The nation’s foremost law firm with a practice dedicated to representing victims of food poisoning.

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Firm News

Marler Clark’s constant activism for food safety has been the catalyst behind print and broadcast news stories about topics from food litigation to sprout labeling, hepatitis A vaccinations, and school lunch safety. The Marler Clark lawyers have shared their insight with numerous reporters over the years, and have brought much attention to what they feel is important — stopping needless suffering for victims of foodborne illness.

2008

Bill Marler Receives 2008 WSTLA Public Justice Award

Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (WSTLA) announced that William Marler will be receiving the “Public Justice Award” at the May 2008 Law Day Dinner.

Bill Marler Receives King County Bar Association’s 2008 Outstanding Lawyer Award

The King County Bar Association announced today that they had selected William Marler for its “2008 Outstanding Lawyer Award.” 

E. coli lawyer in Seattle makes good money from bad food

Marler Clark attorney Bill Marler was profiled by the Associated Press in a February 2008 article regarding E. coli litigation.

2007

Legally Speaking: The food poisoning lawyer

John G. Browning’s column for The Southeastern Texas Record begins: “If you’re still snacking on Thanksgiving leftovers, this column just may jumpstart your diet plans,” and continues: “with And while for many people the very thought of going to a lawyer can cause stomachs to churn, if your stomach is churning for other reasons, then the lawyer you need to see is Bill Marler.”

What to do about the “Mad Cow”

An Opinion-Editorial regarding the nation’s food supply, written by Bill Marler after a cow in Washington State tested positive for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy “BSE,” or “Mad Cow” Disease.

2006

Food Safety Attorney calls for Congressional Hearings on Poisoned Produce

“Now, when we thought that the worst was over, we’re in the midst of another E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, the scope of which may exceed the tallies of the previous outbreaks combined. Circumstances have never been more ripe for change, and the federal Congress is the only body with the means to effect it,” wrote Bill Marler, after E. coli outbreaks were traced to spinach and green onions. Also read the letter he sent to Congressional leaders.

How a Tiny Law Firm Made Hay Out of Tainted Spinach

Before health officials warned the public about bad spinach, before grocers yanked fresh spinach off their shelves, before consumers cleaned out their refrigerators, the Seattle law firm Marler Clark had filed its first bad-spinach lawsuit.

Seattle firm leading Sheetz litigation

Bill Marler says he plans to file 148 Salmonella lawsuits against Sheetz and Coronet Foods concerning allegedly Salmonella-contaminated tomatoes sold in 2004. Most are in Pennsylvania, but Marler Clark represents clients in West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland.

“Put me out of business, please.”

On March 1, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued additional Guidelines “for the Safe Production of Fresh-Cut Fruits and Vegetables.” Bill Marler commented on the guidelines in an opinion-editorial.

2005

“Something’s Happening Here”

In the last few months, Marler Clark has been contacted by individuals, mostly the parents of young children, who have suffered from E. coli O157:H7 infections. The victims live in New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Oregon. The food implicated as the source of their infections is primarily ground beef or hamburger patties, but lettuce and parsley have also been implicated. To borrow from Buffalo Springfield, “Something’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

Hammer Time: Preparation pays when disputes escalate to lawsuits

Bill Marler has heard them all: “It’s not fair.” “People are just suing over a tummy ache.” “We shouldn’t be blamed. Although somebody got sick, we did everything right. Why can you sue me?” But Marler doesn’t accept the excuses.

2004

E. coli and the County Fair

Bill Marler’s Opinion-Editorial discusses the risks associated with exposure to E. coli at state and local fairs.

Big Beef’s Dirty War

In this article, Denis Stearns, a partner with Marler Clark, discusses the meat industry’s attachment to HACCP, which shifted much of the responsibility for carrying out testing for pathogens from the USDA to the companies themselves.

Our food-safety system falls short

Suing food suppliers and restaurants whose products make people seriously ill is Bill Marler’s business—and business is good.

2003

Secretary Veneman: you have not put me out of business yet

In his second opinion-editorial on Mad Cow disease, Bill Marler asked Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman to put him out of business by putting safeguards in place to prevent BSE and other forms of foodborne illness from entering the nation’s food supply.

TAINTED: The Flawed Meat Safety System

A two-part series from the Philadelphia Inquirer details the lack of security in our nation’s food safety net and tells the stories of victims of foodborne illness.

Food Safety Attorney, William Marler, Speaks Out on Mad Cow

Bill Marler’s opinion-editorial on the first case of Mad Cow disease in the United states begins, “We as Americans have grown up believing that our food supply is the safest in the world. But the CDC estimates that over 300,000 people are hospitalized and over 5,000 die, just from eating food contaminated with a pathogen.”

Poison in our Schools?

This Opinion-Editorial, written by Bill Marler, discusses vulnerabilities of the National School Lunch Program.

Company is indicted over meat

The general manager of an Orangeburg, S.C., food distributor that has bid on public school contracts across South Carolina, including in Aiken County, was indicted this month on federal meat inspection violations that could see his business fined as much as $500,000.

Zapping Ground Beef Worries

We don’t have to tell you that operating a restaurant is a risky proposition. But if you want to ascertain just how sensationally risky it really is, connect to the Internet, swallow hard, and type http://www.marlerclark.com into your browser’s address line.

Proud to Be a Lawyer

Writer Jay Flynn interviewed Marler Clark partner Andy Weisbecker about his community involvement as a youth soccer coach for an issue of Bar News.

