This is America — the land of apple pie, chili dogs, and of course, the world famous sandwich of grilled beef in between two buns known as the hamburger.  Millions of people eat them every day, and while we know that they can be bad for our health in a diet sense, we may not know that they can leave us paralyzed in some cases.

“I ask myself every day, ‘Why me?’ and ‘Why from a hamburger?’ ” says one woman, a 22-year-old dance instructor, who became paralyzed from the waist down after eating hamburger meat that was tainted with a vicious strain of E Coli.

Our firm’s paralysis attorneys know that it does not take a heavy blow to your back to leave you with some variety of paralysis.  We often think that we can only get paralyzed in a car accident or a motorcycle accident, but the truth of the matter is that diseases can cause just as much damage during a spinal cord injury.  In this case, the culprit that caused this woman’s paralysis was E. coli, which is a natural bacteria found in the body of a cow, but can turn deadly when handled the wrong way.  It usually can be found in raw meets, such as ground beef, and with a little bit of heat (even room temperature) it can grow at an alarming rate.

For this woman, it left her with paraplegia and the realization that she would probably have to adjust to living with paralysis for the rest of her life.

You may remember how in 1994 four children experienced wrongful deaths due to an E. coli outbreak at a Jack in the Box fast food chain.  The virulent strain that broke out fifteen years ago was known as O157:H7.  Since that deadly incident, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forbid meat companies and grocery stores from selling ground beef known to have E. coli in it.

But this being America, where we supersize everything and always want more, we still eat hamburgers that have been found to be laced with E. coli traces.  According to federal health experts, every year tens of thousands of people contract some case of E. coli from beef.  From 2006-2009, sixteen outbreaks of the pathogen by way of hamburger have occurred, and by last summer a recall of ground beef was initiated  for close to 3,000 grocers in 41 states.

This case of paralysis is rare, but it is not unheard of.  Once E. coli gets into your system, it can start to break down nerves and tissue, including those found in the human spinal cord.  And the question you have probably been asking is how to avoid contracting a case of the bacteria yourself.  The best thing that you can do to avoid getting E. coli in your body is to properly and thoroughly clean all of your food, make sure that it is fully cooked, and that you buy your food from reliable farmers markets and grocery stores.  There is always the chance that you will buy meat contaminated with E. coli and just not know it.  To fully ensure that you have no chance of getting E. coli from ground beef, it is best to investigate if a vegetarian or vegan diet is right for you.

Of course, this being America, land of the free and home of the burger, we always have a right to choose.

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible following the accident at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a free consultation with an experienced paralysis attorney.  We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay anything until we recover money on your behalf.