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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

BJ’s sued over meat it sold

As Jane Lerner of the Journal News reported today, Marler Clark has filed a lawsuit against BJ’s Wholesale Club on behalf of the parents of a Bergen County, N.J., boy who got sick from a strain of bacteria identical to the one that nearly killed a Rockland girl two years ago.

Three-year-old Owen Langan of Wyckoff developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) after eating a hamburger made from ground beef that a family friend bought at the BJ’s in Paramus. Owen got sick in May 2002, around the same time that two Rockland girls became ill after eating ground beef purchased at the BJ’s in West Nyack.

One girl recovered at home. The other, age 6, developed severe complications of E. coli infection, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). She spent more than a month at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she underwent blood transfusions and developed kidney failure, pancreatitis, hypertension, a blood-clotting disorder and seizures. She recovered, but continues to suffer medical complications as a result of eating the tainted hamburger. In April, her family reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with BJ’s to cover medical expenses.

The strain of bacteria that sickened Owen Langan was genetically identical to the strain that made the two Rockland girls sick. Owen spent 14 days in the hospital and developed kidney failure, which required treatment by dialysis.