Meyers & Flowers protects Illinois residents, files first suit over McDonald's Cyclospora Outbreak
Today, Meyers & Flowers has joined with the national food safety law firm of Ron Simon & Associates to file the first lawsuit stemming from cyclospora-contaminated salads sold in Illinois and neighboring states. Meyers & Flowers Founding Partner Peter J. Flowers will be serving as co-lead counsel for the Cook County-based litigation on behalf of the plaintiff, Jennifer Smith.
On July 12, 2018, an investigation by the United States Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates the cyclosporiasis parasitic infections caused by cyclospora are linked to consumption of McDonald’s salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants. The salads were sold at 3,000 McDonald’s retail outlets across the Midwest starting in mid-May.
"McDonald's negligence has possibly caused countless cases of a highly contagious food-born parasitic illness to spread throughout the Midwest over the last few weeks," said Mr. Flowers. "This is only the first of many cases that we plan on litigating to keep the residents of Illinois, like Jennifer, safe from food-borne illness today while demanding higher levels of food safety for the public in the future."
As of July 13, 2018, the CDC reported 61 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in seven states with two hospitalizations and no deaths. However, IDPH is reporting that the number of cases in Illinois is much higher. The state agency has confirmed 90 cases of cyclosporiasis in counties across Illinois with people becoming ill starting in mid-May. Iowa has seen a similar increase in cyclospora cases.
McDonald's announced a voluntary cessation of the sale of salads at impacted restaurants until it could procure a new lettuce blend supplier on July 13, 2018. McDonald’s, in a newsroom bulletin to the public, stated: “We are in the process of removing existing lettuce blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest. Of the 3,000 restaurants, at least one is located in the following states: IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO. It is estimated there are more than 730 McDonalds in Illinois alone.
- Cyclospora cayetanensis (cyclospora) is a parasite composed of a single cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. This parasite causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.
- Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements.
- Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms are also relatively common.
- If not treated, the illness often lasts for months. Symptoms may also seem to go away and then return one or more times during infection.
- It is common for a victim of cyclospora poisoning to suffer chronic fatigue.
If you or a family member were diagnosed with cyclosporiasis and consumed a McDonald’s salad between May and July 2018, you may have legal recourse. You can learn more about us accepting McDonald's Cyclospora cases here. Contact Meyers & Flowers to explore your legal options at firstname.lastname@example.org, 877-221-2511 or fill in a free case evaluation form here.