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The family of 3-year-old Hunter Tallent, who was hospitalized with E. coli during a 2011 outbreak, is suing the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Conservation.
The lawsuit, which was sent to the North Carolina Industrial Commission Wednesday, claims that Hunter's injury was the "direct and proximate result of negligence of the State of North Carolina."
The lawsuit goes on to claim that the State had a "duty to the claimant, his family and the general public to keep the State Fairground, and in particular, the Kelly Building, in a reasonably safe condition."
The lawsuit claims the State breached this duty in a number of different ways, including "cleaning animal containment areas inside the Kelly building in a manner that disbursed E. coli to multiple surfaces," "encouraging eating and drinking inside the contaminated Kelly building," "providing inadequate hand-washing or sanitation stations for the public inside the Kelly building," and by "failing to adhere to the State Fair's own guidelines as to animal exhibitions and waste material clean up."
Hunter's mother, Lindsay Tallent, said in October, "We're still paying for the medical bills… We used our savings to pay for a majority of them but they are still coming in."
The family is asking the State to pay damages in the amount of $500,000.
There were 25 identified cases of E. coli linked to the fair, according to the NCDAC.
Hunter's family announced in late 2012 that they planned on suing the State, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the manager of the State Fair, and others.
"It's the only way to do it," Family Attorney Sean Cobourn told WBTV in October. He added, "Hunter and his family have enormous bill. He was sickened through the negligence of the State in our opinion, and they need to pay for it – simple as that."