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Santa Ana E. Coli Attorney

Known as E. coli, Escherichia coli includes a wide variety of bacteria located in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli strains are harmless and important for gut health, but certain strains can cause serious food poisoning and infections.

The Dangers of E. coli Infections

E. coli, particularly certain pathogenic strains, can be dangerous due to the severe health complications they can cause.

Severe Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Pathogenic strains of E. coli, such as E. coli O157, can cause intense symptoms including severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea that can become bloody, and vomiting. These symptoms can lead to significant dehydration, especially in vulnerable populations like young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

One of the most serious complications of E. coli infection is HUS, which predominantly affects children and older adults. HUS can cause the destruction of red blood cells, leading to acute kidney failure. This condition requires immediate medical attention and can be life-threatening.

Systemic Infections

Although E. coli typically affects the gastrointestinal tract, certain strains can enter the bloodstream, leading to systemic infections. This can cause septicemia, which is a severe and potentially fatal condition if not treated promptly.

Long-term Health Issues

Even after the acute infection resolves, some individuals may experience long-term health issues such as chronic kidney problems, hypertension, and other complications resulting from HUS.

Transmission and Outbreak Potential

E. coli is highly infectious and can spread through contaminated food and water, person-to-person contact, and exposure to infected animals. Outbreaks can occur in various settings, including homes, restaurants, schools, and public water supplies, affecting large numbers of people.

Legal Theories of Liability

Several legal theories might apply in cases of E. coli contamination:

  • Negligence: Plaintiffs must prove that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in preventing contamination, resulting in harm. This could involve improper food handling, inadequate sanitation, or failure to follow safety regulations.
  • Strict Liability: In many jurisdictions, food producers and suppliers can be held strictly liable for selling contaminated food, meaning plaintiffs do not need to prove negligence. They must only prove that the food was contaminated and caused harm.
  • Breach of Warranty: This can include breaches of both express warranties (specific promises about a product) and implied warranties (assumptions that a product is safe for consumption).
  • Product Liability: Manufacturers and sellers can be held liable if they placed a defective product (contaminated food) into the marketplace. This falls under strict liability for defective products.
  • Breach of Contract: If a contractual relationship existed and the food provider breached terms regarding food safety and quality, they could be liable for resulting damages.

Damages in E. coli Liability Cases

Victims of E. coli infections can seek various types of damages, including:

  • Economic Damages:
    • Medical Expenses: Covers all related medical costs, including hospitalization, treatment, medications, and follow-up care.
    • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to inability to work during illness and recovery.
    • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Any additional costs incurred, such as travel expenses for medical care.
  • Non-Economic Damages:
    • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
    • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the infection significantly impacts the victim’s ability to enjoy normal activities.
    • Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological impact, such as anxiety and depression.
  • Punitive Damages: These may be awarded if the defendant’s conduct was particularly reckless or egregious, serving to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In cases where the infection results in death, surviving family members can seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering.

Santa Ana E. coli Statistics

In California, the E. coli incidence rate per 100,000 spiked in 2018 (5.7) and 2019 (6.6.), and although in Orange County, the incidence rates were generally lower, there was also an increase in in incidence rates for 2018 (3.32) and 2019 (4.3).

In early 2024, an E. coli outbreak linked to organic walnuts affected six people in California and six people in Washington. Retailers were advised that boxes of Gibson Farms, Inc. organic walnut halves and pieces with specific lot numbers had been recalled. The Food and Drug Administration shared a list of stores and locations that could have received the contaminated products. This list detailed 105 stores in California, including one in Santa Ana.

Your Santa Ana E. Coli Attorney is Waiting For Your Call

If an E. coli infection has struck you or a loved one, don’t navigate this tough period alone. The Lange Law Firm is committed to assisting individuals like you with E. coli cases. Our skilled team will thoroughly examine your situation and work for your deserved compensation.

Call us today at (833) 330-3663 or email us for a free consultation. We’re here to offer the support and legal expertise you need. Don’t wait—contact us now to start your path to justice and recovery.