WICHITA, KAN. -- Stephanie Smith and Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation jointly announced they have settled the lawsuit filed by Ms. Smith in December 2009. A 22-year-old former dance instructor from Cold Spring, Minn., Ms. Smith sued for the severe injuries she suffered as a result of an E. coli O157:H7 infection in the fall of 2007.

The parties' confidential settlement now will be presented to the federal court for approval and dismissal of all claims.

Cargill acknowledged responsibility for her injuries since first learning of them and has been providing financial help to her and her family. Ms. Smith and Cargill agree the confidential settlement will provide for Ms. Smith's care throughout her life. She is presently paralyzed from the waist down, but her goal is to dance again.

Cargill said it deeply regrets Ms. Smith's injuries and is also hopeful for her continued rehabilitation. The company has invested more than $1 billion in ongoing meat-science research and new food-safety technologies and interventions to eliminate E. coli and other naturally occurring pathogens that can lead to foodborne illnesses.