The first lawsuit stemming from the Snohomish county E. coli outbreak was filed earlier this week in the Superior Court for the State of Washington, County of Snohomish. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the minor child of Alison and Ray Riojas of Snohomish County, against Ixtapa Family Mexican Restaurant, which has been identified as the source of the outbreak.
The Riojas family ate at the Ixtapa Restaurant in Lake Stevens on or about October 11. One of their daughters began to feel ill on October 13, and on the 14th was sent home from school. She began to experience diarrhea, which soon turned bloody. On October 16, Mrs. Riojas took her daughter to the pediatrician, where she was advised to go to the Children’s Hospital Emergency Room. At the ER, the child was treated for dehydration and released. Over that day, her symptoms continued to worsen. In severe pain, she was returned to the ER, where she was treated with pain medication and allowed to go home. That night, the child was taken to the ER for a third time, where she began to vomit blood. She was admitted, and a stool sample revealed that she was infected with E. coli O157:H7. The genetic pattern of her E. coli would later match others in the developing outbreak tied to the Ixtapa Restaurant.
The Riojas child has returned home where she continues to recover from her illness. She lost 9 pounds and is too weak to walk; if she has to move, her parents carry her.