Attorneys Bill Marler and Drew Falkenstein of Marler Clark, the nation’s only law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, have filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Benton County, Arkansas on behalf of married couple Delida Groom and James Groom. Mrs. Groom was visiting the area when she was sickened with Shigellosis after consuming food from Salsarita’s Restaurant located in the Wal-Mart Home Office Café in Bentonville, Arkansas. