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Family sues over E. coli death

Jan. 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

ST. CLOUD, Minn., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The family of a Minnesota man who died of kidney failure caused by an E. coli infection has sued three meat companies for damages.

The lawsuit over the death of Robert Danell, 62, was filed Jan. 8 in Minnesota state court in Stearns County, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Tuesday. Danell, who had Down's syndrome, died in January 2010.

Bill Danell told the Star doctors did not realize his brother, who was hospitalized with bloody diarrhea 10 days before he died, was infected with E. coli until it was too late for successful treatment.

"They said he could have gotten it from a hamburger, but we don't really know for sure," Bill Danell said.

The lawsuit names JBS USA, Tyson Fresh Meats, Beef Products Inc. and several retailers as defendants, charging that Robert Danell became sick after eating a Tyson hamburger containing an additive produced by BPI and meat supplied by JBS. Bill Danell said the family became aware of the links from a Star series in December, "Beef's Raw Edges," that included the story of his brother's death.

Both Tyson and BPI said they do not believe their products were the source of the E. coli. BPI says it treats its additive, which has become notorious under the nickname "pink slime" with ammonia, killing any pathogens. JBS had no comment.

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