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Tennessee E. Coli Foodborne Illness Lawyer

Champions for the Injured
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NST Law Attorneys Corey Trotz and Alex Saharovich
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Content Reviewed by: A. Parker Trotz
Mr. Trotz was recognized from 2019-2024 as a Super Lawyers Mid-South Rising Star. Mr. Trotz is also a member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association where he serves on the Executive Committee. READ OUR EDITORIAL GUIDELINES

Mr. Trotz was recognized from 2019-2023 as a Super Lawyers Mid-South Rising Star. Mr. Trotz is also a member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association where he serves on the Executive Committee. READ OUR EDITORIAL GUIDELINES

Mr. Trotz was recognized from 2019-2024 as a Super Lawyers Mid-South Rising Star. Mr. Trotz is also a member of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association where he serves on the Executive Committee. READ OUR EDITORIAL GUIDELINES

Escherichia coli, or E. coli, infections can lead to serious complications, including hospitalization, kidney failure, and death, especially among young children and elderly adults. Our award-winning E. coli foodborne illness lawyers in Tennessee are champions for the injured who can hold accountable those who put you or your loved one in harm’s way. Call the champs today at (800) 529-4004 if you are coping with E. coli complications.

If you or your loved one has experienced complications from an E. coli infection, our experienced E. coli foodborne illness attorneys in Tennessee may be able to help you recover significant financial compensation. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.

Table Of Contents

What Is an E. Coli Foodborne Illness?

E.coli is a bacteria normally found in the intestines of healthy people and animals. The 0157:H7 strain—also known as E. coli 0157, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC—can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting in humans. Young children and elderly adults have the highest risk of developing severe complications from STEC, which can lead to hospitalization and death. 

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Why Should You Trust NST Law to Handle Your E. Coli Claim?

We have been helping injured people recover substantial compensation from large companies for over 32 years. We treat each client’s case with the same fervor as if it had happened to our own families. That is why we are known as champions for the injured.

We have won more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. These results are driven by our core values, also known as the Six Pillars of NST Law, which include the following:

If you or your loved one has suffered complications from E. coli, call the champs at (800) 529-4004 for a free case evaluation.

Symptoms and Complications of E. Coli

E. coli 0157 typically causes several days of stomach cramping, watery or bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, which may appear one to ten days after exposure. Most cases resolve without significant complications. 

However, young children, elderly adults, and those with compromised immune systems risk developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, in response to E. coli 0157. HUS blocks the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to the destruction of red blood cells and a reduction in clotting cells known as platelets.

coli 0157 and HUS can lead to kidney failure, seizures, brain damage, and death. Approximately eight percent of children and a small percentage of adults with E. coli 0157 develop HUS. Approximately five percent of HUS cases in children are fatal, and 12 percent of HUS patients experience long-term complications, including kidney impairment, neurological damage, and high blood pressure.

How Are People Exposed to E. Coli 0157?

E. coli 0157 is often found in the intestines of healthy cattle, goats, sheep, and deer. The bacteria is spread through their feces. Farm equipment, animals’ skin and fur, and even the ground around animals can become contaminated.

Humans can become infected through the following:

  • Direct physical contact with animals that carry E. coli
  • Contact with dirt or other material tracked home from animal enclosures
  • Contaminated meat
  • Water from rivers and lakes where animal feces has polluted the ground
  • Produce from fields contaminated by run-off
  • Unpasteurized milk that came into contact with infected udders or equipment

Contaminated food can enter the supply chain, including food purchased by restaurants, grocery stores, and other establishments. Contaminated water may reach public swimming pools, crop irrigation systems, private wells, or even municipal water supplies.

Are E. Coli Infections Contagious?

E. coli 0157 is transmitted through ingestion by mouth. It can be passed from person to person. Contact with another person or a surface touched by an infected person can lead to transmission. Young children typically have more hand-to-mouth contact than adults, increasing the transmission risk.

How Can E. Coli Infections Be Prevented?

You can reduce the risk of contracting E. coli by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching farm animals, raw meat, or an infected person.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook ground meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk or juices.
  • Thoroughly wash food preparation surfaces after handling raw foods.
  • Wash your hands after using the restroom and teach young children to do the same.

While these measures may be helpful at home, you cannot control the practices of a restaurant, your child’s school, or other establishments.

Restaurants are regularly inspected to ensure compliance with regulations established by the Tennessee Department of Health, but it only takes one act of noncompliance to endanger the public. You can view inspection scores of Tennessee restaurants through the state health department’s searchable database.

