A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the Seattle-area parents of a young child who was sickened after eating E. coli O157:H7 contaminated product sold by The SoyNut Butter Company of Illinois. This is the fourth lawsuit filed connected to the SoyNut Butter outbreak, but the first to directly name the product’s manufacturer: Dixie Dew Products of Erlanger, Kentucky. Up until recently, neither the FDA nor SoyNut Butter Company would not disclose the name of the product’s manufacturer. The family is being represented by Newland & Newland, LLP as well as Seattle-based food safety law firm Marler Clark, LLP, PS. The case number is 1:17-cv-02138.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are Travis and Morgan Stuller, who are parents to a child identified as L.S. in the complaint. In the days leading up to L.S.’s illness, she regularly consumed SoyNut Butter manufactured and sold by Dixie Dew Products and SoyNut Butter Company, respectively.
On or about February 21, 2017, L.S. developed painful gastrointestinal symptoms, which worsened to include grossly bloody diarrhea. She was seen by her treating physician for ongoing symptoms, but, on March 5, was hospitalized at Seattle Children’s Hospital and remained so until March 8. While in the hospital, an illness of E. coli O157:H7 was confirmed and she was treated for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening condition.
L.S. continues to recover at home, but faces uncertain future medical complications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 16 people from nine states have so far been confirmed as infected with the strain of E. coli O157:H7 connected to the SoyNut Butter outbreak. Like L.S., 14 of the 16 ill people in this outbreak are under the age of 18 and eight have required hospitalization. The affected states include includes Arizona (4), California (4), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), Oregon (2), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1). That number is expected to increase in the coming days.