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Dallas E. Coli Attorney

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. While most strains of E. coli are harmless and play a crucial role in the digestive tract, some strains can cause serious food poisoning. The most notorious strain, E. coli O157:H7, produces a powerful toxin known as Shiga toxin, which can lead to severe illness.

What are the Symptoms of E. coli?

Symptoms of an E. coli infection typically appear within 1 to 10 days after exposure and can include:

  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

In severe cases, especially with E. coli O157:H7, complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur, leading to kidney failure, particularly in young children and the elderly.

How is E. coli Transmitted?

  1. coli can be transmitted through:
  • Contaminated food: Undercooked ground beef, raw milk, and fresh produce like spinach and lettuce.
  • Contaminated water: Drinking or swimming in water contaminated with feces.
  • Person-to-person contact: Particularly in environments like daycare centers or nursing homes where hygiene may be compromised.
  • Contact with animals: Especially in petting zoos or farms.

How Can Someone Prevent E. coli Infections?

Preventive measures include:

  • Properly cooking meat: Ensure ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C).
  • Avoiding raw milk: Only consume pasteurized milk and dairy products.
  • Washing produce: Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables under running water.
  • Practicing good hygiene: Wash hands with soap and water before handling food, after using the bathroom, and after contact with animals.
  • Preventing cross-contamination: Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and other foods.

Who Might Be Legally Liable for an E. coli Outbreak?

Legal liability for an E. coli outbreak can extend to:

Food Producers

Food producers, including meat processing plants and fresh produce facilities, must follow strict sanitary standards. They can be held liable for E. coli contamination if it occurs due to improper handling, lack of cleanliness, or failure to follow safety protocols, often caused by contaminated water, cross-contamination, or poor worker hygiene.

Restaurants

Restaurants must ensure food safety by cooking meat to proper temperatures, washing and handling produce correctly, and preventing cross-contamination. If they fail to follow these practices or improperly store food, which can lead to bacterial growth, they can be liable for E. coli outbreaks.

Retailers

Grocery stores and supermarkets are responsible for selling safe, uncontaminated food. They can be liable for E. coli contamination if they fail to maintain proper food safety protocols, such as temperature control, cleanliness, or promptly removing recalled products.

Farm Operators

Farms producing fruits, vegetables, and livestock must maintain sanitary conditions to prevent E. coli contamination. This includes using clean water, safe manure practices, and preventing animal waste from contaminating crops. Failure to follow regulations and guidelines can result in liability if contamination occurs.

Water Treatment Facilities

Water treatment plants must ensure the water supply is free from harmful pathogens like E. coli. They can be held liable for illnesses resulting from inadequate treatment, such as poor filtration, improper chemical treatment, or system failures allowing untreated water into the supply.

How Can an Attorney Help Someone?

An attorney can assist by:

  • Investigating the source: Identifying how and where the E. coli contamination occurred.
  • Gathering evidence: Collecting medical records, witness statements, and documentation of the outbreak.
  • Filing a claim: Pursuing legal action against responsible parties for negligence or product liability.
  • Negotiating settlements: Working to secure fair compensation without going to trial.
  • Representing in court: Advocating on behalf of the victim if the case goes to trial.

What Damages Might Be Available?

Victims of E. coli infections may be entitled to various damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: Costs for hospitalization, medication, and ongoing medical care.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for time missed from work due to illness.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Punitive damages: In cases of gross negligence, additional damages meant to punish the responsible parties.
  • Wrongful death: For fatalities, families may pursue compensation for loss of companionship and funeral expenses.

Dallas Statistics on E. coli Cases

The E. coli incidence rate in Dallas County rose from 2.0 per 100,000 to 3.0 between 2015 and 2018. Over that three-year period, children aged 1-4 had the highest incidence rates of all age groups: 10.9 in 2015, 10.3 in 2016, and 18.6 in 2017.

The incidence rate increase for 2018 may be attributed to a large multistate E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce that affected Texas, among other states. Texas was impacted by a second E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2019 and clover sprouts and leafy greens in 2020.

Reach Out to Us Today

Affected by E. coli? Contact The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or message us online to book your free consultation. Our team specializes in E. coli cases and is dedicated to leveraging our expertise to secure compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Jory Lange: Experienced E. Coli Attorney

E. Coli Lawyer Jory Lange

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