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PritzkerOlsen Law Firm Files a Lawsuit against Pizza Ranch for E. Coli Food Poisoning

PizzaAttorneys Ryan Osterholm and Elliot Olsen of PritzkerOlsen, a renowned food safety law firm, filed a lawsuit against a well-known restaurant chain, Pizza Ranch, Inc. The complaint is on behalf of the family of a seven-year-old girl who contracted an E. Coli infection after dining at the Pizza Ranch branch located at West 18th Avenue, Emporia, Kansas.

Buffet at Pizza Ranch

The lawsuit claims that the family of the complainant dined at the Emporia branch of Pizza Ranch on January 31, 2016. The young girl ate from the buffet that includes pizza, fried chicken, salad, breadsticks, and dessert pizza. A few days after the buffet meal, the young girl began to feel ill. Her family reported that she had stomach cramps that eventually turned into bloody diarrhea.

The complainant’s stool sample tested positive for E. Coli infection. Thus, her doctors decided to admit her to the hospital. While at the hospital, the complainant developed an E. Coli complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is the leading cause of acute renal failure (ARF) in children. After two weeks, the complainant got better and left the hospital.

E. Coli Outbreak

According to PritzkerOlsen, an E. Coli outbreak in many branches of Pizza Ranch has occurred from December 2015 to February 2016. The outbreak has reportedly sickened 13 people, including two children who suffered from HUS, in nine different states. These include Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The suspected source of the outbreak is the dough that the restaurant chain used to make dessert pizzas. Ryan Achterhoff, the chief administrative officer of Pizza Ranch, Inc., claimed that the bacteria originated from one of the chain’s external suppliers.

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Achterhoff said Pizza Ranch independently ran more than 40 lab tests on its different products, but not one tested positive for E. Coli contamination. He also stated that their company already contacted their dough mix supplier regarding the crisis and requested that the supplier cooperate with federal and state health officials.

The Lawsuit

Attorney Olsen stated that the outbreak highlights the absolute need for strict food safety controls and practices in all restaurants. He even mentioned that food regulations should be stricter in restaurant chains that serve various states, as a large chain restaurant can make a lot of people sick at once.

On March 17, 2016, PritzkerOlsen filed the lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the District of Kansas. The parents of the complainant are requesting a jury trial, as well as a $75,000 compensation for the damages.