The first Texas lawsuit has emerged related to the romaine lettuce scare that has sickened dozens of people in 12 states due to E. coli contamination, according to the Southeast Texas Record.
Brazos County resident Joe Stratta filed a lawsuit against Beef O’Brady’s Inc., and FSC Franchise Co. LLC, on Nov. 26, in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, alleging the companies manufactured and sold contaminated romaine lettuce. Stratta ate the lettuce in a Caesar salad at a Beef O’Brady’s restaurant in Crestview, Florida. Four days later, he allegedly fell ill with symptoms including “watery diarrhea and severe abdominal pain.”
His condition continued to worsen, causing heart and kidney problems. He “was ultimately diagnosed with an E.coli O157:H7 infection, cardiac issues and acute kidney failure,” his original petition states. Stratta was hospitalized in Florida for five days before he could return to his home in Texas. As a result of eating the contaminated lettuce, he “continues to recover and faces uncertain future medical expenses.”
On the same day Stratta filed his complaint, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory to consumers not to eat romaine lettuce, and for retailers and restaurants not to sell the lettuces from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. The agencies, along with health officials in several states, continue to investigate the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 illnesses linked to romaine lettuce.
To date, 43 people in 12 states have developed E.coli infections, 16 of whom have been hospitalized, including one with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a severe and life-threatening complication of E. coli infection that affects the blood and blood vessels and can result in kidney failure.
Southeast Texas Record
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention