Lawsuits filed against Washington dairy farm over E. coli outbreak

The parents of three children severely sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to yogurt have filed lawsuits against the Washington dairy farm that made the contaminated food.

The parents of the three minors claim in the suit that Othello-based Pure Eire Dairy, which made the PCC Community Market brand yogurt, were negligent in not identifying the contaminate. All of the cases involved Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) E. coli. 

According to the state Department of Health, the outbreak includes 11 confirmed E. coli cases in four counties: eight in King, and one each in Benton, Snohomish and Walla Walla counties. Six children under the age of 10 were infected with the bacteria. 

Symptoms of the bacterial infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, blood in the stool. 

Seven people were hospitalized and three developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication associated with the E. coli infection.

Two of the three children represented in the lawsuits contracted HUS and required blood transfusions and, in one case, dialysis, according to court documents. 

"Their recovery is uncertain," the lawsuit states. 

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Anyone who is sick with suspected or known STEC should not work in or attend childcare or preschool, or work in food handling or healthcare until cleared by public health officials.

Learn more about STEC here

Read the lawsuits in full below: