E. coli Victim Sues Cargill for $100 million

A woman from Cold Spring, Minn., who nearly died of a food borne illness after eating a Cargill hamburger in 2007, filed a $100 million lawsuit against Cargill this morning, the Star Tribune reported.

Stephanie Smith, 22, a former dance teacher, can no longer walk, suffers from brain damage, cannot have children and may lose her kidneys due to an infection caused by E. coli 0157:H7. 

The New York Times discussed her case in October in which it revealed the operations of the modern meatpacking industry by tracing the hamburger meat served at Smith's family barbecue in 2007. The meat was traced to four different plants from two countries.

Cargill has paid nearly $2 million of Smith's medical bills so far and has advanced funds to Smith's family for any additional costs or financial assistance.

The Pioneer Press reported that Cargill does not take responsibility for Smith's case, but blames her condition on its suppliers.

Smith's case is one of the most vivid and horrifying cases of food borne illness outbreaks. Her story has helped bring reform to the food safety system.

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