Bill Hord of the Lincoln Bureau wrote an interesting piece a few days ago – E. coli vexes despite safety effort

His story seemed to focus on the Hudson Meat recall (US largest in 1997 – some 21 million pounds of meat) as the turning point in the battle against E. coli. Frankly, I always felt that it was the ConAgra outbreak in 2002 that seemed to be the point where the number of E. coli cases began to fall. What I thought was a bit odd was his failure to mention the several meat-related E. coli outbreaks that have occurred in 2007 – see my earlier posts.

Mr. Hord did have a chance to talk to my partner, Buce Clark:

The past decade also has spawned a legal niche for two opposing lawyers over a lawsuit brought on behalf of a 12-year-old girl infected with E. coli from a hamburger bought at a Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant.

Seattle attorney William Marler won a $15.6 million settlement on behalf of the girl. Marler and Bruce Clark, also of Seattle, who represented Jack in the Box, later formed a partnership to bring actions in food safety cases. In the past decade, the two have represented nearly 1,000 clients in E. coli cases, Clark said.

The cases take place out of the public eye, Clark said, because they nearly always result in settlements by companies that do not want the exposure that Jack in the Box received.

Interesting Chart: