Tanja Dzinovic was among the nearly 30 people who got sick in mid- June, including several who reported their illnesses after eating at Baker Street Restaurant & Pub, 6208 Green Bay Road.
The restaurant owners were not available for comment Friday.
According to the lawsuit, Dzinovic and her boyfriend ate at the restaurant on June 17. By June 21, Dzinovic was sick. Her symptoms worsened, until she finally went to a hospital June 24.
Tests confirmed she was infected with salmonella enteritidis, the same strain local health officials have since found in 28 other people from the Kenosha County area.
The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in Kenosha County Circuit Court, seeks damages for medical bills and pain and suffering.
Attorney Drew Falkenstein acknowledged the suit couldn’t completely make up for Dzinovic’s ordeal, particularly since she might still develop long-term gastrointestinal problems as a result of her food poisoning.
“Can any lawsuit make anybody whole? It’s the best system we’ve got. It’s the only system we’ve got,” said Falkenstein, an attorney with the Seattle-based firm Marler Clark, which specializes in representing victims of foodborne illnesses.
Restaurant not only source
Not all the people who got sick had eaten at Baker Street, said Diane Bosovich, assistant director of nursing for the Kenosha County Division of Health.
Investigators could not tell how many of the 28 people who had confirmed salmonella got sick because of food at the restaurant, Bosovich said. But, she said, enough of them had a connection to the pub to make it a focus of investigation.
Health inspectors still have not been able to track the outbreak’s source. And, Bosovich said, they might never be able to, which is not so unusual given that no food was available for testing and the bacterial infection has not been tracked to any person.
All Baker Street employees tested negative for salmonella, and the restaurant has since reopened.