I was awakened this morning at 3:00 AM Seattle time by a reporter wanting to know the status of the outbreak. At that time the toll on consumers stood at 30 from 7 states. Over 12 hours later and countless interviews, spinach contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 has now sickened at least 94 people across the nation. 29 people have been hospitalized, 14 of them with kidney failure. The outbreak has grown to include at least 20 states: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  You wonder what the weekend will bring.

We are now investigating nearly 20 E. coli cases in a dozen states that appear to be linked to this ever-expanding tragedy.  In one story covering the lawsuit we filed yesterday in Federal Court in Oregon, our client had a few good things to say:

The Seattle firm has represented thousands of victims of food poisoning, including some of the people sickened a year ago in a similar outbreak traced to bags of Dole lettuce, attorney Bill Marler said.

David Wellborn contacted Marler Clark after learning about the firm while doing Internet research about HUS. “I was impressed with the knowledge they had,” David Wellborn said.

In addition, we filed another suit today:

Milwaukee family files lawsuit over E. coli infections

A Milwaukee family filed a federal lawsuit against Dole today regarding the E. coli outbreak blamed on bagged, prewashed spinach.

Paul and Anna Zeintek of Milwaukee and their two children filed the lawsuit. Those two children were both among several dozen people who have been sickened in the outbreak, which also has killed one person in Wisconsin.

The Zeinteks say their children ate Dole brand baby spinach and wound up hospitalized with E. coli infections, and also developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The lawsuit was filled in U-S District Court in Milwaukee by the Seattle law firm Marler Clark. That’s the firm that filed a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of an Oregon woman.

Federal and state officials investigating the outbreak have advised consumers nationwide to toss out any bagged, fresh spinach they have.