$2.5M settlement for boy permanently disabled by E. coli-tainted ground beef
The boy's mother bought the meat at Superstore on McPhillips Street in Winnipeg in 2004
Two Canadian companies have reached a $2.5 million settlement with a Manitoba teen who is disabled for life because he consumed ground beef tainted with E. coli in July 2004.
Court documents say the boy was two-and-a-half years old when his mother fed him the meat, which she bought at Superstore on McPhillips Street in Winnipeg.
The boy was admitted to Children's Hospital, where his kidneys failed before he received a transplant. A stroke caused him to develop severe cognitive impairment, a seizure disorder and cerebral palsy in his arms and legs, leaving him in a wheelchair.
Court documents indicate the boy's lawyers investigated the source of the E. coli and confirmed it was present in the meat the boy ate by identifying a Health Canada Hazard Alert for ground beef at Superstore. The alert was issued on Aug. 6, 2004.
The boy, who is 14 now, is expected to live until age 27, according to medical experts the lawyers consulted with leading up to the settlement.
When the child was released from hospital, his mother struggled to care for him. She voluntarily placed him in the care of Child and Family Services before his guardianship was transferred to Métis Child and Family Services in 2011, court documents say.
In 2009, the boy's paternal grandmother and her husband took him in. Since then, they've physically struggled to meet his demands: He needs to be fed through a tube, cleaned, diapered and lifted multiple times a day.
$1.3M trust fund
In June 2014, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Lori Spivak approved the multimillion-dollar settlement.
It is between Westfair Foods Ltd. (The Real Canadian Superstore), XL Foods Inc., which processed the ground beef, the boy and Métis Child and Family Services.
More than half of the money — $1.3 million — is expected to be put into a trust fund for the teen. The rest will go toward costs associated with caring for him, including the purchase of a house with adequate accommodations.