Marler Clark files fourth lawsuit against Chili's


Man alleges permanent injuries as a result of his salmonella infection

VERNON HILLS – Marler Clark today filed its fourth lawsuit against Brinker Restaurant Corporation, owner of the now-closed Vernon Hills Chili’s Grill & Bar. The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court on behalf of Claude McDermott, who became seriously ill with a Salmonella infection, and suffered permanent injury, after eating catered, take-out food from Chili’s. The Chili’s “Party Platters” were served as part of a celebration at work, a celebration turned-bad that resulted in Claude and a host of co-workers falling ill.

After holding off filing a lawsuit in order to give Chili’s a chance to “do the right thing” for him and its hundreds of injured customers, McDermott decided that it was now time to take a stand. He stated: “I truly believe that management made the decision to risk the health of its patrons in order to meet corporate ‘bottom line’ goals of profit. Greed took the place of caution in this debacle, ultimately leading to human suffering which for some may last a life time.”

Today’s lawsuit, in addition to seeking compensation for past medical bills, and general damages for pain and suffering, seeks punitive damages, alleging Chili’s “acted in a grossly negligent manner” and “wanton and willful acts were committed with a conscious and reckless indifference to existing circumstances and conditions, and to the rights and safety of others, with such acts including, but not limited to, preparing and serving food to the public despite having a broken dish-washing machine without sanitizer in it, having no hot water available for employees to wash their hands on one day, and no water at all for part of a second day. Such acts were also violations of the law.”

Further explaining his decision to file today’s lawsuit, McDermott said: “The final slap in the face of the consumers that made this company profitable is the way in which Chili’s refuses to own up to its responsibilities. The company has a duty and obligation to make things right with the people it injured, and so far we haven’t even received an apology.”

Denis Stearns, the Marler Clark partner handling the Chili’s lawsuits added that, “It is not for lack of trying that we keep needing to file these lawsuits. You would think that for all the lost sales, and damage to its reputation, that someone at Chili’s would realize, like so many other restaurant chains hit by an outbreak have realized, that quickly offering fair settlements is not only the right thing to do from an ethical perspective, it’s the right thing to do from a business perspective. Jack in the Box isn’t the hugely successful company it is today because it drug it heels in reaching settlements with its injured customers.”

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BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has achieved great success representing victims in large outbreaks across the country over the last ten years. The firm has obtained record verdicts and settlements on behalf of thousands of people infected with E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, hepatitis A, Listeria, Shigella, and Campylobacter. Total recoveries to date on behalf of such victims exceed $100 million.

To learn more about Salmonella, visit the Marler Clark sponsored Web site about Salmonella, or about Salmonella Litigation.

More about the Chili's Salmonella outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.