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2003 Press Releases

Browse Marler Clark press releases dating back to 1998. Topics cover a broad range of topics including announcements that lawsuits have been filed or settlements reached, and calls on food industry groups and government to improve the safety of our food supply.

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.

Metro Transit sued over death of employee


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit was filed against King County Metro Transit on behalf of the family of a deceased Metro employee on December 23, 2004.

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.”

Hepatitis-A Victims’ Attorneys Ask Bankruptcy Court to Lift Stay


Marler Clark filed motions to lift the stay of bankruptcy in Delaware Bankruptcy Court on behalf of 58 victims of the Chi-Chi’s hepatitis A outbreak in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Secondary cases of Hepatitis-A predictable, lawyer says


Bill Marler said that although the Chi-Chi’s hepatitis A outbreak was traced to contaminated green onions, secondary cases of the illness would most likely be traced to household contact among families or roommates, or food prepared by an infectious individual.

Second Salmonella lawsuit filed against chili’s by Marler Clark


Food Safety Lawyers Renew Call that Chili’s Pay Victims’ Medical Bills

Marler Clark filed a second lawsuit against Brinker Restaurant Corporation, the owner of the Vernon Hills Chili’s restaurant where over 300 people were injured in a Salmonella outbreak linked to infected food-workers, inadequate hand-washing, and a manager’s decision to open the restaurant despite not having water.

First Hepatitis A Lawsuit Filed Against Suppliers of Tainted Onions


Marler Clark filed suit in Federal District Court on behalf of a liver transplant survivor and his wife. The lawsuit was filed against the suppliers of hepatitis A-tainted green onions that were implicated by both the FDA and CDC as the source of over 605 illnesses and three deaths linked to a Beaver County, Pennsylvania Chi Chi’s restaurant.

Victims’ attorney, William Marler, calls on Chi-Chi’s to disclose suppliers of green onions


Bill Marler responded to the FDA announcement that green onions were the source of the hepatitis A outbreak linked to the Beaver County Mall Chi-Chi’s restaurant, explaining that under Pennsylvania law, Chi-Chi’s remained legally liable for the sale of contaminated food. “The bottom line is that Chi-Chi’s is responsible for what it sells,” Marler said.

Salmonella outbreak at Albuquerque nursing home leaves one resident dead


A Salmonella outbreak at the Albuquerque Manor nursing home sickened at least eighteen residents during the week of November 10, 2003. One resident, an 80-year-old woman, died after experiencing symptoms of Salmonella infection. The outbreak marked the third publicized incidence of foodborne illness at a nursing home or assisted living facility in the Western United States since mid-October.

Outbreak: Chi-Chi’s should have seen it coming and heeded warning signs, attorney says


Bill Marler responded to the FDA announcement that green onions were the source of the hepatitis A outbreak linked to the Beaver Valley Mall Chi-Chi’s restaurant, saying Chi-Chi’s should have been more vigilant in its food safety efforts. The FDA announcement came after health officials determined that green onions served at Chi-Chi’s were contaminated with the same strain of hepatitis A that was linked to green onions served at restaurants in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina in mid-August, 2003.

Attorney for hepatitis victims cautions against assuming green onions are source of hepatitis


Bill Marler cautioned consumers against attributing the outbreak of hepatitis A in Pennsylvania to consumption of green onions. Marler again called on Chi Chi’s to pay damages to those 8,000 people exposed to, and 500 people infected with, hepatitis A after eating at the restaurant’s Beaver Valley Mall location in October and early November, 2003.

Two more lawsuits filed against Chi-Chi’s in Hepatitis Case


Marler Clark filed two more lawsuits against Chi Chi’s on behalf of hepatitis victims today in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of individuals who ate at the Beaver Valley Mall Chi Chi’s restaurant. The lawsuits sought damages related to the plaintiffs’ hepatitis A infections, including medical and medical-related expenses, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life as well as lost wages. Marler Clark filed the lawsuits because Chi Chi’s had not offered to compensate victims.

Attorney for Hepatitis Victims Responds to Chi-Chi’s Press Conference Announcement


Bill Marler called on Chi-Chi’s to compensate victims of the hepatitis A outbreak traced to the Beaver Valley Mall Chi-Chi’s restaurant and to repay the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the costs of administering IgG shots and investigating the outbreak. His request was made after Chi Chi’s announced in a news release that representatives from company headquarters will be in the Beaver Valley area of Pennsylvania on Wednesday to address the outbreak.

E. coli Attorney Calls for Increased Precautions at Fairs


An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 at the Fort Bend County Fair in Texas sickened over 15 people, and sent children to the hospital with Hemolytic Uremic Sndrome, which causes kidney damage. Animals carrying the E. coli bacteria are the most likely source of infection.

Salmonella Outbreak - Poison in our Schools?


