EXCLUSIVE: Bay Area family files lawsuit over E. coli outbreak

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Vallejo family is now the second in the state of California to file a lawsuit claiming they were sickened by romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli, and they spoke exclusively Wednesday with ABC7 News.

It all started on April 8 when Shannon Hunter and her daughter LaTyra bought pizza and salads at a Papa Murphy's restaurant in American Canyon and took the food to their Vallejo home to share with two other members of the family.

VIDEO: Girl sickened by lettuce in E. coli outbreak speaks out
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A Vallejo girl sickened by E. coli is speaking out after recovering from the illness.

A few days later, Shannon's 14-year-old daughter TyDavionna woke up with severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. "It was painful," she said. "I was crawling around on the floor. It felt like I was about to die," said TyDavionna.

The next day, her older sister LaTyra began to suffer similar symptoms. Her doctor told her it was probably an upset stomach, but when the symptoms continued she went to the emergency room where tests showed she had ingested E. coli bacteria.

RELATED: CDC says E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has sickened 149, killed 1

Worse yet, LaTyra's three-year-old daughter ate the lettuce and came down with Hemolytic-uremic syndrome or HUS.

That's a disease that destroys red blood cells and causes the kidneys to malfunction. She spent six days in the hospital and required two blood transfusions.

Doctors are still monitoring her blood pressure and kidney function. "I have to keep taking her back to get her blood drawn and her blood pressure checked," said LaTyra.

RELATED: Why the majority of romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak cases have been in women

The family has hired an attorney from Houston to file suit against Papa Murphy's alleging that they received a shipment of romaine lettuce connected to an outbreak of E. coli that's killed one person in California and sickened 149 people in 29 states.

The suit does not specify damages. It is being filed today in Solano County Court. Their attorney Jory Lange of Houston says this is about public safety. "When you're looking at your romaine lettuce there's nothing you can do to tell you if it is safe or not."

Except for the 3-year-old, the rest of the Hunter family has recovered from their illness.

Papa Murphy's has released this statement: "The health and safety of our customers is our highest priority and we strive to take every precaution to ensure our products meet strict safety and quality standards. Immediately upon hearing the announcement by the CDC on April 13th, and out of an abundance of caution, we directed our system to remove product from our stores and inventory. Unfortunately, we cannot comment on any pending legal matters."
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