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Escherichia coli is a group of bacteria that normally inhabits the digestive tract of healthy people. Most strains are harmless, however others can cause a myriad of health issues, including dangerous foodborne illness.

Some strains, including one called E. Coli O157:H7, produce a toxin that can cause severe inflammation of the colon (colitis). There are over 100 similarly dangerous strains, though this particular strain is the most commonly contracted E. Coli pathogen in the United States.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this single pathogen causes an estimated 96,000 illnesses, and 3,200 hospitalizations, adding up to $405 million in annual healthcare expenses.

E. coli bacteria are primarily transmitted by consuming contaminated food, such as undercooked meat products, raw milk and raw vegetables and sprouts.

Some food products are considered “high-risk“, including undercooked ground beef, which is one of the most common sources of infection. Other foods highly susceptible to contamination:

  • Sprouts (as well as other raw vegetables like lettuce and spinach)
  • Raw milk (unpasteurized)
  • Lettuce
  • Juice (unpasteurized)
  • Soft cheeses and yoghurt (made from raw milk)
  • Dried cured salami

What is E Coli?

E. coli is a bacterium that lives in the intestines, and is usually harmless. However, eating or drinking food or water contaminated with some types of E. coli can lead to severe gastrointestinal illness. One particular type called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) can be life-threatening.

Consumers should consult their doctor if they develop symptoms that resemble an E. coli infection. People of any age can become infected with E. coli, although young children, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe food poisoning complications.

E Coli Risks

People of any age can be infected, however young children and older adults, and others with a weakened immune system are more likely to develop complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

This advanced infection, which affects about 5 percent of at-risk people, destroys red blood cells, causing damage to kidneys. HUS can require intensive care, kidney dialysis, and even blood transfusions.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer who has  represented numerous Ohio plaintiffs in serious product liability and catastrophic injury cases. Filing food poisoning lawsuits requires an experienced food injury lawyer. 

What are the Symptoms of E. coli?

Infections typically present with symptoms roughly 3 days after ingesting the pathogen, but can be as long as 10 days. It usually resolves on its own in 1 to 8 days, unless there are complications, which make lawsuits more likely. Typical symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Infections can cause death in rare occasions. The CDC reports about 31 people die from E. coli-related illnesses each year.

E. coli O157 Origins

The CDC lists contaminated food as the most common source of E. coli O157:H7, accounting for 65 percent of infection cases. The most common food source is beef, which has been identified in 55 percent of outbreaks. The next closest sources are leafy greens (21 percent) and dairy (11 percent). Some recent outbreaks include:

• In November, 2015, nineteen people in 7 states were infected with contaminated Chicken Salad sold by Costco, and later recalled by Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. Five people were hospitalized and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
• In October, 2015, 55 people from 11 states contracted E. coli after eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill. 
• Nineteen people reported infections in 2014 after consuming contaminated raw clover sprouts. The producer, Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, is no longer using the same seed lot from the contaminated batch.
• In May 2014, Wolverine Packing Company recalled 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products. Twelve people were infected by beef contaminated with E. coli.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

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Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

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