William Marler, attorney for victims of the recent E. coli outbreak traced to Wegmans Organic Spinach and Spring Mix, called on Wegmans’ salad supplier, State Garden, today to pay all outbreak victims’ out-of-pocket medical costs and lost wages for missed time off work to care for themselves or family members suffering from E. coli infections linked to the salad mix. According to news reports, at least 28 people fell ill with E. coli infections after eating the product in October and November. The number of ill people identified in each state with the outbreak strain is as follows: Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (2), New York (22), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1).
Marler noted that all of his clients had sought medical treatment, with some requiring hospitalization due to the severity of their E. coli infections. “We’ve seen other responsible companies step up to the plate and pay E. coli patients’ medical bills up front in the past. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
E. coli infections are generally characterized by bloody diarrhea and painful abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts from 1 to 12 days; however, E. coli patients who develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infection, can remain hospitalized for months. They often require kidney dialysis and extensive supportive care. The cost of hospitalization for an E. coli case can range from several hundred dollars to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Even for people with health insurance, medical bills can cause a financial strain. That’s especially true if a person misses time from work and does not receive paid time off. State Garden’s failure to produce a safe product impacts not only my clients’ physical health but potentially also their financial health,” Marler continued. “The company should make an effort to restore its customers’ financial health as soon as possible.”