MN man files the fourth lawsuit against Chipotle after being hospitalized due to his severe Salmonellosis infection; Chipotle replaces distributor that provided contaminated tomatoes to the restaurant.

As of October 7, 2015, Marler Clark LLP, The Food Safety Law Firm, has filed its fourth lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. William D. Marler, managing partner at Marler Clark, is representing Minnesota resident, Kent Smith, for damages related to Salmonella poisoning after consuming food sold and prepared by the Chipotle restaurant located at 1021 Red Fox Boulevard, in Shoreview, MN. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is a Delaware establishment that operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants nationwide. The case number is 0:15-cv-03812.

On September 5, 2015, Ramsey County resident, Kent Smith, dined at the Shoreview Chipotle restaurant. Four days later, on September 9, Smith began to suffer from severe gastrointestinal symptoms. On September 12, Smith’s symptoms were unrelenting, and he was hospitalized at the Bemidji Medical Center Sanford. There, he was treated for his symptoms, and was released two days later, on September 14.

Following his discharge from the hospital, Kent has continued to experience gastrointestinal dysfunction, and receives follow up medical treatment. The stool sample taken at the hospital ultimately tested positive for Salmonella Newport, the same strain found in tomatoes that are linked to the current outbreak stemming from local Chipotle restaurants.

Since late August 2015, a total of 64 illnesses and 22 locations within Minnesota have now been tied to this outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported that 9 individuals have been hospitalized due to the severity of their symptoms.

“Chipotle is the type of brand people associate with local, healthy ingredients, not Salmonella,” said Bill Marler, food safety lawyer representing Kent Smith. “Unfortunately when a case like this happens, that brand becomes tarnished. Customers now might think twice before grabbing a burrito.”

Because of the outbreak, Chipotle has recently changed their supplier of tomatoes and have removed all of the tainted product from their restaurants. The Minnesota Chipotle restaurant now buys tomatoes from a new distributor; however, the origin of the contaminated tomatoes has not been released.

However, this is not the first foodborne illness outbreak Chipotle has seen in the past few years. Aside from the current Salmonella outbreak, various Chipotle restaurants across the nation have been linked to several serious outbreaks of E.coli, hepatitis A, Campylobacter, and Norovirus. This is the fourth lawsuit that food safety attorney, Bill Marler, has filed against Chipotle in regard to the Salmonella-tainted tomatoes.

Salmonella is the second most common foodborne illness in the United States. Approximately 1.4 million cases of Salmonella occur each year with 95% of those caused by tainted food. The acute symptoms of Salmonella include the sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea and mucous over a period of days. While there is no cure, infected persons usually recover completely, although it may take months. A small number of people experience ongoing symptoms such as joint pain, which can lead to chronic arthritis.

Marler has been an advocate for victims of foodborne illnesses since representing those made sickest by the historic outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in the early 1990s that was traced back to fast food giant, Jack in the Box. He has since represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks, and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Marler Clark attorneys have litigated foodborne illness cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against companies such as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.