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Highland woman infected with E. coli sues Costco over chicken salad

By Dennis Romboy  |  Posted Aug 8th, 2017 @ 3:52pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — An aspiring Broadway actress says her promising career ended when she became infected with E. coli bacteria in chicken salad bought at Costco in Lehi.

Chloe Rodgerson, 20, underwent a kidney transplant as a result of her illness that also rendered her diabetic, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Salt Lake City.

Rodgerson has undergone numerous surgeries, suffered severe headaches, seizures, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, nausea and depression.

The Highland woman faces a lifetime of health treatment and medication, and she's limited in her physical activities, according to the lawsuit. Medical care has cost $2 million, and future expenses will be in the tens of millions of dollars, the lawsuit says.

"She is likely unable (practically, if not physically) from having children," according to the complaint. "Her life and dreams of a couple years ago are gone. She can no longer hope for a career as a Broadway actor."

The lawsuit claims Costco prepared and sold "adulterated" chicken and breached its duty to prevent the food from becoming contaminated with E. coli. It seeks an unspecified amount for damages. Negotiations with the company broke down, prompting the lawsuit, Rodgerson's attorneys say.

Costco Wholesale, based in Issaquah, Washington, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Rodgerson's father bought chicken salad on two occasions in October 2015 at the Costco in Lehi. All 10 people who ate sandwiches made with the salad became ill, but Rodgerson's reaction was the worst, according to the lawsuit.

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Before becoming sick, Rodgerson had roles in plays and films, sang in three bands and performed at the Lincoln Center in New York. She graduated from Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts in American Fork, took private vocal lessons and attended theater workshops in and out of Utah.

"For Chloe, this was more than a dream; it was an obsession. And she paid the price to make her obsession come true," the lawsuit says.

Rodgerson was scheduled to start a 13-month full-time job as a Disney princess at Disney World in Orlando in December 2015. She planned to get an associate degree online and then attend Pace University in New York to further her Broadway dream, according to the suit.

In February, Rodgerson received a kidney transplant from her husband, Josh Batstone, whom she married the month before. The lawsuit says she can expect at least one future kidney transplant after the inevitable failure of her donor kidney, more dialysis and other serious health challenges.

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