September 27, 2006, - 2:10 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
You’ve heard of “Big Tobacco.” Now, meet “Big Spinach.”
We feel sorry for those who’ve gotten seriously ill or, worse, died from E. coli-afflicted spinach. But before they’ve even found the cause, legions of lawyers looking for a piece of the green are popping up faster than diseases in Paris Hilton’s underwear.
A headline inside today’s Wall Street Journal says it all:
How a Tiny Law Firm Made Hay Out of Tainted Spinach
Spreading far more quickly than the E. coli bacteria in spinach is the fervor of Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm that already filed its first “bad-spinach” lawsuit before health officials warned us not to eat spinach.
The firm is trolling for E. coli clients left and right on its E. coli blog and 32(!) other blogs and websites. They marketed their status as the anti-Big Spinach lawyers to reporters and now have garnered 76 clients. When the cause of the E. coli outbreak in spinach is finally found, look for spinach prices to rise so that growers can pay for a healthy settlement not only for Marler Clark’s clients and partners, but their on-staff epidemiologist and nurse.
If the CDC can’t figure out why E. coli was present in spinach and is not exactly sure about the sinach producer it pinpointed, don’t look for law firms to do it. They’ll just sue everybody. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents told us they believe the E. coli spread when unsanitary illegal aliens were harvesting the spinach. Why doesn’t the firm sue the President Bush, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and ICE chieftess Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess,” for not enforcing immigration laws effectively?
Marler Clark’s spinach litigators have a long history of suing restaurants and food purveyors. The firm has sued Jack in the Box, Odwalla, Inc., BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Chi-Chi’s. Wonder why your smoothie or burger went up in price?
Reports the Journal:
The firm has pursued an aggressive brand-building campaign.
Brand-building? These lawyers are no different than any other ambulance chasers (call these ones, bowel-movement, run-to-the-toilet chasers). Except in this case they are going to drive the price of spinach, sky high. The Journal documents Marler Clark’s sleazy race to the courthouse to file high visibility anti-spinach cases and garner more clients from the resulting press.
In typical lawyer sleaze, the firm has a consulting firm, Outbreak, which “consults” companies on how to keep food safe. We doubt they’d help companies stop doing something bad to food, when it would make them millions more for its customers to be poisoned and sue, first.
And you won’t be healthier from their suits, either. The money meant for that will go to the lawyers and their clients. David Ernst a defense lawyer who has opposed Marler Clark, said that most food reforms are not “lawyer-driven reforms.”
Tags: BJ's Wholesale Club, Bush, David Ernst, defense lawyer, food, food purveyors, food reforms, food safe, Homeland Security Secretary, Jack in the Box, Julie L. Myers, law, lawyer, Marler Clark, Michael Chertoff, nurse, Odwalla Inc., Outbreak, Paris Hilton, President, Princess, Seattle, sinach producer, Spinach Spreading, Wall Street Journal