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1 Dead 106 Sick After Petting Zoo Comes to Town

Mother sues after E. coli outbreak

106 sick, including 1 dead, after visit to petting zoo at Cleveland County Fair

By Joe DePriest
jdepriest@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012

A nationally known Seattle-based lawyer who specializes in E. coli cases is representing a Maiden woman and her 18-month-old son who became ill in the E. coli outbreak tied to the Cleveland County Fair.On Monday, Bill Marler filed a civil complaint in Cleveland County against the fair and petting zoo owner on behalf of plaintiffs Amie Westfall and her son, Dominic. Also representing the Westfalls is Asheville lawyer Mark Kurdys.Last week, the families of two children who became ill in the outbreak sued the fair. One is from Gastonia and the other is from Gaffney, S.C.The suit filed by Marler states that Dominic Westfall attended the fair with his mother and visited the Circle G Ranch petting zoo.

N.C. health officials have said the petting zoo at the fair was the focal point of the E. coli outbreak, and that rainy weather helped spread the bacteria to areas away from the animals.

In all, 106 people became sick, including a 2-year-old from Gastonia who died.

On Sept. 29, Dominic Westfall fell ill with gastrointestinal symptoms and the next day began sufferingfromfever

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