Young Man One of 45 Sickened in the Outbreak

The first lawsuit stemming from an outbreak of Salmonella at Casa Lopez Restaurant in Athens, OH was filed today in the Court of Common Pleas. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Athens County resident Tyler Nay by his attorneys: Bill Marler of food safety law firm Marler Clark and Kate Ryan of Cincinnati-based Ulmer-Berne.

On April 30, nineteen-year-old Tyler Nay ate at Casa Lopez with his mother, who was visiting him for Ohio University Mom’s weekend. By early the next morning, he was suffering from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, chills, muscle aches, and headache. He sought medical help at the ER of Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital, and was treated and released. When his symptoms continued to worsen, he returned to the hospital and was admitted. A culture done while he was in the hospital revealed that he was infected with Salmonella. He remained hospitalized for four days.

The Athens City-County Health Department noticed a sharp uptick in Salmonella infection in early May 2010, and were able to trace the outbreak back to Casa Lopez, located at 1017 East State Street in Athens. At least 45 people had confirmed illnesses in the outbreak, with hundreds likely sickened who did not get tested.

“The CDC estimates that for every confirmed Salmonella illness in an outbreak, another 38.6 are never culture-confirmed,” said Mr. Nye’s attorney, Bill Marler. “Most people with Salmonella never know they have it, and try to ‘tough it out’ as a stomach flu, but it’s important to get tested so that you know what you are dealing with. Salmonella can have some very serious long-term consequences.”