December 2004

NBC17.com also did a story about my Crossroads Farm Petting Zoo lawsuit. From their article:

“Twenty-four outbreaks have been linked to fairs and petting zoos since 1995,” said attorney William Marler, of the Seattle law firm Marler Clark. “Any operator of a petting zoo should be well-versed in the ways of preventing E. coli infections

As the Associated Press reported yesterday, I filed my lawsuit against Crossroads Farm Petting Zoo Friday on behalf of my clients whose young children got HUS from E. coli contamination at the North Carolina State Fair. Some of these families have more than $100,000 in medical bills, so this won’t be a cheap lawsuit. Not

Another news article on my two most recent Chi-Chi’s lawsuits, on behalf of Bennie Martino and Angelo Palitti.

Chris Osher of the Tribune-Review reports:

The lawsuits, both filed by Seattle lawyer William Marler, allege that the method Chi-Chi’s used to store green onions, which health officials have identified as the likely culprits, essentially created “hepatitis

I was featured in the Food Protection Report (December 2004 Vol. 20 No. 12), talking about E. coli O157:H7 and fair outbreaks, specifically regarding the prevention measures taken after the 2002 Lane County outbreak in Oregon… and how kids are still getting sick, even when the fair-runners do everything right.

“I think counties and states may have to reassess whether it is worth having fairs, petting zoos, and other events that bring people in close contact with animals,” suggests prominent food litigation lawyer William Marler of the Seattle law firm Marler Clark. “I know it sounds un-American, but we are now having outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 linked to these events almost on a yearly basis,” Marler told Food Protection Report.

Infections picked up at events where people and animals mingle can spread throughout the community. Since 1998, at least seven E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks have been traced to fairs. The most recent outbreak occurred in North Carolina, where an investigation is ongoing.

Although the specifics of each E. coli outbreak at fairs differ, Marler says, they all have a common denominator and the pathogen lurks in ways that were not seen decades ago. A 2003 study by USDA found E. coli O157:H7 was not only commonly present at fairs but that levels of the bacteria were similar to those found in commercially reared livestock, which surprised researchers.


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To the editor:

Regarding the recent outbreak of E. coli across the state, the blame now apparently rests squarely on the shoulders of departing Commissioner Britt Cobb and the Department of Agriculture under his watch. Mr. Cobb and the state agency he oversaw are charged with “… controlling and eliminating animal diseases and ensuring general