2002

Consumer Responsibility

“The Meat Industry can not assure the public that the meat we buy is not contaminated. So, instead of finding a way to get cattle feces out of our meat, they blame parents (and presumably all the teenagers that work at all the burger joints in America) when children get sick,” said Bill Marler in this Opinion-Editorial.

Four steps to safer food

An opinion-editorial by Bill Marler starts: “This summer, scores of Americans, most of them small children or senior citizens, have already or will become deathly ill after eating ground beef boldly labeled ‘USDA approved.’”

Marler Clark posting E. coli genetic fingerprints from recalls

A prominent personal-injury law firm specializing in foodborne illness cases has begun posting on the Internet the genetic fingerprints of E. coli O157:H7 strains associated with recalls of ground beef.

2001

Outbreak, Inc. Co-Founder Denis Stearns: Litigating Foodborne Illness

Denis Stearns did a Question and Answer session with Food Tech Source about OutBreak, Inc., the not-for-profit entity formed with the intent of educating companies about foodborne illness litigation.

For Seattle Attorney, A Bacterium Brings Riches - and Enemies

Bill Marler, Who Got His Start With Jack-in-the-Box Case, has Made a Career of E. Coli.

The Bug That Ate The Burger

Los Angeles Times writer Emily Green interviewed Bill Marler about his law practice in 2001 - nearly a decade after he began representing victims of E. coli outbreaks.  Her article, “The Bug That Ate The Burger,” focuses on the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak and food safety changes that came about as a result of the outbreak.

E. coli Attorney Marler Calls for States to End School Poisonings

Bill Marler asked legislators to take a stand on school lunch safety after an E. coli outbreak at Finley Elementary School was traced to school lunch.

The Path(ogen) to Success

Tom Duffy interviewed Bill Marler about nearly a decade of foodborne iillness litigation, with a focus on E. coli outbreaks and what food poisoning cases have meant for his business.

Activist Law Firm Lobbying for Hepatitis-A Vaccination Program

Food manufacturers and restaurants should voluntarily vaccinate their employees against hepatitis-A, according to attorneys from the Seattle-based law firm of Marler Clark following a recent hepatitis-A outbreak in Orlando, Fla.

The Inside Story: How 11 Schoolkids Got $4.75 Million in E. coli Lawsuit

“Once you [are hit with] a lawsuit, and it has been proven that your product was the source of the bacteria, there’s not a whole lot you can do. Hopefully, your company has plenty of insurance because these cases are not cheap.”
—Attorney William Marler, of Marler Clark

2000

Foodborne illness attorney offers Milwaukee “Top Ten Tips” for dining out during an E. coli outbreak

Bill Marler, who represented the most severely injured victims of the largest and deadliest E. coli outbreak in U.S. history in 1993, developed ten tips for dining out more safely during an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Food Safety Attorney Praises USDA New Stricter Standards for School Meat

Two months after he called for increased efforts to prevent food poisoning in the National School Lunch Program, Bill Marler praised the United States Department of Agriculture’s announcement that it would require more stringent testing for school lunches, but said, “More must be done to protect those most vulnerable to E. coli O157:H7 and other deadly pathogens. I believe that the safety records of all meat production plants should be public so all parents know where their schools are getting the meat served to children.”

Outbreaks of E. coli Should Not Occur in Municipal Water

Americans relying on rural and small municipal water systems are just as likely to become victims of the deadly E coli bacteria as are Canadians like those in Walkerton, Ontario, said Seattle attorney, William Marler .

Food illness Attorney Calls for FDA to Ban Unpasteurized Juices

In light of the recall of unpastuerized juice by its California manufacturer, Bill Marler called on the FDA to completely ban the sale of all unpasteurized juices. “It is simply outrageous that after all we’ve learned about the importance of pasteurizing fruit juice, especially after the Odwalla and Sun Orchard outbreaks, we still have companies selling unpasteurized juices, and the government allowing it. This must stop,” said Marler.

The Courage to Criticize - Commentary on Foodborne Illness Litigation

Denis Stearns’ essay on E. coli litigation was featured as a guest commentary in Food Protection Report.  In his commentary, Denis ponders the extent to which we as a society are complicit in a company’s bad acts if we refrain from open criticism of a company that has disregarded safety standards and whose acts or omissions have resulted in injury.

Bill to Boost School Food Safety

Marler Clark managing partner Bill Marler lobbies hard on behalf of new food safety laws that would help to protect students from contaminated school lunches.  The bills were introduced to the Washington State Legislature in 2000.

1999

Courting publicity, attorney makes safe food his business

Marler, who made his mark by suing Jack in the Box for serving people beef tainted with a deadly strain of the common E. coli bacteria in 1993, has carved a niche for himself and his law firm, Marler Clark. Most of its business comes from food-poisoning cases.

E. coli Outbreak: One year later, attorney wages war for victims

He truly does believe in what he’s doing: Bill Marler has been “radicalized” by the suffering of E. coli victims, a partner says.

Building a Case Against E. coli

“As a parent, you need someone to put an arm around your shoulder, to say ‘we’ll take care of it,’ and that’s what they do.”

1998

Rivals join in food-illness litigation firm

When 9-year-old Brianne Kiner got sick from eating a contaminated hamburger at a Jack in the Box restaurant, the resulting court case brought two attorneys into close combat.

HACCP May Protect Food Manufacturers in Product Liability, Attorney Suggests

Food Chemical News interviewed Bill Marler and Bruce Clark, who presented at a meeting of food technologists, in 1998.  In the interview, and in speeches that preceded the interview, Marler and Clark stressed that food technologists and quality assurance personnel are key players in an organization’s food safety efforts.

The Marler Clark Network