A Salt Lake City jury is expected to rule soon whether a Utah woman sickened in the 2006 spinach E. coli outbreak is permanently disabled, and what damages three grower-shippers may have to pay.
Chelsey Maceyâs five-day hospitalization in August 2006 was linked by health officials to contaminated Dole baby spinach bought at a grocery store. Since then sheâs suffered an ongoing and disabling case of post-infection irritable bowel syndrome, Maceyâs attorneys said in court documents.
The jury trial, scheduled for nine days, began Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court before Judge Bruce Jenkins.
The three defendants â Dole Food, Natural Selection Foods and Mission Organics â have not disputed that the spinach caused Maceyâs E. coli infection. At issue is whether separate factors caused the syndrome; whether her condition is permanent; and what damages should be paid. Maceyâs attorneys are seeking more than $5 million in compensatory damages, plus unspecified punitive damages, according to The Associated Press.
Natural Selection Foods is based in San Juan Bautista, Calif. Mission Organics is based in Salinas, Calif.