11-Year-Old Nearly Dies After Eating at Wendy’s Restaurant – Lawsuit Claims

Jenison, MI – A young softball player from Jenison, Michigan is suing the company operating a local Wendy’s restaurant for $20 million after suffering severe health complications from an E. coli infection. The lawsuit alleges that 11-year-old Aspen Lamfers contracted the infection due to unsanitary conditions at the restaurant, resulting in kidney failure and permanent brain damage.

Aspen’s mother, Joy Lamfers, filed the lawsuit in Ottawa County Circuit Court in early April. The complaint links Aspen’s infection to a widespread E. coli outbreak in July 2022, which was traced back to lettuce served at Wendy’s locations across multiple states. Although Aspen did not consume lettuce during her visit on August 1, 2022, the lawsuit suggests the possibility of cross-contamination.

According to Tom Worsfold, the attorney representing the family, Aspen’s “Biggie Bag” meal, which included a burger, fries, and chicken nuggets, could have been the source of the infection. Worsfold described it as a remarkable turn of events that Aspen survived the subsequent health crisis, which began three days after her meal at Wendy’s.

The lawsuit outlines the devastating impact of the infection on Aspen’s health. She fell critically ill, experiencing acute kidney injury, permanent brain damage, a seizure disorder, pancreatitis, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions. Aspen became non-verbal and partially paralyzed on her left side, facing an arduous recovery process.

Throughout August 2022, Aspen’s health journey continued, and she was finally discharged from an inpatient facility on September 9. Her recovery involved extensive therapy, nursing care, counseling, and medical supervision, including ongoing kidney dialysis, due to the severe damage to her kidneys.

The lawsuit also highlights the long-term effects of Aspen’s illness on her academic performance. Her reading level has dropped by two grades, and her math scores have significantly declined.

The complaint references an inspection of the Wendy’s location by the Ottawa County Health Department on July 27, 2022, just days before Aspen’s visit. The inspection report revealed “gross insanitary conditions” and numerous health and food code violations, including mold and pest infestation.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, alleging negligence and gross negligence, and asks for $20 million in damages for Aspen’s permanent disability, extreme pain and suffering, and loss of life expectancy as a result of the E. coli infection. The family hopes this legal action will provide some form of justice and compensation for the ongoing consequences Aspen faces from her unfortunate experience.