An update was announced today on the DuPage County Health Department’s investigation into the Shigella outbreak stemming from the still-closed Subway restaurant located in Lombard, Illinois.  The number of confirmed cases of Shigella now stands at 78, with 11 of those injured requiring hospitalization.

According to the article in today’s Nation’s Restaurant News, "Dave Hass, public information officer for the DuPage County Health Department, said the Lombard Subway remains closed after two weeks, as his agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health continue to investigate the cluster of Shigella illnesses. Ten of the 11 people hospitalized as a result of their illness have been discharged, he said."

Les Winograd, a spokesman for Doctor’s Associates Inc. of Milford, Conn., franchisor of the 32,502-unit Subway chain, said the franchisee at the Lombard store voluntary closed the restaurant after learning of the outbreak of illnesses.

"The chain’s incident management team, along with the franchisee, and members of our regional office, have been working closely with the health department to aid in the investigation, which is still ongoing," Winograd said. He added that the source of the outbreak has not been determined.

In a related development, the Seattle-based law firm of Marler Clark, in conjunction with Newland, Newland and Newland of Arlington Heights, Ill., has filed three lawsuits against the owner of the Lombard Subway at 1009 E. Roosevelt Road on behalf of people allegedly sickened after eating at the restaurant.

The lawsuits filed by Marler Clark and Newland, Newland & Newland in the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County accuse the Lombard restaurant’s operator, Neel Subway Inc., of being negligent in allegedly selling adulterated food or drink in breach of implied and expressed warranties. The suits seek unspecified compensation for actual, consequential and incidental damages tied to the illnesses suffered by the plaintiffs, which include three adults and a child.