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Judge Approves Cargill E. coli Settlement

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank approved a settlement between Cargill, Inc. and Stephanie Smith, a Minnesota woman who became ill with an E. coli O157:H7 infection and suffered permanent injuries after consuming a contaminated hamburger on Tuesday.

Smith, a Cold Spring resident, developed hemolytic uremic syndrome secondary to E. coli infection after eating a Cargill hamburger in 2007.  She went into seizures and was in a medically induced coma for three months.  The former dance instructor is now a paraplegic.

Attorneys for Smith and Cargill reached the settlement agreement last month.  

“We are happy to have resolved this claim,” said Bill Marler, Smith’s attorney.  “Now Stephanie and her family can focus solely on her recovery.  She hopes to dance again.”

Marler noted that the settlement with provide for medical treatment related to her injuries, which include cognitive problems and kidney damage.   

Michael Moss of the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for the article he wrote about Smith and the background of the beef that went into the burger that made her sick.

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