A Chipotle restaurant in Sterling, Virginia voluntarily shut its doors earlier this week after several customers became ill and at least one customer ended up in the emergency room. According to officials, more than a dozen people became sick after eating at the Sterling Chipotle, located at 21031 Tripleseven Rd. Victims had reported eating salad and other fresh ingredients.
Chipotle representatives have released a statement indicating that the symptoms experienced by patients are consisted with norovirus, a highly contagious virus also referred to as food poisoning. Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines (acute gastroenteritis), as well as pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration that may persist for days. While symptoms may range in severity, they can be especially dangerous for certain people, including young children and older adults.
Norovirus outbreaks linked to restaurants may be caused by:
- Contaminated liquids or food (commonly produce)
- Contaminated surfaces
- Food workers infected with norovirus
While the restaurant temporarily closed for sanitation on Monday, June 17 and reopened on Wednesday, June 19, health officials are still looking into what caused the norovirus outbreak. A review of the restaurant’s health inspection record indicates that it’s last violation, for having fruit flies, occurred in March of 2016. In the previous year, health officials noted that employees were not informed about reporting procedures for their own health if they were exposed to or suspected of causing a food-borne disease outbreak. That same inspection noted refrigerated food that was too warm, and that the fridge was constantly open as employees prepared and stored food.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is actively investigating cases of food poisoning connected to Chipotle. If you or a loved one became ill, you may have the right to recover financial compensation for your damaged. Contact us for a FREE Consultation.
A History of Food-Borne Illness
This is not the first time a food-borne virus has caused illnesses at a Chipotle restaurant. In fact, the food chain has a history of outbreaks dating back to a multi-state outbreak of E.coli and salmonella in 2015, and was the center of a federal criminal investigation pertaining to a norovirus outbreak at one of its restaurants in California in January of 2016. In February of 2016, Chipotle closed all of its locations for a day in order to conduct food-safety training for employees.
Chipotle’s widespread outbreaks and illnesses over the past several years represent a pattern of questionable food safety practices. Because cases of food poisoning have hurt the company’s brand and bottom line, Chipotle was quick to settle lawsuits filed by more than 100 customers who became ill as a result of E.coli and norovirus outbreaks involving the restaurant.
Chipotle Food Poising Lawsuits
As health officials and Chipotle representatives continue their investigation into what caused the norovirus outbreak at the Sterling location, the fact remains that numerous customers became ill and suffered harm as a result of the restaurant’s failure to uphold its legal duty to keep patrons safe. As such, victims who suffered food poisoning may have the right to pursue a personal injury case in order to recover their damages, including their pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses, among others.
If you or someone you love recently became ill after eating at the Sterling, VA Chipotle, our award-winning lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are available to help you learn more about your rights and whether you might have a valid case. Our legal team offers FREE consultations, and serves clients throughout the DC Metro area.
To request a FREE consultation, contact us today.