Family Sues Wendy’s After Daughter Gets Disease

( – A Michigan family are suing Meritage Hospitality Group, a company that owns and operates fast food restaurants such as Wendy’s, Taco John’s, Morning Belle, and Stan’s Tacos, for $20 million over the devastating E. coli infection their 13-year-old daughter contracted at one of their businesses. The Wendy’s location is in Jenison, Michigan and has been struggling with poor food safety and preparation for quite some time. The day that Aspen Lamfers and her family dined there, August 1, 2022, was actually the same day it had reopened after it had been closed to fix the health violations it had been cited for in July 2022.

Aspen, who was only 11 years old at the time, and her family stopped into the Ottawa County Wendy’s after softball practice. Three days later, her mother rushed her to the hospital as she was suffering from diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and blood in her stool. She was treated overnight and released the next morning, but things took a turn for the worse. She was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome caused by an E. coli infection, and the infection spread to her pancreas and her brain.

After being hospitalized for more than four weeks Aspen was finally sent home, but with high blood pressure, diabetes, weakness, and brain damage that robbed her of some of her academic progress and makes learning more difficult. She has medications to control her seizures and diabetes now and requires physical, speech, occupational and language therapy. The lawsuit is seeking renumeration for the roughly $500,000 in hospital bills, $1.6 million for future related medical expenses, and also for estimated loss in future earning potential.

Meritage Hospitality Group has five Michigan lawsuits against them ongoing due to E. coli found in the lettuce they used that summer in the summer of 2022. A spokesperson for the company says they deny any wrongdoing or failure in their food safety practices. However, during their inspection of the Wendy’s the Lamfers visited, the Ottawa County food inspectors found 17 health and food code violations, characterizing the condition of the restaurant as gross and unsanitary. One of the inspectors noted that it was dirty on the “excessive end of the spectrum”. The report even pointed out that there were immediate concerns that staff or customers would become ill due to the unsanitary conditions.

Copyright 2024,