Bill Marler

Food Safety Advocate & Food Poisoning Attorney

Ashley Armstrong - The 2006 Dole Spinach E. coli Outbreak

On August 26, 2007, the Armstrong family became victims of the 2006 dole baby spinach outbreak when the family had a spinach salad for dinner.  A little over a week later, Isabella (6) and Ashley (3) began to experience severe diarrhea. While Isabella recovered relatively quickly, Ashley became severely dehydrated and was admitted to the hospital. There, her infection developed into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious and potentially fatal complication of E. coli poisoning. Her small body became swollen with the fluids her kidneys couldn’t eliminate, and she was kept on constant dialysis for almost six weeks.

After she was discharged from the hospital, Ashley remained on dialysis until finally, after four months, it was discontinued.  By the end of January, her kidney function, while far from normal, had improved enough for her peritoneal dialysis catheter to finally be removed.

Ashley was one of 204 people affected by an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 resulting from contaminated bags of Dole baby spinach. The spinach was recalled on September 14, 2006. It was eventually traced back to Natural Selection Foods in Salinas Valley, CA.

Ashley’s E. coli infection and HUS drastically altered her future. She will require multiple kidney transplants, which her body will become increasingly likely to resist, and she will require dialysis multiple times throughout her life.  She is also at a higher risk of weak bones, short stature, high blood pressure, heart attacks and cancer.

Marler Clark represented Ashley and Isabella Armstrong and 92 other victims of the 2006 spinach E. coli outbreak.  All claims were resolved successfully.  To read more about the lawsuits and litigation resulting from the 2006 spinach E. coli outbreak, visit the Marler Clark Website.

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