Sioux Falls woman suing Hy-Vee over life-threatening infection

November 21, 2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.–A Sioux Falls woman who contracted “life-threatening” E. coli bacterial infection has sued a California spinach producer and Hy-Vee for more than $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in South Dakota, alleges that the company behind a 2021 E.coli outbreak in several states, Braga Foods, was negligent in its adherence to food safety regulations.

It also claims that Iowa-based Hy-Vee Foods was negligent for failing to warn shoppers of the risk of E. coli contamination from lettuce products sold as “ready to eat.”

Karen Ahlschlager of Sioux Falls bought bags of Josie’s Organic spinach from a now-closed Hy-Vee store at 10th Street at Kiwanis Avenue a few weeks before the Centers for Disease Control reported illnesses tied to batches of the product.

The outbreak of E. coli disease tied to Josie’s Organic spinach in November of 2021 sickened at least 10 people in seven states.