An outbreak at Kodiak Christian School in Kodiak, Alaska, sickened nearly 50 students and hospitalized several. Health officials investigated the outbreak to determine whether Salmonella or another foodborne pathogen was present in the school lunch on Halloween.

Lawsuit filed against Chi-Chi’s on behalf of hepatitis-A victims


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Pittsburgh-area family, all of whom contracted hepatitis-A after eating at the Beaver Valley Chi-Chi’s. The lawsuit was filed in Beaver County Superior Court against Chi-Chi’s.

About-Salmonella website is resource for victims of outbreak linked to Escondido Restaurant


Marler Clark re-launched its sponsored site about Salmonella in a new, easier to navigate format at the same time North County Environmental Health officials traced a Salmonella outbreak to the Elias restaurant in Escondido, California. At least twelve patrons tested positive for Salmonellosis after eating at the restaurant.

Attorneys Call for Mandatory hepatitis-A Vaccinations for all Foodservice Workers


The attorneys at Marler Clark was contacted by several victims of the hepatitis-A outbreak linked to the Chi Chi’s restaurant located in the Beaver Valley Mall, Monaca, Beaver County, during the month of October, 2003. Concerned restaurant-goers who dined at the restaurant through November 2 also contacted the attorneys with questions regarding immune globulin shots they were encouraged to get to avoid infection.

Marler Clark launches improved E. coli websites


Marler Clark launched redesigned websites in an effort to make information on E. coli O157:H7, the deadly foodborne pathogen, more easily accessible for Internet users. “When a family member becomes ill with an E. coli infection, people want to know all they can about what is making that person sick. These sites provide some of the most comprehensive material out there on E. coli, HUS and TTP,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark.

Marler Clark files second E. coli lawsuit


Marler Clark filed a second lawsuit against Gold Coast Produce and Family Tree Produce. The suit was filed in Orange County Superior Court on behalf of a freshman at California State University-Fullerton who became ill with an E. coli infection after eating a salad at Pat & Oscar’s.

E. coli outbreak at nursing home puts seniors at severe risk


An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at a Portola Valley retirement center sickened at least seventeen residents and seven staff members. Health officials focused their investigation on food served at the facility and the food handling practices of foodservice workers employed there.

E. coli Lawsuit Filed


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of a sixteen-year-old Carlsbad, California, girl who was hospitalized with a severe E. coli O157:H7 infection after consuming contaminated lettuce at Pat & Oscar’s. The lawsuit was filed against Gold Coast Produce and Family Tree Produce in San Diego County Superior Court.

Food Safety Advocates Speak Out about E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak


The San Diego County Health Department announced that commercial bagged lettuce mix was the source of sixteen cases of potential E. coli O157:H7 in San Diego, and four cases in Orange County. The product was used in salads at Pat & Oscar’s restaurants, as well as in school lunches in San Diego County.

E. coli attorney calls on FDA to increase funding to make produce safe


Health officials suspect a recent outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 at four Pat & Oscars restaurants in San Diego to be linked to pre-mixed packaged lettuce served in salads at the restaurants. This finding has prompted William Marler, the Seattle attorney widely known for his representation of victims of foodborne illness, to call on the Food and Drug Administration to fund research to make fresh produce safe to be consumed by the public.

Salmonella outbreak linked to contaminated Egg Salad


Oregon County Health Departments and the State of Oregon Department of Human Services epidemiologically linked an outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium to contaminated egg salad served in bulk and in egg salad sandwiches served at Oregon Safeway delis. Health officials worked with Safeway and Chef Solutions, the manufacturer of the contaminated product, to determine the source of contamination.

Outbreak victims file lawsuit against Golden Corral


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of a four-year-old Atlanta child and her grandmother, both of whom became seriously ill after eating at the Golden Corral restaurant in Kennesaw, Georgia. Health officials confirmed the restaurant as the source of the outbreak after Salmonella bacteria was found in a drain at the restaurant.

Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Court of Appeals decision allowing Wisconsin citizens to sue when injur


The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld an earlier Court of Appeals decision holding that meat supplier Excel can be found liable under state law for supplying adulterated meat to Milwaukee Sizzler restaurants. Lawsuits filed against Excel had alleged that the meat Excel sold caused a widespread outbreak E. coli O157:H7 infections and the death of a three-year-old girl in 2000.

Victims of Salmonella poisoning deserve compensation


Health officials traced an outbreak of Salmonella serotype berta to the Golden Corral restaurant on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw, Georgia. There were nearly 20 confirmed cases and one death tied to the outbreak.

E. coli outbreak linked to mall restaurant


An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to Habanero’s Mexican Restaurant at St. Clair Square, a regional mall in Southwest Illinois. Five people tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 since eating at Habanero’s on August 23 or 24, according to a statement issued by the St. Clair Health Department. Victims of the outbreak were reportedly from several nearby cities in Illinois and Missouri, including O’Fallon and Fairview Heights.

