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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli lawsuit filed against Joplin daycare

Marler Clark filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Patricia and Asa Wasden, the parents of Ian Wasden, a two-year-old boy who suffered from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) after contracting E. coli O157:H7 last June at Kid’s Korner daycare in Joplin.

“After the first child attending Kid’s Korner tested positive for E. coli, the daycare operators should have notified all parents and taken extra precautions to ensure that no other children became ill,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “Instead, they continued to operate the daycare as if nothing was wrong, which probably led to dozens of illnesses that could have been prevented.”

Through interviews with families, officials from the Joplin Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health learned that Kid’s Korner failed to notify 32% of families whose children had attended the daycare and were therefore exposed to E. coli O157:H7. Overall, 26 children attending Kid’s Korner experienced diarrhea during the month of May, and four submitted stool samples that cultured positive for E. coli O157:H7.

“When you look at the facts, particularly the Health Department report, it is obvious that Kid’s Korner showed a blatant disregard for the safety of Ian Wasden and all other children who attended their daycare,” Marler concluded. During their investigation, officials visited the daycare on several occasions, and noted numerous “non-compliances” that were considered “likely to be linked to disease transmission.”

Ian Wasden was hospitalized for nearly three weeks, undergoing a full week of kidney dialysis, seven blood transfusions, three surgeries, and a severe case of pancreatitis. He was released from Children’s Mercy Hospital on June 20, 2004, but continues to suffer from painful abdominal cramping. His kidneys have not fully recovered from the effects of E. coli and HUS.