Benton Restaurant Sued by Salmonella Outbreak Victim

SEATTLE – Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm nationally recognized for the successful representation of victims of foodborne illness, and Gibson & Gibson, a respected Benton, Arkansas law firm, filed a Salmonella lawsuit Thursday against Santa Fe Foods, owner of the Café Santa Fe restaurant in Benton. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dana Hendricks, a Saline County resident, who became ill with Salmonella after eating at the Café Santa Fe restaurant in April.

The lawsuit, which is based on the Arkansas Product Liability Act of 1979, alleges that Ms. Hendricks became ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection two days after eating at the Café Santa Fe. She sought medical attention, and submitted a stool sample to the local health department. The stool culture later returned positive for Salmonella.

“We filed this lawsuit because we feel certain that Dana’s illness could have been prevented if the restaurant had taken proper precautions during food preparation,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark.

In the complaint, attorneys state that under the Arkansas Product Liability Act the Café Santa Fe owed a duty to Ms. Hendricks to serve a product that was fit for human consumption, healthful, and suitable for all persons.

“Clearly, it wasn’t,” Marler continued. “Nobody walks into a restaurant expecting to be served food that contains a potentially deadly pathogen.”


BACKGROUND: The attorneys at Marler Clark have extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illness. The firm has successfully represented victims of Salmonella poisoning related to contaminated sprouts, cantaloupe, cereal, orange juice, and other foods. The firm has represented over 1,000 victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks since William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million E. coli settlement with Jack in the Box in 1993. Marler Clark has litigated against such entities as Chili’s, Golden Corral, and Sun Orchard after their food products were determined to be the source of Salmonella outbreaks.

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More about the Cafe Santa Fe Salmonella outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.