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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Raw Goat Milk E. coli Lawsuit Filed After Infant Nearly Dies

We are proud that our client, Angela Pedersen, spoke out on local TV about her son’s life-threatening illness. The Pedersen family is suing Soni Copeland and The Herb Depot and Organic Market in Monett.

"It was a living hell. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone," says Pedersen.

It’s hard for Pedersen to look back on the last few months. She almost lost her son Larry, who was not even a year old, to E. coli.

"I don’t know how many days I would look at my son and I didn’t know if he was going to take another breath," says Pedersen.

Pedersen says Larry contracted the disease from raw milk she bought at the Herb Depot and Organic Market in Monett. The family’s now suing that business. Pedersen says back in April she went to the store to buy almond milk. She says she was then told about the benefits of raw milk.

"We were approached and told that the goat’s milk would be a better alternative. It’s healthier than breast milk and it would be wonderful for him. We agreed to try it," says Pedersen.

Just days later, Pedersen says her son got very sick.

"It began with upset stomach, diarrhea and basically key thing and what all parents need to watch out for is blood in the stool," says Pedersen.

Larry was diagnosed with E. coli and quickly developed life-threatening complications. He did recover after 30 days, but the family says having kidney damage changes you for life.

"We are just grateful we’ve gotten through it and that we have our son, "says Pedersen.

Angela Pedersen says she understands there are many people who believe in drinking raw milk, but says from now on, she’s sticking to what she knows and remaining thankful for what she has.

"Every day, every second, every time I look at my kids I am thankful." says Pederson.

  • Bill, I will bite on this, so to speak.
    A young family took a chance on alternative food source.
    They were apparently uniformed.
    It didn’t work out well, in fact dangerously unwell.
    For a period of 30 days.
    Ok, what do we learn? Probably that raw milk products ought not to be consumed by young people, or others with undeveloped systems.
    What am I missing?

  • Margurite Henry

    The thing that infuriates me about this is this quote
    “We were approached and told that the goat’s milk would be a better alternative. It’s healthier than breast milk and it would be wonderful for him. We agreed to try it,” says Pedersen.
    How on earth can someone think that milk for a baby goat is healthier than milk manufactured specifically for baby humans in your own body??
    When I began reading the article I felt that the store shouldn’t be liable because it was her choice to purchase the raw milk and give it to her son, however if people at the store are spouting this type of erroneous advice then they absolutely deserve to be held responsible.

  • Jim B

    I agree with most of what was said by previous commentors, but what about the responsibility of the parent?
    The parent is responsible for what goes into the mouth of that child. I won’t let joe-schmo at the supermarket tell me this is “better for him/her” based on a passing conversation. Do a little research people!
    I can understand a tough decision in finding blame/liability in this case; no picnic there. But I would say both parties need to look in the mirror here. Aren’t there quite a few items in the stores these days that are likely to cause just as much harm in the market? Don’t we hold some sense of responsiblity as parents to take note of and research some of those items before we feed it to our children, especially as young as this one?
    thanks for the article

  • Maria

    I agree with the above. Ecoli could have come from anything – there is more of a chance of getting it from deli meat than raw milk from clean grass fed animals. People should never purchase something without researching the pros and cons themselves. To blame someone else here for poor decisions – well, this is just passing the buck. In this society, we must learn to take responsibility for our own choices rather than make someone else responsible for our lack of doing so. I drink raw milk from a local dairy, but I know them and also know the animals are clean, and grassfed. This is all about knowing where your food comes from YOURSELF.

  • michelle

    Did they test the milk? Not just 1 bottle would contain ecoli…the whole bulk would be contaminated, and there would be more cases of illness.