The Subway restaurant in Lombard, Illinois that is the site of a shigella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people remains closed. In the beginning of March, the restaurant first ceased operations and closed its doors to the public, pending an investigation by the Dupage County Health Department. It is now known that sick employees were working at the restaurant, handling food; given the size of the outbreak and the restaurant’s extremely long closure period, it is likely that the restaurant had multiple sick employees.
This Subway restaurant is reminiscent in scope to the Chili’s Salmonella outbreak that occurred in Vernon Hills, Illinois in June/July 2003. In the Chili’s outbreak, the Lake County Health Department ultimately determined that 28 employees of the restaurant had worked while infected, and ill, with Salmonella. Ultimately, well over 300 people were linked to the outbreak.
The Chili’s restaurant in Vernon Hills never recovered. It reopened after a long period of closure pending Lake County’s investigation, but when it finally did reopen, it had lost the faith of too many customers. Brinker Restaurants International, Chili’s corporate parent, later closed the restaurant permanently.
We currently represent 70 people as a result of illnesses contracted at the Lombard Subway. We have filed three lawsuits.