Washington Supreme Court Decision Upholds $4.6 Million Jury Award for School E. coli Outbreak


The Washington Supreme Court declined to review a 2002 Court of Appeals decision upholding a $4.6 million award to eleven children injured in a 1998 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was linked to undercooked taco meat served as part of a school lunch at Finley Elementary School. The School District had sought the Supreme Court’s review arguing that school districts should not be held legally responsible if ill-prepared food sickens or kills a student. The Supreme Court refused to consider the argument.

Salmonella victim files lawsuit against Seasons at the Pond Restaurant


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit against the Seasons at the Pond restaurant, located at 425 Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs. The restaurant was the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened dozens of people in December and January, 2003.

Lawsuit filed against Redmond restaurant


A lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Redmond, Washington resident who became ill with a foodborne illness in August, 2002, after eating at the Redmond Todai Restaurant.

More E. coli lawsuits brought against Excel in Sizzler case


Five lawsuits were filed in Milwaukee County Superior Court against Excel, the company that was alleged to have supplied E. coli O157:H7-contaminated meat to two Milwaukee Sizzler restaurants connected to an outbreak that sickened dozens and killed one small child in July of 2000.

Chili’s insurance company trying to settle Salmonella outbreak claims


Several people injured as part of the Chili’s salmonella outbreak report being directed to the restaurant’s insurance company, Liberty Mutual, for the possible settlement of their claims. Denis Stearns, a partner in Marler Clark who represented over 35 victims of the Chili’s Salmonella outbreak, advised victims to think carefully before deciding to accept a nominal settlement in exchange for the releasing Chili’s from liability for their damages.

First Salmonella lawsuit filed against Chili’s


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Chili’s Restaurants and its parent company, Brinker International. The lawsuit arisose from the Salmonella outbreak at the Vernon Hills Chili’s in Northern Illinois that sickened over 100 people. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Marler Clark represented over 20 individuals sickened as part of the outbreak.

Lack of hand-washing leads to Salmonella outbreak


Lake County Health Department officials traced a Salmonella outbreak at Chili’s Grill & Bar to an infected food-handler. Six patrons tested positive for the bacteria, and the number of Salmonella cases linked to the restaurant was suspected to rise as the investigation into the outbreak continued.

E. coli outbreak linked to steaks sold door-to-door


An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to mechanically-tenderized steaks sold in several Midwestern states. Five individuals in Minnesota, Kansas, and Michigan reportedly developed E. coli infections after eating steaks that were distributed to restaurants, institutions, and retail stores nationwide, as well as to consumers through door-to-door sales by Farmers Pride Meat Company under the brand name Home Chef’s Selections.

USDA study shows E. coli O157:H7 common at Fairs in United States


In follow up on the filing of a lawsuit involving 29 victims of the 2002 Lane County Fair E. coli outbreak, and in light of the upcoming fair season, Marler Clark drew attention to a study by the USDA that showed E. coli O157:H7 was present at fairs and petting zoos exhibiting livestock.

E. coli lawsuit filed against Lane County Fair Board


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit against the Lane County Fair Board on behalf of 29 individuals and families of individuals who were infected with E. coli O157:H7 during an outbreak at the Lane County Fair in 2002. According to the lawsuit, plaintiffs suffered severe abdominal cramping, nausea and bloody diarrhea. Several children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (“HUS”), and required kidney dialysis and blood transfusions. The lawsuit alleges that the outbreak could have been prevented if the fair had taken proper precautions.

Marler Clark, Underberg & Kessler settle Brook-Lea Salmonella cases


Claims brought by 79 victims of Salmonella poisoning during two outbreaks at Brook-Lea country club in 2002 were settled amicably. Attorneys for Marler Clark, Underberg & Kessler, and OneBeacon Insurance Group, Brook-Lea’s insurance company, agreed to settle the cases for a confidential sum.

Court of Appeals decision ensures that the doors of the courthouse will remain open


The State of Wisconsin District I Court of Appeals handed down a decision holding that meat supplier Excel can be found liable under state law for supplying adulterated meat to Milwaukee Sizzler restaurants. The contaminated meat supplied to Sizzler led to the E. coli O157:H7 infection and death of a three-year-old, and infections suffered by forty other patrons of a Milwaukee Sizzler restaurant in 2000.

Lawyers for Food Poisoning Victims Sue USDA for Withholding Documents


Marler Clark filed suit against the USDA in Federal Court in Washington state, claiming the agency improperly withheld documents concerning dozens of children that were poisoned by contaminated school lunches at Laraway Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois. Marler Clark represented about one-third of the students and teachers who were sickened after eating anhydrous ammonia-tainted chicken tenders.

