Woman Sues Food Company Over E. Coli
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota woman who became severely ill from E. coli after eating a tainted hamburger sued a division of the agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. on Friday.
The woman, Stephanie Smith, 22, of Cold Spring, became ill in September 2007 after eating hamburger produced by the Cargill division. Her infection led to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication that causes kidney failure. She suffered seizures and was in a medically induced coma for three months.
She was featured this year in an article in The New York Times that traced the beef trimmings that went into her burger patty to four plants in two countries. The article generated worldwide attention and spurred Congress to consider tougher food safety laws.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minneapolis, names Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., which is based in Wichita, Kan.
Her lawyer, Bill Marler, said settlement talks between Cargill, Cargill’s insurance carrier, AIG, and Ms. Smith’s lawyers recently collapsed.
Mr. Marler said Ms. Smith’s medical bills already total more than $2 million and were likely to add up to tens of millions of dollars. Cargill, based in Minnetonka, has paid for some of her bills.