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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. Coli Claim Filed in Minnesota Against Taco Johns

Law.com reprinted an AP story about our client:

A Minnesota woman and her son have filed a lawsuit against Taco John’s after they became ill after eating food tainted with E. coli from the restaurant last year.  The lawsuit was the first of its kind in Minnesota related to the infection of at least 33 state residents who became ill in November and December after eating at Taco John’s restaurants, according to the company and the lawyer who brought the case.

Seattle-based William D. Marler has filed two other lawsuits on behalf of people who ate tainted food at Taco John’s restaurants in Iowa and Minnesota. He filed them last month in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids in Iowa.

The E. coli outbreak last year sickened about 81 people who had eaten at Taco John’s restaurants in Minnesota and Iowa in November and December. Among those sickened, 26 were hospitalized. There were no deaths.Health officials have said contaminated California-grown lettuce was the possible source of the E. coli found at the Cheyenne, Wyo.-based company’s restaurants.

Taco John’s spokesman Brian Dixon said Thursday he could not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit since the company had not been formally served with it.  He said the company’s focus at the moment was trying to determine exactly how its customers were sickened. “We will not rest until we get it resolved,” he said.

I might be able to help here – the contamination has been traced to a lettuce farm near Bakersfield, California which was quite close to a dairy farm where the same E. coli strain was found.  There are rumors, not yet confirmed, that liquefied cattle manure might have been used to irrigate the lettuce.