A few months ago, I wrote and Oped piece praising the meat industry from lowering the number of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. As I wrote: “[a]s a lawyer specializing in food-borne illness litigation, I’ve seen this happen [reduction in E. coli O157:H7 cases tied to meat], but I’m still as busy as ever. A decade ago most of my clients had been sickened by tainted meat. In fact, between 1993 and 2002 I took over $250 Million from the meat industry in verdicts and settlements on behalf of my clients, mostly children with kidney failure caused from consuming E. coli-tainted hamburger. Today, my business comes almost entirely from people sickened by lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, green onions, and parsley.” (See my youtube video).
I hope these recent E. coli-related outbreaks tied to meat are an aberration. So, far we have been contacted by the families of several victims from both outbreaks below:
Davis Creek Meats of Michigan issued a beef recall in the last week because of E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The recall is for 129,000 pounds of beef products produced between March 1st and April 30th, and includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The affected meat comes in boxes with the number “Est. 1947A.”
Lund’s and Byerly’s of Minnesota issued a ground beef recall last week prompted by the sickness of at least seven people who ate ground beef produced by PM Beef Holdings and sold at Lunds and Byerly’s stores in several states including Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Virginia. PM Beef, the meat company responsible for supplying tainted trim, withdrew nearly 117,500 pounds of beef it had shipped to eight states. The beef trim was turned into ground beef by the stores that sold them under many different retail brand names.