days. Wolverine Packing Company and the restaurants involved in this outbreak should be held accountable for the illnesses.

We have read comments suggesting people eat rare burgers at their own risk. We disagree. If food is being served at a restaurant, consumers expect it to be safe and the law requires it to be safe. If you ate a rare burger and have been diagnosed with E. coli O157, you may be part of this outbreak, and our lawyers can help you.

We are aware of E. coli cases in the U.S. where the person sickened did not eat a rare burger prior to onset of illness. Because of possible cross contamination (salad touching a tainted hamburger, for example), some of these cases may also be part of the outbreak. This can be determined with special tests.

You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) to contact Fred, Brendan and Ryan. It is free to talk to them and find out how to protect your legal rights.