Reno Hilton Outbreak - Again?


Nearly a year after a jury awarded $25.2 million to a group of tourists sickened while staying at the Reno Hilton, the hotel was again the focus of a health department investigation. Reports surfaced that visitors to the hotel became ill with a gastrointestinal virus over the Easter weekend.

Lawsuit Filed in Salmonella Sprout Case


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court against Harmony Farms, LLC, the Auburn, Washington, sprout grower that was linked by the Oregon Department of Human Services to at least nine cases of Salmonella Saintpaul in Washington and Oregon in early March, 2003.

Salmonella Lawsuit Filed against Clarkston Quality Inn


A lawsuit was filed against Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Clarkston Development Group, L.P., owners of the Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center and the “Bogey’s” restaurant located at 700 Port Drive in Clarkston, Washington. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a man who became ill with a Salmonella infection after eating Salmonella-contaminated food served at Bogey’s restaurant.

Marler Clark, Hepatitis A Victims File Lawsuit against Chimayo, Eastsound Restaurant


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit against Chimayo, the Eastsound restaurant associated with a Hepatitis A outbreak in the spring of 2000. The lawsuit was filed in San Juan County Superior Court in Washington, on behalf of an Eastsound couple who contracted Hepatitis A infections after eating contaminated food at Chimayo in February and March of 2000.

Salmonella Outbreak Could have been Prevented


Consumers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska were asked to throw out Harmony Foods brand sprouts after several people in Western Washington and Oregon became ill with salmonella infections. Sprouts have been implicated in an increasing number of foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years, and procedures have been developed to greatly reduce the risk of contamination.

Food Safety Attorney Calls on FDA to Require Sprout Labeling


A sprout-related Salmonella outbreak in western Oregon, Washington, and northern California prompted Bill Marler to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require warnings on packaging of all raw sprouts and seeds. The CDC renewed its own warning that people with weak immune systems should not eat sprouts.

E. coli Lawsuit Filed Against Spokane Produce


Marler Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Spokane girl who suffered severe complications from an E. coli O157:H7 infection after consuming Spokane Produce brand romaine lettuce at a dance camp at Eastern Washington University (EWU) in 2002. Spokane Produce was implicated by the FDA, Spokane Health Department and the Washington State Department of Health as the likely source of the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

“Fingerprints” Key to E. coli Outbreaks


The USDA uses Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) testing when E. coli O157:H7 and other deadly pathogens are found in ground beef. The USDA routinely samples ground beef collected at retail outlets. When E. coli O157:H7 is found in such samples, a recall usually results. By comparing PFGE test results, sometimes referred to as “genetic fingerprints,” epidemiologists, like at the CDC, are able to link illnesses with recalled meat.

School Lunch - Safe?


When nearly four dozen children and two teachers at Laraway Elementary School near Chicago became ill after consuming ammonia-tainted chicken fingers that were provided by the National School Lunch Program in November 2002, an investigation into the source of the contamination was launched. Lawsuits were filed, and a grand jury was convened to look into the incident. Substantial evidence was collected that suggested many people were fully aware the contaminated chicken had been sent to the students at Laraway.

Marler Clark, E. coli victims sue BJ’s Wholesale Club for $25 Million


Marler Clark represented the families of two Orangeburg, New York, children in litigation against BJ’s Wholesale Club after ground beef purchased from the chain’s West Nyack store was determined to be the source of the girls’ E. coli infections. One of the girls was hospitalized for over a month with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, and suffered damage to her kidneys, pancreas, and brain.

Lawsuit Filed against KFC after Children become Ill with Salmonella Poisoning


A lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Erie, Colorado, children who became ill with Salmonella Newport infections after eating at a Lafayette, Colorado, KFC in January, 2002. The children suffered severe cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting throughout the course of their salmonella infections, and a two-year-old boy was hospitalized for dehydration and subsequently underwent surgery to remove hernias which were brought on by strain from his constant diarrhea and vomiting.

Marler Clark files lawsuit against Brook-Lea


Marler Clark, the attorneys for 70 victims of salmonella poisoning at the Brook-Lea Country Club in Rochester, New York, sought punitive damages for country club’s ‘egregious behavior’. Two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis at the Brook-Lea Country Club in June and July, 2002, resulted in 106 culture-confirmed salmonella infections.

Test Entry - Home Water Filtration Helps Prevent Infection and Disease


Home tap water contains many contaminants.  Filtering your water helps prevent health problems later on. 

Food Poisoning Legal Team Joins Fight for Laraway School Victims


Nearly one-third of the victims from the November 25, 2002, anhydrous ammonia poisoning at Laraway Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois were represented by Marler Clark. Marler Clark signed on as co-counsel with the Chicago-based law firm of James P. Crawley & Associates in a lawsuit filed against Gateway Cold Storage, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri.

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