Chelsey Macey is the plaintiff of a lawsuit taking place in the Utah U.S. District Courts against Mission Organics, Natural Selection Foods & Dole Foods; who grew, packaged & distributed spinach that was contaminated with E. Coli in 2006. Macey’s infection with E. Coli was so severe that she was near death before recovering and developing chronic intestinal dysfunction which was diagnosed as Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome.Macey’s lawyers contend that Irritable Bowel Syndrome has crippled or completely destroyed her abilities to work, care for her family or do outdoor activities. In some cases she has been unable to make it to the bathroom in time before having an accident. Dr. Keith Tolman a gastroenterologist who works for the University of Utah testified that her Irritable Bowel Syndrome severity on a scale of 1 to 10 was a 10.
The defendants in the case accept that the E.Coli caused Macey harm but not the severity she or her lawyers state. They have focused on two points. The first point being that she suffered from anxiety & depression before getting sick with E. Coli & this caused her to develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome rather than the actual infection with E. Coli. Additionally they state that since becoming ill she has become pregnant with her third child, something they state would question her own judgement regarding how disabled she actually is. Both of these points seem somewhat tenuous as depression & anxiety can exacerbate Irritable Bowel Syndrome but there is nothing to point that they alone will cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Also it might shock people to know, but people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome do still have or at least attempt to have a sex life and her becoming pregnant may simply have been an accident due to that reality. If she knowingly became pregnant then I’d have to give the defendants claim some weight, as adding more burden to yourself & your family when so sick would not be a wise move at all.
The trial should wrap up around Jan 20th, 2011.