The family of a 4-year-old Issaquah girl hospitalized with E. coli food poisoning this past summer in an outbreak tied to a local food truck is suing the business, court records show.

Share story

The family of a 4-year-old Issaquah girl hospitalized with E. coli food poisoning this past summer is suing the operators of a farmers-market food truck tied to her illness and a dozen others.

Elizabeth Buder was among 13 people sickened in August and September after eating food from the Los Chilangos food truck operated by Menendez Brothers, LLC of Bellevue. The firm, which operates two food trucks that serve seven farmers markets in King and Snohomish counties, was shuttered temporarily in late August by officials at Public Health — Seattle & King County after an investigation into the outbreak.

The child’s parents, James and Deanna Buder, filed a complaint this month in King County Superior Court.

It states that the child, known as “Scout,” shared food with her parents from a Los Chilangos truck on Aug. 8 at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market. She fell ill days later and was eventually admitted to Seattle Children’s, where doctors confirmed an E. coli 0157: H7 infection, according to the complaint prepared by Marler Clark, a Seattle firm that specializes in food-safety cases.

The girl developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a life-threatening complication of E. coli poisoning, and kidney failure. She was hospitalized for three weeks and will require ongoing monitoring and care. She was only recently cleared to return to school, her father said.

King County officials identified no specific source of the E. coli outbreak. The bacteria are often linked to undercooked ground beef but can be spread through produce such as spinach and sprouts or through foods such as unpasteurized juice and raw milk. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the infection and HUS.

Los Chilangos was allowed to reopen Sept. 2 after an inspection. King County officials also shuttered Eastside Commercial Kitchen, a commissary where Los Chilangos and other vendors prepared food, but allowed that site to reopen Sept. 8. Health officials said it’s possible the source of the outbreak may never be determined.