Many people who were hospitalized now face medical bills that they have to pay, not to mention loss of wages because they were too sick to work. Some were hospitalized for a few days while their illness went away. Others required many days off work, either to recover from their own illness or to look after children or elderly parents who became ill. Either way, they lost wages because their family members ate contaminated pizza toppings.
One angry General Mills customer wrote to LawyersandSettlements to report that both he and his son were taken to the emergency room because of severe vomiting and diarrhea. It was only later that they realized they had eaten the recalled pizzas before they became sick. He notes that he missed four days of work because he was so sick and now has to pay a $3,000 emergency room bill. So far, no one from General Mills has returned any of his phone calls.
Although healthy adults may survive an E. coli outbreak with few problems, people with weakened or developing immune systems can die after exposure to E. coli. In fact, it is believed that a 20-month-old recently died from E. coli poisoning after eating a contaminated hamburger. Other children can develop serious, lifelong problems as a result of food poisoning.
The [Centers for Disease Control report that four victims of the recent pizza E. coli outbreak developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), an illness that often follows E. coli poisoning. HUS can lead to anemia, blood clots, kidney damage and kidney failure. In rare cases, HUS can cause seizures. Patients who survive HUS can still suffer from permanent kidney damage.
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Many companies that recall their products offer a refund for people who have purchased the contaminated food. However, this is not nearly enough to cover the medical costs and lost wages, not to mention the agony and physical pain that can accompany a bout of food poisoning.