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$1.5 Million Settlement Reached in Food-Poisoning Case

September 12, 1996 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) _ A 9-year-old girl hospitalized in 1993 after eating a contaminated hamburger at a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant has reached a $1.5 million settlement with the restaurant’s parent company, its ground beef supplier and several slaughterhouses.

Carlesha Phillips was one of several hundred people who became ill in January 1993 after eating Jack-in-the-Box burgers contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Three children in Washington state died in the outbreak.

Carlesha was hospitalized for 17 days, required dialysis after developing a kidney ailment, and in July 1995, her gall bladder was removed, her family’s lawyer, Bill Marler, said Wednesday.

Her kidney function is normal these days and Carlesha is a fourth-grade pupil in Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island north of Seattle. Her award goes to a trust fund used only for her medical needs, the lawyer added.

The settlement was reached with Foodmaker Inc., the San Diego-based parent of Jack-in-the-Box; Vons Inc., which supplied ground beef for Foodmaker; and several slaughterhouses.

Hundreds of lawsuits were filed in the outbreak, and most have been settled. Marler also represented Brianne Kiner, a girl whose $15.6 million settlement is the largest reported so far.