Salmonella lawsuit filed against Old South Restaurant

SEATTLE – Marler Clark, the Seattle attorneys nationally recognized for the successful representation of victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, and Roger Jellenik, a respected Camden, South Carolina attorney, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Old South Restaurant in Camden. The lawsuit was filed in Kershaw County Circuit Court on behalf of Harry Gastrich, a New Richmond, Ohio resident who became ill with Salmonellosis after eating at the Old South restaurant on May 22, 2005.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Tuesday that 293 people had reported symptoms of foodborne illness after eating at the Old South Restaurant. Mr. Gastrich was one of 51 people who were hospitalized due to their foodborne illness. According to the Kershaw County Coroner, one person died due to the effects of Salmonella food poisoning. DHEC continues to investigate the food-item, or items, that were contaminated.

“I’ve represented hundreds of people in lawsuits against buffet-type restaurants, and what the health department uncovers during its investigation never ceases to amaze me,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “I’ve seen outbreaks linked to the cross-contamination of watermelon and Jell-O, and dozens of other items. It’ll be interesting to see what DHEC turns up.”

According to the complaint, Mr. Gastrich ate at the Old South Restaurant with other family members who were in Camden to celebrate his grandson’s graduation. Twelve hours after eating at Old South on Sunday, May 22, Mr. Gastrich became ill with symptoms of a Salmonella infection, including vomiting, painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Mr. Gastrich sought medical attention on May 23, and was admitted to the hospital, where he remained for the next two days.

The lawsuit states that Old South Restaurant owed a duty to Mr. Gastrich to “refrain from selling its food product[s] . . . in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer.”

“Nobody expects to go to a restaurant and be served food that will land them in the hospital – or worse,” Marler concluded.

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness outbreaks since 1993 when William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box. The firm has litigated against such buffet-type restaurants as Sizzler, Golden Corral, and King Garden.

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