March 2007

I spent Tuesday (beginning at 7:00 AM in 40 degree weather) with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and a camera crew from CNN traveling around Salinas and San Juan Bautista investigating the cause of the 2006 Dole Spinach E. coli Outbreak.  I found Dr. Gupta very well informed and fair in his questions (probably because his wife

Alex Pulaski of the Portland Oregonian had been working on the following piece for the last several weeks:

When something goes terribly wrong with peanut butter, lettuce or spinach, Bill Marler starts adding telephone lines to handle calls pouring into his Seattle office.

Marler has emerged as the country’s preeminent plaintiff’s lawyer in food-borne-illness cases. His firm has won nearly $300 million in settlements from restaurants and suppliers, and the financial drain — coupled with Marler’s constant calls for reform — has leveled pressure on industry and government to better police food.

“Put me out of business,” Marler repeats as his rallying cry.

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Dateline takes a look at problems in food safety. What’s behind last year’s rash of E. coli outbreaks? And is there anything the FDA can do to safeguard our produce?

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One victim’s story

Michelle Matthews of Eagle Creek, Utah, and her 2-year-old daughter Arabella both became seriously ill from spinach in early Sept.

“This industry is only as strong as its weakest link,” said attorney Bill Marler, who is representing 93 of the outbreak victims. “The next time there is an outbreak, the whole industry is going to take a hit, not just the farmer who didn’t sign the agreement.”

Garance Burke of the Fresno Associated Press today

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer of Land Line:

Defending victims of food-borne illnesses – like E. coli – has been attorney Bill Marler’s focus since 1993, now he has a new perspective on how hauling potentially contaminated loads of produce and the lack of federal regulations affects truckers.

How long can the produce industry continue