Attorney Bill Marler on Foodborne Illness and Food Safety Advocacy (Video)

December 16, 2019

My name is Bill Marler. I’m a trial lawyer.
My law firm, Marler Clark located in Seattle, Washington, specializes in representing victims
of foodborne illness. Even though I’m a lawyer, and even though
I’m representing people and suing companies, that actually, I’m also a food safety advocate.
Here’s my plea: Put me out of business. For this trial lawyer, E. coli has been a
far too successful practice and an heartbreaking one. I am tired of visiting with horribly
sick kids who did not have to be sick in the first place.
I think, in some respects, a lot of what I do fills in for what government fails to do,
or what industry convinces government not to do.
The Jack in the Box outbreak was really the Meat Industry’s 9/11. I started doing these
kind of cases back in 1993 when I was hired by the family of Brianne Kiner in the middle
of the Jack in the Box outbreak. She was really the most severely injured child, and I represented
her and dozens of other kids who were really severely sick.
Lawyers from around the country would refer cases to me because of the success that I
had in the Jack in the Box case. Foodborne illness in American a sort of a
shockingly big number. There’s about 76 million foodborne illness cases in the United
States every year, over 325,000 people are hospitalized, and there’s about 5,000 deaths.
We’ve developed a reputation in the industry as lawyers who are very serious about their
work, that we come exceedingly well prepared to the case, that we know the case forwards
and backwards, and more importantly, we know what the value of the case is because we’ve
resolved a half a billion dollars of these cases over the last 15 years.
We’re one of the very few countries in the world that if your child is poisoned, regardless
of if the government is doing a good job, or industry is doing a good job or a bad job,
you can stand up for your kid and take that company on. Find out why it happened, and
get compensation for your child. A lot of those families that I represented
have been to our home. I visited them in the hospital. I’ve been to funerals. You don’t
go through that kind of thing in life without having it impact you.
And I find it would be very difficult to not, sort of, become passionate about what you
do when people have let you into their lives at the most incredibly vulnerable times of
their lives. And I look at that as a real honor.

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