The Center for Disease Control says that an E. coli outbreak that has spread quickly through the Midwest is growing. There are illnesses reported in New York and Kentucky, in addition to those recorded in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) said they have not been able to confirm the specific source of the E. coli, but many people who have gotten sick reported eating Wendy’s sandwiches with romaine lettuce.
There have now been at least 97 illnesses tied to the outbreak, with 43 hospitalizations and no deaths. Wendy’s has released a statement in response to the E. coli outbreak, “While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific food as the source of that outbreak, we have taken the precaution of removing the sandwich lettuce at some restaurants,” the company said. “The lettuce we use in our salads is different and is not affected by this action.”
The CDC will continue to work towards confirming the cause of the E. coli outbreak and if the romaine lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches was the cause or another source. There have been reports of an illness resulting from Kroger’s romaine lettuce, but the CDC has not confirmed the source of the E. coli.
Common Symptoms of E. Coli
Symptoms of an E. coli infection can vary with each person, but the most common indications of an infection are:
- Severe stomach cramps
- Diarrhea/Bloody stool
- A slight fever
E. coli has an incubation period similar to many bacteria and viruses. This is the delay between exposure to E. coli and when you start to display symptoms. For E. coli, this timeline is one to ten days, with the average being three to four days when the infected person begins to experience symptoms. E. coli often starts as an upset stomach and non-bloody diarrhea, which will then escalate over several days.
Complications of E. Coli
Waiting to seek medical treatment can lead to severe complications if infected with E. coli. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a condition that can be life-threatening and results from an E. coli infection. HUS usually develops around seven days after the E. coli symptoms appear and when diarrhea improves, so people often forgo or delay medical treatment. HUS causes the person’s kidneys to stop functioning. If you are ill with E. coli and notice these symptoms seek medical care immediately. Symptoms of HUS include:
- Frequent urination
- Loss of pink color in cheeks and lower eyelids
Many people diagnosed with HUS recover within a few weeks with proper treatment. However, HUS can cause permanent physical harm or even death.
Can I Sue Wendy’s for E. coli Poisoning?
If you consume food from a restaurant or food supplier that results in your exposure to and contraction of E. coli, then as a victim, you have the right to sue for compensation. If you have become ill, it is important to seek medical attention. Your physician will perform various tests to confirm if your illness results from eating food with E. coli. These labs and tests are important to confirming your infection and when you were exposed.
To file a lawsuit, you must show that you were infected with E. coli and how you were exposed. A food or credit card receipt or bank statement can help establish that you consumed a contaminated food product from a specific restaurant or supplier. You likely can sue Wendy’s if you were diagnosed with E. coli poisoning after eating a sandwich topped with lettuce.
Restaurants, food distributors, and producers have a duty to maintain quality and perform processes to ensure that their products are not contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli. If they fail and their customers are made ill by a lapse in sanitation processes, they are often liable for the victim’s monetary losses. If you contracted E. coli and were seen by the doctors or admitted to the hospital, you have a right to file a compensation claim with the help of a personal injury attorney. You can file a claim for missed work due to your illness, and any costs incurred from the E. coli can be filed in your lawsuit, so keep any paperwork on lost wages, doctor visits, and other related monetary costs.
Contact an Attorney if You Were Diagnosed with E. Coli
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with E. coli poisoning and believe Wendy’s or another local business is responsible, contact our attorneys at Charles Boyk Law Offices for a free consultation. We can review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of legal action.