A Minnesota E. coli lawsuit that made national headlines in July was made possible by another successful outbreak investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health — one of five such breakthroughs for the agency in 2014 . A review of state records shows that the state health department solved three toxic E. coli outbreaks linked to more than 85 confirmed illnesses. The agency also solved a pair of Salmonella outbreaks. The clusters of E. coli infection involved customers of several Minnesota Applebee’s restaurants, visitors to a traveling petting zoo and members of northern Minnesota’s Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker, founder and president of PritzkerOlsen, P.A., represents victims of the Applebee’s outbreak and continues to accept new Minnesota cases uncovered by state epidemiologists in St. Paul. His own staff attorneys conduct follow-up investigations and pursue claims for families who seek to hold the purveyors accountable. If you or a loved one has been sickened in a Minnesota E. coli outbreak, contact Fred for a free case consultation about your legal options. His Minneapolis-based plaintiffs’ firm is one of the very few legal groups in the country practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation and he has recovered tens of millions for survivors of food poisoning, nationwide.
The Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar outbreak of E. coli O111 arose in July after several patrons in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota fell ill with infections that required hospitalization in some cases. Several case patients had eaten Oriental Chicken Salad, investigation showed, and the restaurant chain temporarily pulled the item from its menus and switched ingredient suppliers. Ultimately, health officials determined that green cabbage sourced from out of state was the likely cause of the outbreak. Attorney Pritzker filed the first lawsuit in the outbreak, which is now pending in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on behalf of man from Oakdale, Minn., who at the Oriental Chicken Salad.
The state’s largest E. coli outbreak in 2014 involved catered food at a series of social events on the Fond du Lac reservation near Cloquet. The Minnesota Department of Health reported just last month that the late-summer outbreak was traced to raw celery from California as the likely cause. Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering used the celery to make potato salad and veggie trays served at a reception and a picnic for elders. The depth of that investigation actually pinpointed the farm field near Gonzales, California, where the celery was harvested thanks to cooperation from California health officials. Investigation showed that close to 60 people were sickened by the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7, a quarter of whom were hospitalized. A Fond du Lac E. coli lawsuit has been filed.
Minnesota also solved an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that struck children who attended the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo at various county fairs and celebrations in the state during July. Of 13 confirmed cases, seven victims were hospitalized and two developed a life-threatening complication know as hemolytic uremic syndrome, or E. coli HUS. The investigation halted the owner from showing his animals at two more events scheduled for August. Petting zoo E. coli outbreaks are not uncommon and our law firm has recovered compensation for children and adults sickened by pathogens spread from the feces of livestock or show animals in these various settings.