A Utah woman is suing Costco over a chicken salad that left her seriously ill, with permanent effects on her health.
Chloe Rodgerson, 20, is suing the company after she ate a rotisserie chicken salad that was infected with E. coli bacteria in 2015, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Rodgerson, who had dreamed of becoming a Broadway actress, will not be physically capable of working full time because of her condition, according to the suit.
Rodgerson says her kidneys stopped functioning because of her E. coli infection, which necessitated a transplant and left her with diabetes. She has reportedly already racked up over $2 million in medical bills, and her future medical expenses are projected to reach tens of millions of dollars.
"She is likely unable (practically, if not physically) from having children," says the lawsuit. "Her life and dreams of a couple years ago are gone. She can no longer hope for a career as a Broadway actor."
Nineteen people were infected during the same 2015 E. coli outbreak, which an investigation suggested likely came from Costco's chicken salad, and five were hospitalized, according to Delish.
Rodgerson reportedly developed a complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome from the E. coli infection, which endangered her brain and kidneys. Rodgerson says she underwent multiple surgeries, including the removal of her large intestine and a kidney transplant from her now-husband.
Costco voluntarily removed the chicken salad from its stores after the outbreak, and Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., the company that produced a celery and onion blend used in the salads, recalled the blend "out of an abundance of caution," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The claims included in Rodgerson's lawsuit include strict liability and negligence.
"Right before I got sick, I had the best year of my life," said Rodgerson, who had trained in musical theater, dance and voice since she was 5 years old. "And then all of a sudden I woke up with a ventilator down my throat, literally strapped down to the hospital bed."
Before she became ill, Rodgerson says she had a job lined up in Disney World to perform as a Disney princess while working toward an online degree. Because of her illness, she reportedly couldn't take the job.
After her surgeries, Rodgerson's immune system reportedly remains weak, and she suffers from seizures. She says she is often hospitalized for dehydration.
"It's crazy to think I had such big goals like acting for film or Broadway when now my biggest goals are to make it through the month without getting admitted," said Rodgerson.