Foodborne Illness

Defense Against E. coli, Salmonella and Other Outbreaks

Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial's Foodborne Illness Litigation Practice Group has defended clients against outbreaks tied to a host of products, including spinach, lettuce, peanut butter, beef, chicken and chili. The firm frequently represents food processing companies and has also represented nursing homes, petting zoos, amusement parks and other establishments.

WWHGD has experience with major outbreaks caused by pathogenic organisms including E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, shigella and lysteria. We provide legal counsel regarding:

  • Personal injury claims
  • Regulatory oversight and compliance
  • Disputes with vendors, wholesalers and retailers
  • First and third party insurance claims
  • Media relations 

Recent Foodborne Illness Clients and Cases 

  • Currently representing a national smoothie franchisor allegedly linked to a 2017 Hepatitis A outbreak in several states.  More than 125 individuals were linked to the outbreak.
  • Defended national beef processor allegedly associated with two E.coli outbreaks.
  • Represented a retail franchiser involved in an alleged Salmonella outbreak.
  • Represented a county fair organization related to a widespread E. coli outbreak in 2012. Investigating officials linked the outbreak to a petting zoo that was part of the fair. More than 100 confirmed cases were linked to the outbreak.
  • Served as claims administrators, appointed by Trustees in United States Bankruptcy Courts, for bankrupt defendants in a large outbreak involving Salmonella in peanuts and listeria in cantaloupes in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
  • Represented a lettuce grower/shipper in a national E. coli outbreak in 2009, which involved scores of confirmed cases.
  • Represented a midwestern beef processor in a national E. coli outbreak in 2009, which involved dozens of confirmed cases. 
  • Represented a midwestern beef processor in a national E. coli outbreak in 2008 with more than 80 confirmed cases linked to the outbreak.
  • Represented a hotdog chili manufacturer in a national botulism outbreak in 2007 resulting in dozens of claims.
  • Represented a peanut butter manufacturer in a national salmonella outbreak in 2008 with hundreds of claimants.
  • Represented a California lettuce processor in a 2006 E. coli outbreak involving Taco Bell in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Represented a peanut butter producer associated with a 2006-2007 Salmonella outbreak resulting in thousands of claims. 
  • Represented a California spinach processor in a national E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in August 2006.
  • Represented a midwestern beef processor in a multi-state E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois that resulted in more than 300 claims.
  • Represented a Michigan beef processor in an E. coli outbreakMultiple suits were dismissed. 
  • Represented a Pennsylvania nursing home that successfully obtained indemnity from the wholesaler in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak afflicting more than 100 residents.
  • Represented a chicken processor in a large Salmonella outbreak in the Mid-Atlantic in which attempts at class action were defeated and cases were favorably compromised.
  • Represented a water amusement park in Georgia faced with multiple claims arising from an E. coli outbreak affecting several toddlers and adolescents.

Practice Contacts


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