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Lawsuit filed today against Golden Corral Restaurant

April 7 1999

SEATTLE, WA - A lawsuit was filed today against Golden Corral ® restaurants on behalf of Melissa and Chad Hodgson of Kearney, Nebraska by their attorneys Marler Clark of Seattle, Washington and Nancy Freburg of Kearney.

On February 26, Melissa and Chad made their first ever stop at the Golden Corral ® restaurant in Kearney, one of the outlets in the so-called “buffet grill” chain of 473 nationwide, where she ate a large lettuce salad.

On March 1, Melissa began to feel ill, and by the 4th she started to have severe and frequent bloody diarrhea. She was cultured for the deadly E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. Fortunately, Melissa’s sickness did not require hospitalization. She began to feel better by March 8, but there are still medical concerns about the long-term impact of the bacte-ria on her body.

“From press accounts and from statements by the Nebraska health authorities, it appears that the outbreak will peak at approximately 80 injured persons. However, this outbreak ranks equal to the one involving Odwalla apple juice in 1996,“ said, attorney Bruce Clark of the Seattle law firm, MarlerClark.

According to attorney William Marler: “The tragedy is that this occurred at all. These illnesses should never have happened. The Golden Corral ® should have done a far better job in knowing both the quality of its products and assuring proper sanitation.”

Golden Corral ® is a near $1 billion a year restaurant chain based in North Carolina.

Bruce Clark was the lead attorney representing Foodmaker Inc., the parent com-pany of Jack in the Box restaurants, in its E.coli O157:H7 personal injury litigation. After nearly 15 years of defense work, Mr. Clark recently joined MarlerClark in a practice de-voted to representing injured persons. Mr. Clark has worked with his partners in notable E.coli 0157:H7 litigation against Odwalla and the White Water swimming park.

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BACKGROUND: Mr. Marler has extensive experience representing victims of food-borne illness. He represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box. This settlement created a Washington State record for an individual personal injury action. Mr. Marler also resolved several other victims from the 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak with numerous cases settling in for more than $1.5 million each. In May of 1998, he set-tled the 1996 Odwalla Juice E. coli O157:H7 outbreak for the Dimmock, Wright, Hiatt, Berman and Beverly families, whose children were severely injured after consuming Odwalla apple juice. Two E. coli cases were recently resolved against Costco for two children that developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. He is currently representing sev-eral children in an E. coli outbreak stemming from contaminated Atlanta swimming pool water and others involving beef served in school lunch programs in the Southeastern Washington State.

More about the Golden Corral E. coli outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.

The Marler Clark Network