ST. LOUIS (PRNewswire) — National food safety lawyer Ron Simon has filed two more lawsuits in St. Louis stemming from a multi-state E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to contaminated romaine lettuce sold at Schnucks salad bars during October 2011.
The lawsuits were filed in St. Louis County, Missouri on behalf of Angela Crowell and Mark Bassemier against Schnucks Markets, Vaughan Foods, and others. Copies of the file-stamped lawsuits are available upon request.
The Schnucks Romaine Lettuce E. Coli O157:H7 Outbreak – 60 Victims in 10 States
In October of 2011, the Food and Drug Administration identified an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to romaine lettuce sold at Schnucks grocery stores. The collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health agencies indicated that the outbreak resulted in the infection of at least 60 persons across 10 states. Approximately 70% of the victims were hospitalized. The majority of the victims reported purchasing romaine lettuce from Schnucks' salad bars between October 5 and October 24, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2011/ecoliO157/romainelettuce/120711/index.html
Angela Crowell's E. coli O157:H7 Infection
On October 16, 2011, Angela Crowell consumed a salad containing romaine lettuce from the Schnucks located at 8301 Bell Oaks Drive in Newburgh, Indiana (the same store where Mr. Bassemier purchased his contaminated salad). Shortly thereafter, she began to suffer the symptoms of E. coli food poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and severe abdominal cramping. As a nurse, she became alarmed when she noticed that her stool contained a significant amount of blood. She was taken to Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Evansville, Indiana, where she was admitted, diagnosed with colitis, and placed on an IV to administer medications and to prevent dehydration. As the abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea continued, she was given Cipro and Flagyl to fight the colitis. Her physician ordered a colonoscopy for the following day which revealed severe hemorrhagic colitis. Her physicians also had a stool culture performed to determine the cause of her illness.
Her stool culture came back positive for E. coli O157:H7. With the infection identified, the doctors continued supportive care (i.e., fluids and pain medications) to make her more comfortable, and her condition was monitored until she was released from the hospital seven days later.
Ms. Crowell was later informed by the Indiana Department of Health that she had tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 linked to consumption of romaine lettuce from Schnucks salad bars.
Mark Bassemier's E. coli O157:H7 Infection
On October 16, 2011, Mark Bassemier consumed a salad containing romaine lettuce from the salad bar of the Schnucks located at 8301 Bell Oaks Drive in Newburgh, Indiana. Within days he began to suffer the symptoms of E. coli food poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and severe abdominal cramping. Mr. Bassemier, an otherwise healthy individual, became so ill he sought medical help and was treated at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He was put on a regimen of Cipro for 10 days and diagnosed with gastrointestinal bleeding and diarrhea. He was also forced to undergo a colonoscopy. Post-colonoscopy he was diagnosed with acute infectious colitis. His physicians considered the possibility of acute food poisoning, and ordered a stool culture to test for food borne pathogens.
When the stool test was returned, health officials notified Mr. Bassemier that he had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Soon thereafter, the Vanderburgh Department of Health investigated Mr. Bassemier's illness and sent his stool culture to the Indiana state laboratory for further testing. Health officials later informed Mr. Bassemier that his E. coli sample was an identical DNA match to the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 linked to consumption of romaine lettuce at Schnucks.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that is commonly spread by ingestion of food or water contaminated with human or animal feces. http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html#where
Ron Simon, counsel for Ms. Crowell and Mr. Bassemier, issued the following statement: "Both Angela and Mark had a right to eat salads free from human or animal feces. We have filed these lawsuits to discover how Schnucks' romaine lettuce became contaminated and to prevent it from happening again."
Mr. Simon represents several of the E. coli victims who have been linked to this outbreak. He and his law firm have already filed four E. coli lawsuits in numerous states, and anticipate filing several more in the coming weeks.
About Ron Simon
Over the last 20 years, Ron Simon has prosecuted thousands of food poisoning cases for victims across the United States. His work has resulted in numerous upgrades to food safety procedures in Fortune 500 companies and in legislation designed to protect consumers from dangerous food-borne pathogens.
Mr. Simon and his clients have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and virtually all other major television networks and print media. Mr. Simon has collected over $600,000,000 for his clients and regularly publishes articles about food safety and litigation at www.myfoodpoisoninglawyer.com, which are read by viewers in over 180 countries.
Through litigation, media commentary, and his food poisoning publications, Mr. Simon relentlessly challenges food companies to do a better job in making food safe for all Americans.
For media inquiries or more information on this outbreak and ongoing litigation, please contact Ron Simon directly at (713) 819-8116 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony Coveny at 713-306-3880 or Tony@rsaalaw.com