A woman featured in a 2009 New York Times article that was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning series on food safety has reportedly settled her claims against Cargill, Inc., which allegedly produced the E. coli-contaminated hamburger that left her paralyzed with neurological problems and kidney damage. Represented by plaintiffs’ attorney William Marler, Stephanie Smith is a former dance instructor now confined to a wheelchair. Marler claimed that her medical bills have already totaled more than $2 million and that she will require additional rehabilitation and multiple transplants. The terms of the settlement, which must be approved by a court, are apparently confidential. Marler was quoted as saying, “Stephanie’s tragedy has taken on a life of its own, and hopefully it will continue to focus people on why food safety is important.” Cargill reportedly said in a joint statement that it “deeply regrets” her injuries and has invested in excess of $1 billion in meat science research and new food safety technologies. See Associated Press, May 12, 2010.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.