Marler Clark started in 1998 – Five and a half years after the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak made foodborne illness outbreaks and litigation a thing.

A few years later I had the honor of hiring our first Epidemiologist (I dare say we are the only law firm in the world with one), Patti Waller.  Patti brought to the firm a scientific rigor that has helped us help our clients over the last 20 years.  Patti retired a few years ago (we now have Michelle Cleary), but Patti still helps us update – Thanks Patti for all the recent upgrades.

Funny story – in the first few years of Patti’s tenure, when I needed to know a prior outbreak involving a particular “bug,” product type or defendant, I would walk or bellow down the hall to Patti’s office for an answer.  As the years went on and the scope of outbreaks and numbers of them expanded – and, memories faded, Patti and I came up with the idea of  the Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database.  With the technical skill of our computer guy, Ryan, and with the help of former CDC and state health department officials, we created a searchable database, for not all, but many of the outbreaks that have occurred over the last decades.

Please use it. If you find we have missed something or we have made mistakes, please shoot me an email at