SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A Bay Area family has filed the first lawsuit over an outbreak of a dangerous E. coli strain linked to soy nut butter.
Eight-year-old Trevor Simmons from San Jose is recovering from the infection but is facing “uncertain future medical complications,” according to the family’s lawyer.
The boy is one of 12 victims around the country sickened by the outbreak of a potentially deadly strain of E. coli linked to soy nut butter made by The SoyNut Butter Company of Illinois and sold under the brand name I.M. Healthy.
Trevor is back home and playing like his old self. But his parents worry about his long term health after a severe sickness possibly caused by one of his favorite foods.
“It was like the worst thing in my life,” said Trevor. “I don’t want to have it ever again.”
His parents say within days of eating the soy nut butter spread in late January, Trevor was in the hospital; first with severe diarrhea and then worsening complications.
“I had nurses tell me at Good Samaritan (hospital), ‘He’s too sick to be here. He’s got something else,’” said his mother, Erin Simmons.
Trevor transferred to Stanford Children’s Hospital, where doctors found he had one of the most violent and potentially fatal forms of E. coli – O157:H7 – a Shiga toxin-producing strain.
“This wasn’t an E. coli that you would get and recover from in 3 days,” said Erin Simmons.
Working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Stanford doctors traced it to the soy nut butter.
“It was still in our pantry,” said Simmons. “We could have all had it. He could have eaten more of it.”
What happend to Trevor has happened to at least 11 others, according to the CDC. The SoyNut Butter Company has issued a recall of the soy nut spread.
Monday, the family’s lawyer announced a lawsuit was filed against the company. “We want to get this off the shelf or somehow get it fixed so that this doesn’t happen again.” said Trevor’s father, Mosby Simmons. This is a product that’s commonly purchased for kids.”
Trevor currently is under doctor’s orders to drink water with electrolytes. But there could be kidney damage, as well as emotional damage for the family.
“I don’t feel like I could trust food,” said Erin Simmons. “I’m nervous about buying stuff. How do you trust what you buy?”