Norwalk's Casa Fiesta sued over salmonella sickness

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By MIKE FITZPATRICK | Tuesday, July 7, 2009 8:40 AM EDT


A man who claims he was sick for eight days after eating steak at Casa Fiesta last April is suing the restaurant.

Mark Sanders suffered "stomach pain, diarrhea, blood in his stool, pain in his legs, pain in his arms and a general malaise," according to a lawsuit filed in Huron County.

Sanders alleges he ate at the restaurant, located at 344 Milan Ave., Norwalk, with his fiance and children. Sanders' fiance also became ill and suffered blurred vision as a result, said Sanders' attorney, John D. Allton. She also filed suit against the restaurant.

Allton said his client tried to settle with the restaurant out of court. When that failed, they opted to sue.

Sanders was one of 36 individuals who contracted salmonella muenchen after eating at the restaurant last April, according to the Huron County Health Department. The number may actually have been higher, but 28 people who exhibited symptoms consistent with salmonella muenchen after eating at Casa Fiesta during the same time frame chose not to be tested for the bacteria.

The agent for Casa Fiesta, identified in the filing as Gina Dougherty, did not return a call for comment.

Sanders was treated at Fisher-Titus Medical Center and also evaluated by the Huron County Health Department, according to the suit. Because he worked in the food service industry, he had to find another job after he tested positive for salmonella, even after he was symptom-free, said Allton.

He's asking for $2,639.47 in medical bills and $1,151.75 in lost wages, as well as damages that could be in excess of $25,000.

"Mark's biggest problem was he couldn't get back to work," said Allton.

The suit claims Casa Fiesta's negligence led to Sanders' illness.

"The investigation of the Huron County Health Department indicates that the cause of the contamination was either improper handling of food by the defendant's employees, or their failure to properly wash their hands after using the restroom," the suit states.



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