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October 2023 Outbreak in Sullivan and Washington Counties

Several young children from Sullivan and Washington Counties in Northeast Tennessee were hospitalized with E. coli 0157 after elementary school classes visited an animal exhibit during a field trip at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray, Tennessee. More than 1,000 children from the Kingsport, Sullivan County, and Bristol school systems were exposed.

The animals in the exhibit included goats, ponies, and cattle. According to the health department, children should not have eaten near the animals, and they should have been instructed to wash their hands with soap and water after touching the animals and before eating. 

Younger siblings of the visiting students were also exposed to the toxin. According to the Johnson City Press, two toddlers in one family became infected and developed complications requiring hospitalization after an older sibling attended the field trip.

If you or your child experienced complications as a result of E. coli exposure at the Appalachian Fairgrounds during the September 26-27 field trip, contact us immediately to learn how we may be able to recover substantial compensation for you.

Who Is Liable for E. Coli Outbreaks?

The following parties can be held liable for E. coli infections, depending on the circumstances:

  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Daycare centers
  • Farms
  • County or city governments
  • Owners of private swimming pools
  • Food manufacturers and distributors

Toxic exposures like E. coli fall under product liability and premises liability law. If you or your child contracted E. coli while patronizing a business, such as a restaurant, swimming pool, or daycare center, the business owner may be liable under premises liability laws.

Product liability law may apply if exposure comes from food sold by a grocery store, restaurant, or other establishment. Producers, distributors, and retailers can be held liable in these cases. In some cases, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit naming multiple defendants under premises and product liability law.

What Do I Have to Prove in an E. Coli Foodborne Illness Case?

In premises liability cases, you must prove that the establishment’s owner was negligent. To prove negligence, you must establish the following:

  • The owner owed you a duty of care. You were legally on the property.
  • The owner breached the duty of care. The owner or employees failed to properly sanitize food preparation equipment, use proper hand hygiene, or take other measures to ensure the property was safe.
  • You suffered an injury. The breach of duty caused you to develop an E. coli infection with complications that caused financial losses.
  • The breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of your injury. You or your child would not have contracted E. coli were it not for the breach of duty, and you can prove a causative link between the infection and the breach of duty.

Our nationally recognized E. coli foodborne infection attorneys in Tennessee can help you meet this burden of proof. 

In product liability cases, it is not necessary to prove negligence. You only have to prove that you consumed a food product and subsequently contracted E. coli. This type of liability is known as strict liability. 

It will be necessary to prove that the food is the source of the toxin. This is usually confirmed through your local or regional health department.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover for E. Coli Foodborne Illnesses?

Compensation for an E. coli infection can include hospitalization costs and other medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. If you or your child need ongoing medical care due to permanent complications, our resourceful Tennessee E. coli foodborne illness lawyers can ensure your compensation covers future medical costs.

If you cannot work or operate a business because of your child’s illness, you can pursue damages for these lost earnings.

If your child experiences long-term complications expected to cause disabilities during adulthood, you may also have grounds to pursue damages for your child’s lost earning capacity and long-term care costs.

Pain and suffering are also known as non-economic damages because they compensate for harder-to-quantify losses. Tennessee law allows you to recover up to $750,000 for these types of damages, which may include the following:

  • Your child’s physical pain
  • You and your child’s emotional distress
  • Loss of bodily functions, such as long-term kidney impairment
  • Loss of the ability to enjoy life

If your child tragically dies from an E. coli infection, you may be entitled to pursue financial damages for medical expenses, burial costs, pain, and suffering. Such a suit is known as a wrongful death claim. You can also pursue damages for your child’s lifetime lost earnings and your family’s emotional losses. 

When Should I Contact a Tennessee E. Coli Foodborne Illness Lawyer?

You should contact an experienced E. coli lawyer as soon as possible. Tennessee has a statute of limitations requiring that you file suit within one year after diagnosis of the injury. Your attorneys will need time to investigate and build a strong case before filing. If your case is not filed on time, you lose your right to pursue compensation for the injuries forever.

Don’t leave significant financial compensation on the table. Contact our talented personal injury lawyers today for a free case review.

Contact an Experienced E. coli Foodborne Illness Lawyer Today

If you or your child has been harmed by exposure to E. coli, you deserve financial compensation from the responsible companies. Contact the champs today for a free consultation.


Our Jackson, TN Office

2709 N. Highland Avenue
Jackson, TN 38305

Phone: 731-427-5550

Fax: 731-951-0090


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