An E. coli lawsuit was filed today against Yum Brands—the parent company of Taco Bell—in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Debra Moyer, a resident of Boyertown, PA, who became gravely ill with an E. coli infection after eating contaminated food from a Taco Bell in Gilbertsville. 

Ms. Moyer is a victim of an outbreak of the highly toxic E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in four Northeastern states in November, 2006, associated with contaminated lettuce served at various Taco Bell restaurants.

More than 70 people who ate at Taco Bell restaurants in Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were infected, and eight developed the life-threatening complication Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), including Ms. Moyer.

Ms. Moyer was hospitalized for 31 days, her kidneys failed, she experienced seizures and was in a coma for weeks, and she has sustained permanent renal injury. Ms. Moyer’s case, however, has not yet been resolved, despite the far greater relative severity of her illness and of her substantially greater loss. Taco Bell has yet to make an offer that would be adequate to pay for Ms. Moyer’s hospital bills and to compensate her for her past and present injuries.

 “Ms. Moyer barely survived her acute illness, and her life has been permanently and negatively affected,” said food borne illness attorney William Marler. “She is disabled, and both her body and her finances have been ravaged by this illness. It is imperative that corporations take responsibility when their products wreak this kind of personal destruction.”