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Kent Co. man adds to growing E. coli suit against Wendy’s

The man found himself hospitalized with E. coli days after eating a Wendy’s cheeseburger, and is joining in on a lawsuit seeking compensation.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man from Kent County is seeking at least $25,000 in damages in a suit alleging the fast food restaurant Wendy’s was negligent and violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

“These are pretty serious claims,” said Bill Marler, a Seattle, WA-based attorney who specializes in foodborne illness-related cases. “It'll be interesting to get to the bottom of it.”

Marler’s client from Kent County joins about 40 other individuals who experienced similar issues. Although his client reported ordering a hamburger from the restaurant located at 2333 28th Street SE in Grand Rapids, he clarified that is not limited to a particular location or state.

“It's spread out amongst six states, multiple restaurants in each state,” Marler said. “It's going to be interesting as we do more research about how this outbreak happened, how it was that this outbreak was so widely spread.”

According to a map posted on the CDC’s website Sept. 1, among the six states affected, Michigan had the most reported E. coli cases, though Marler expects that number to increase.

“Wendy's Corporation has been served,” he said. “I'm expecting them to show up with a lawyer here soon. The franchises have been served — I expect them to show up soon, and then things will get more interesting as Wendy's has to make some decisions about pointing the finger at the lettuce supplier, which essentially, they already have.”

Wendy’s has since removed lettuce from their sandwiches as a precautionary measure, though the CDC is not advising people to avoid eating at the restaurant or to stop eating romaine lettuce.

13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to Wendy’s Meritage Hospitality Group Inc., a company that owns the Michigan locations, for comment late Wednesday afternoon, but has not yet received a response.

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