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Suit filed against operators of San Diego Co. Fair in petting zoo E. coli outbreak

SAN DIEGO, CA – Seven families are filing a lawsuit against the operators of the San Diego County Fair in connection to the 2019 E. coli outbreak, according to CBS8.

A child from one of the families, 2-year-old Jedediah Cabezuela, died on June 24, 2019, due to E. coli he contracted from the fair’s animal exhibits.

The fair ran from May 31 to July 4 last year and shuttered its animal exhibits not long after the child died.

The lawsuit claims that the operator of the San Diego County Fair, the 22nd District Agricultural Association, did not take proper precautions and care during the operation of its petting zoo, livestock, and other animal exhibits.

The seven families were diagnosed with STEC, shiga-toxin-producing E. coli, a form of the infection that is accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

Each of the families visited the animal exhibits at the fair between June 8 and June 22, according to the report.

The lawsuit claims that the operators of the fair failed to warn customers of the risks involved in a live-animal exhibit, failed to provide hand-washing facilities, failed to properly clean and inspect the fairgrounds, failed to train employees in E. coli risk maintenance, and failed to screen animals for the infection.

The E. coli outbreak is still being investigated by multiple agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Health and Human Services Administration.

Representatives from the 22nd District Agricultura Association were not available for comment.

Disclaimer: Many of the accidents we report on are preventable. Our hope is that by publishing information about severe accidents, we can equip readers with the information they need to avoid finding themselves involved in such a tragedy. These stories are painful, but real, as they are sourced from news outlets. Outlets sometimes update their published reports. If information on this blog is outdated or incorrect, please let us know so we can update our posting to the most up-to-date information. These posts do not contain legal advice and should not be construed in such a way.

Ross Jurewitz

RossRoss Jurewitz is the founder and managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego personal injury attorney law firm. These San Diego injury accident lawyers specialize in helping people seriously injured in a variety of accidents throughout San Diego County and California.

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