Tonawanda Family Suing Rich Products

April 12, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

April 12, 2013 Updated Apr 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM EDT


Eighteen year old Robert Ormsby Jr. had two favorite snacks and his mother knew them: Farm Rich brand frozen pizzas and quesadillas.

"It was common for his mother to go to Walmart and purchase both products and both products have been in his home for many months and he's been consuming those products off and on for many months," said Jed Dietrich, the attorney for Ormsby.

Ormsby fell ill around March 15th right around the time the Centers for Disease Control began tracking a multi-state E.coli outbreak linked to Rich Products.

Ormsby is one of 27 people sickened in 15 states.

Initially unaware of the outbreak Ormsby went to the Buffalo Veterans Administration Medical Center where doctors treated him with anti-biotics and sent him home. But a couple of days later Ormsby's condition became much worse and he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

E.coli contamination can cause a person to develop a serious condition called Hemolytic-uremic syndrome H.U.S. that causes kidney failure which Ormsby is battling now. He was released from the hospital Friday but undergoes dialysis treatment several times a week.

"We can with very close specificity through genetic type markers connect my client's illness to the recall food product from Rich," said Dietrich.

E.coli is a very dangerous bacteria and you don't necessarily have to eat the food to get infected.

"You can get infected with E.coli by touching a contaminated frozen food product," explained Dietrich.

Dietrich filed the lawsuit in NYS Supreme Court Friday.

He says he's also taking on another case where a 12 year old girl may have become infected with E.coli contamination from her cafeteria lunch. He is not releasing the name of the school at this time. But local school districts have pulled recalled food out of their freezers and are not serving it to students.