ConAgra Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Lawsuits and LitigationMarler Clark’s E. coli lawyers represented 33 victims of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak traced to ConAgra ground beef in 2002. The law firm’s clients included six children who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and the family of an Ohio woman who died as a result of her E. coli infection.
The ConAgra E. coli outbreak resulted in one of the largest meat recalls in US history. The firm recalled approximately 354,200 pounds of ground beef produced at its Greeley, Colorado, plant for E. coli contamination on June 30, 2002, and expanded the recall to include 18.6 million pounds, including all ground beef produced at the plant between April 12, 2002 and June 29, 2002, on July 19, 2002. The expanded recall was the result of a large number of E. coli O157:H7 infections among consumers who had eaten ConAgra ground beef.
In the weeks that followed the nationwide recall, more than 45 people in 23 states reported illnesses that were epidemiologically linked to consumption of the contaminated ConAgra ground beef.
In early September 2002, ConAgra officials were forced to admit that the company knew its ground beef was E. coli O157:H7-positive for two days before its June 30, 2002 recall.
On November 15, 2002, the USDA shut down the ConAgra plant in Greeley (known as Swift and Co.), due to repeated failures to prevent fecal contamination of carcasses. The plant has since reopened.
The Marler Clark law firm resolved all E. coli cases against ConAgra related to this outbreak, and have since brought claims against the company on behalf of victims of a Salmonella outbreak traced to contaminated Banquet and store-brand pot pies and a Salmonella outbreak traced to Peter Pan and Great Value brand peanut butter.