The Historic Lynwood Podcast

HLT 129, Bill Marler

May 20, 2023 Kevin Lynch Season 2 Episode 129
The Historic Lynwood Podcast
HLT 129, Bill Marler
Show Notes

HLT 12 with Bill Marler

My guest today is long-time Islander, accomplished lawyer, activist, speaker, author and now film producer, Bill Marler. Bill is the lead character in the true story of the deadly E. Coli outbreak that changed the way Americans eat. Think about the ramifications of what those last four words entail. THE WAY AMERICANS EAT. If there is a single commonality that spans the gamut of our polarized society, it is that we all eat. Most of us three times a day with a couple of snacks to tide us over until breakfast, lunch or dinner. Consider a populace that is at the mercy of multi-million dollar international conglomerates to deliver to them clean, healthy, nutritious and, hopefully, affordable food products. Obviously the chances of something going wrong along that trail from farm to family are high. Sky high.

Back in 1993 Bill was involved with the initial outbreak of this food-borne virus that eventually was traced to a Seattle area Jack in the Box fast food restaurant, where it took the lives of four innocent kids and sickened hundreds others in seven states. The rest, as they say (whom ever they are), is litigation, regulation, medical, food industry and social history. Here is the lineup, the cast of characters involved in this epic story as documented by author Jeff Benedict in his best-selling tome, Poisoned

William “Bill” Marler, Attorney who sued Jack in the Box on behalf of poisoned children

Brianne Kiner, Nine year old E. coli victim

Suzanne Kiner, Mother of Brianne.

Robert Nugget, President of Jack in the Box.

David Theno, VP of Product Safety for Jack in the Box.

Bob Piper, Attorney for Jack in the Box.

Denis Stearns, Attorney for Jack in the Box

And a host of others in law, medicine, politics, and big business. The book takes us on a wild ride, spanning three decades of ticking-bomb suspense as Bill and his team fight the Goliath’s of a trillion dollar industry. That noble struggle has manifest in the production of a Netflix documentary which we will have the honor of premiering on July 2. I will repeat that:


I don’t know about you, but I find this to be extraordinary news. And after reading the fabulous book and now sitting down for an hour conversation with Bill about all that went down, my long dormant propensity towards activism and championing the cause of those that are easy prey for unscrupulous capitalists, it gives me a glimmer of hope to know that there are still fearless soldiers like Bill leading this crusade on behalf of kids, and indeed everyone who eats, be it double cheese burgers to garden variety green salads. 

Our screening of Poisoned will take place, one show only, and free, on July 2 at 5:30. Reservation tickets will go on sale Monday. I will announce the location, provide a link and talk more about this very special event in Monday’s Coming Attractions episode, right here on the Historic Lynwood Podcast. The big night doubles as a fund-raiser for The Helpline House, meaning that you can donate, or bring canned goods to assist those locals in need. Bill’s company, Marler-Clark has also primed the donation pump with a healthy 10K opening contribution. Author Jell Benedict will also be on hand with a hundred copies of the book and join Bill on film introduction and post screening Q&A. Lastly, a particular local politician of world renown, and also a fan of our humble single screener, will be here to round out this celebrity panel of people who make a difference. I’m pumped. 

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