When Chloe Rodgerson's dad bought rotisserie chicken salad from Costco two years ago, he had no idea what a drastic effect it would have on his daughter's life.
It turns out the chicken was contaminated with E. coli, and while all 10 of the Rodgerson's family and friends who ate the salad became temporarily sick with stomach cramping, diarrhea and gas pains, Food Safety News reports, Chloe wound up in the hospital with far more severe issues, and is still recovering today.
Chloe's attorney's have sued the Costco Wholesale Corp. for claims including strict liability and negligence. According to the CDC, 19 people were infected by the E.coli strain from Costco's chicken salad in 2015, with five hospitalized.
"Right before I got sick, I had the best year of my life," Chloe said. "And then all of a sudden I woke up with a ventilator down my throat, literally strapped down to the hospital bed."
Chloe is seeking monetary compensation for her infection, the subsequent medical bills – which have already topped $2 million – and the damage it's done to her career.
Chloe was on her way to becoming a Broadway actress, having been trained in voice, musical theater, and dance since the age of five. She continued to train at the Utah Conservatory of the Performing Arts and had a part in the movie "Twelve Dogs of Christmas II." She also an ensemble role in the Jason Robert Brown Parade performed at Lincoln Center.
According to Food Safety News, Rodgerson was headed to Disney World to perform as a Disney princess while earning an online degree. Because of her E. coli infection, she had to give the job up.
She's in the five to 10 percent of people who develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, from an E. coli infection, which puts organs like the kidney and brain at risk. According to the CDC, one other person developed HUS from the Costco chicken salad.
Rodgerson had to have her large intestine removed, undergo several surgeries, and battle staph infections from the surgeries. The nightmare continued in 2016 when doctors determined she needed a kidney transplant. Luckily, her now-husband was a match, and the surgery took place in February 2017, a month after they were married.
Since then, she has been hospitalized several times due to risk of rejection, and suffers from frequent seizures. Today, her immune system is still very weak, causing her to get sick easily, and she regularly is admitted for dehydration.
"Since I do not have a large intestine, it is hard for my body to keep the right amount of fluids necessary for kidney function," she told Delish.
Quick trip to our vacation home this weekend 🤗 happy to be back tho pic.twitter.com/enZSq7ambT- Chloe Batstone (@chloeoloren) July 31, 2017
The federal court complaint says Rodgerson is looking at a lifetime of medical bills and visits, will not be able to work full time, and likely will not be able to work as a performer, given her skills have been "permanently diminished."
"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," Chloe says.
She's hoping Costco, who has yet to comment on the matter, will comply with the lawsuit.
"I have been drowning in hospital bills and they have been silent on the issue."
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