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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

From Farm to Fork: A Food Safety Lawyer Shares Lessons Never to be Forgotten

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Foodborne illness outbreaks are not only devastating for the people who suffer illness, but also for the companies involved,” says Bill Marler, food safety attorney who has sued hundreds of large food companies on behalf of victims of foodborne illness. Mr. Marler is most noted for his fight for justice in the 1993 E. coli break-out in Jack in the Box hamburger meat. This outbreak resulted in the death of four children and the sickness of 600 others. Marley represented the family of one of the victims, a 9-year-old girl who was the most seriously injured survivor, suffering serious and life-altering injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, foodborne illnesses in the U.S. cause an estimated 48 million cases each year, including 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Foods causing illness or death in the last few years have not been limited to meats; the list includes cantaloupes, lettuce, spinach, hazelnuts, and sprouts. Before 1993, food poisoning might have given you a stomach ache, but it was never considered life-threatening. The Jack in the Box outbreak became a wake-up call for Americans; it has changed the way we eat.

Jeff Benedict’s Poisoned: True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat is an account of the Jack in the Box case. Benedict conducted over 250 on-the-record interviews to produce a behind-the-scenes account of the E. coli outbreak. The book not only tells the story of Marler’s fight to secure an out-of-court landmark $15.6 million settlement for his client, but shares how this case has educated everyone on food safety, including doctors who had never seen a case of E. coli and Jack in the Box executives who had to quickly devise new industry safety standards beyond what any other restaurant chain had previously done.

For the last 20 years, Bill Marler has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, but he is more than an attorney; Marler is a national food safety advocate. In his quest to improve food safety, Mr. Marler sent hundreds of copies of the book to the CEO of every major company he has sued. “Perhaps after reading Poisoned other food companies will look a little more closely at their own food safety procedures, as well as those of their partners in the supply chain,” said Marler.

At little or no cost to event organizers, Marler speaks worldwide on food safety issues and works regularly with industry, government, and academia to improve food safety in the U.S. and around the world. He frequently donates to industry groups for the promotion of improved food safety, and has established numerous collegiate science scholarships across the nation. To read more about Bill Marler, visit his website at http://www.billmarler.com/. To learn about upcoming speaking engagements or to request a speaker for your upcoming event, visit http://www.marlerclark.com/events_speaking_engagements/history/C90/2012 or contact Leslie Dale at (206) 407-2204 or ldale@marlerclark.com.

Mark Bello has thirty-five years experience as a trial lawyer and thirteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.