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‘We think the E.coli has passed through our system’

That’s the Law Blog quote of the day from Peter Lattman at the Wall Street Journal citing Taco Bell’s spokesperson on their E. coli outbreak.

Lattman went on to cover Lexblog client Attorney Bill Marler’s role in the outbreak.

The outbreak is also passing through the system — or, perhaps more aptly, the machine — of Bill Marler and his colleagues at Marler Clark, the nation’s leading foodborne-illness lawyers. During September’s E. coli outbreak involving fresh spinach, the Law Blog and Co-Counsel wrote a story on Marler of Marler Clark, ‘How a Tiny Law Firm Made Hay Out of Tainted Spinach.’ He has 97 clients related to the spinach outbreak, and has filed 8 lawsuits against spinach growers and distributors.

We just checked in with Marler, 49, who we caught on his cellphone while huffing it up the hill to his Seattle office tower from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. He says two Taco Bell-sickened New Jerseyans have contacted him, and his firm has faxed requests to the health department to confirm they’re part of the outbreak.

Darn right Marler is a machine. Marler and his office staff regularly monitor RSS feeds for any information relating to foodborne illnesses. They then publish information relating to news and outbreaks on one of 11 respective blogs, one each for the respective ‘bugs,’ i.e, E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria.

The media in preparing TV coverage for that night or newspaper coverage for the next morning gravitate to Marler’s blogs. Invariably they follow up with a phone call interview. Victims and their family members then see, hear or read about Marler in local media coverage. Who do you think they are going to call?

For this outbreak alone, Marler was in the New York Times yesterday, the Wall Street Journal today, and in gosh knows how many other newspaper, TV, and radio reports.

And how many lawyers can get the Wall Street Journal calling the defendant asking them to respond to the lawyers’ demands? The Wall Street Journal read Marler’s personal and E. coli blogs where he urges Taco Bell to pay the medical bills for victims of the outbreak. “Noting that other companies such as Dole, Jack in the Box, Odwalla, and Chi-Chi’s have advanced medical costs for outbreak victims whose illnesses were traced to their food products, Marler urges Taco Bell to ‘step up and do the right thing for their customers.’” The Wall Street Journal requested comment from Taco Bell, but haven’t heard back.

If personal injury law firms and their marketing companies know a more effective way of marketing than personal injury law blogs, I’d like to see it. Tasteful – educational – enhancement of reputation as authority – killer PR. All in one.

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