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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Cargill Admits its E. coli-tainted Hamburger Caused Dancer’s Paralysis, Yet Refuses to Pay Past Medical Expenses

According to KARE TV 11 in Minneapolis today, the Minnesota company accused of producing tainted meat that left a former dance instructor paralyzed has admitted fault in the case.  According to documents filed earlier this month in the federal lawsuit, Cargill says it manufactured and sold a product that contained E. coli. The company tells the court that it does not contest strict liability in the case, admitting that its meat did cause Stephanie Smith’s illness.

In 2007, 22-year-old Smith of Cold Spring developed extremely serious (hemolytic uremic syndrome) complications from E. coli after eating a hamburger produced by Cargill Meat Solutions.

She suffered kidney failure, seizures and was in a medically-induced coma for three months. She was hospitalized for nine months. Smith today remains in a wheelchair and in rehabilitation. Her past medical bills, which Cargill has thus far refused to pay, are $1,886,558.99 to date.

Cargill did purchase a wheelchair van for Stephanie’s mother to drive, and after multiple requests, is paying for Smith’s rehabilitation medical bills. Smith’s future medical bills could climb into the tens of millions of dollars.

Smith is suing Cargill for $100 million.

Stephanie Smith: E. coli Survivor from Marlerclark on Vimeo.