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Michigan Wendy’s gave 11-year-old girl nearly deadly disease, Michigan family claims in new $20M lawsuit

The family of an 11-year-old Michigan girl claims in a new $20 million lawsuit that Wendy’s “disturbing” symptoms left their daughter severely infected with an E. coli-related illness, according to reports.

On Aug. 1, 2022, Aspen Lamphers stopped at a Wendy’s in Ottawa County after softball practice and ordered a hamburger, chicken nuggets and fries, said Tom Worsfold, the family’s attorney. wood tv.

However, the girl arrived at the hospital three days later and, after a simple meal, fought for her life.

Mr. Lamphirs was rushed to the hospital complaining of diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloody stools.

Aspen Lamphirs nearly died just three days after eating at a Wendy’s in Michigan. Courtesy of the Runfers family.

Doctors soon discovered that the 11-year-old boy had an E. coli infection, which turned into hemolytic uremic syndrome. This syndrome is a rare but fatal disease that attacks the kidneys and forms blood clots.

Lanfers was then transferred to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where the infection progressed and “attacked her pancreas and brain,” Worsfold said, adding that the illness caused her to lose consciousness at times and even hallucinate. He added that he started seeing it.

“She had significant brain swelling, suffered a seizure while in hospital and was also paralyzed on the left side of her body,” Mr Worsfold said.

Apart from the attack on his brain, Lamphirs required daily dialysis due to kidney problems.

11-year-old boy still suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, weakness and brain damage after eating at Wendy’s Courtesy of the Runfers family.

After nearly three agonizing weeks in the hospital battling the deadly disease, Lamphirs was sent to a rehabilitation clinic for a week before finally returning home.

“It’s almost a miracle that she survived,” Worsfold said.

On April 4, the Lanfers filed a $20 million lawsuit against Meritage Hospitality Group, owner of Wendy’s, alleging that their daughter contracted the deadly disease.

The lawyer said the Lanphers were “grateful” their daughter “didn’t pass,” but their 11-year-old daughter still suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, weakness and, most importantly, her ability to function. He is battling a brain injury. learn.

“In the spring before she got sick, she was a fifth-grader reading at a sixth-grade level,” Worsfold said.

“A year later, after she got sick, she went from being a sixth grader to now reading at a fourth grade level,” he told the outlet.

The Lanfers are currently suing Wendy’s owner Meritage Hospitality Group for $20 million, alleging that their daughter contracted the deadly disease. google map

Worsfold said the group’s Ottawa County Wendy’s violated multiple Michigan food laws that summer and, unbeknownst to her family, was only open on the days her daughter ate at the restaurant. He explained that he was restarting.

On July 27, 2022, Ottawa County food inspectors visited the fast food restaurant and found “generally poor sanitary conditions” and 17 health and food code violations inside the Wendy’s.

According to health records obtained by the store, inspectors found that moldy and rotten food had not been thrown away and had been left unrefrigerated overnight to rot in the summer heat. did.

Investigators found a filthy cutting board and food slicing station used to prepare customers’ meals.

Leaking water collected throughout the building and some flowed into electrical areas during the inspection. We also found mold growing throughout the restaurant and cooking stations.

One inspector even called Wendy’s “excessively dirty.”

“Imminent health hazards require immediate remediation, including closure and remediation of the observed health hazards,” the inspectors wrote. “Immediate health risks could result in staff and members of the public becoming ill.”

Worst of all, they didn’t display the store’s food license.

Attorney Tom Worsfold is representing the family in a $20 million lawsuit against Wendy’s franchise owners. YouTube/WOOD TV8

“Frankly, I was really disgusted,” Worsfold told the magazine.

Wendy’s reopened on Aug. 1 after staff received training on food safety practices and the restaurant repaired a water leak, according to health records.

But just days after reopening, investigators found 12 more violations. These include raw beef that had been stored at potentially dangerous temperatures, water with dead pests surrounding the chili area, and a kitchen floor covered in black mold-like debris. Inspection report.

“Many of the same problem areas existed, including employees not changing gloves, not washing their hands, and one of the handwashing sinks not being properly stocked,” Worsfold told the magazine. told.

According to the restaurant, conditions have improved since the restaurant temporarily closed.

“We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously. In this regard, we deny any wrongdoing or failure in our food safety practices. In light of the ongoing litigation, we cannot accept any further We are unable to comment,” Meritage Hospitality Group said. said in a statement to WZZM..

This month, Meritage Hospitality Group, which owns more than 380 Wendy’s locations in 16 states, accused several other Michigan residents of getting sick from contaminated lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants during the 2022 E. coli outbreak. sued.

Worsfold said there was no lettuce at all when Runfers got sick, but he and the family believe her illness was caused by cross-contamination.

“That’s the only explanation for how she got this infection,” Worsfold explained.

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