25 sickened Don’t make mousse in a bowl used to prep raw meat: Settlement for kids in Nevada sickened by E. coli

Brian Duggan of the Reno Gazette Journal reports that more than two years after they got sick from eating E. coli-tainted chocolate mousse cake at two Reno restaurants, six children are now awaiting a Washoe judge to approve their financial settlements, according to court records.

The six Reno-area children were all plaintiffs in a lawsuit that followed Washoe County’s worst-ever E. coli outbreak that also sickened two other children and 17 adults.

The outbreak started in October 2015 when the tainted dessert was prepared in a mixing bowl that had been used to process raw meat at Reno Provisions. The cake was later served at Heritage, located inside the Whitney Peak Hotel, and South Reno’s Twisted Fork. 

Owner Mark Estee later closed Reno Provisions. Estee was a consulting chef at Heritage, which was later changed into the Roundabout Grill. Twisted Fork is still in business and has passed all of its restaurant inspections since the 2015 outbreak with no violations, according to Washoe County Health District data.

In all, the children will get $2.5 million — 90 percent of that shared between two boys who had extensive stays at the UC Davis Medical Center to treat their injuries, according to court records.

Estee did not return requests to be interviewed for this story. A representative with Twisted Fork and victims of the outbreak also declined comment. 

Brent L. Ryman, who represented Reno Provisions, said several lawsuits were initially filed by victims of the outbreak in 2015 and 2016. Those lawsuits were later consolidated into one case that ended in financial settlements without the need for a trial. The settlements with the adults who got sick are private and did not require a judge’s approval. 

Two of the boys developed serious kidney complications because of the E.coli infection, said Bill Marler, a Seattle-based attorney who represented nine of the plaintiffs in the case.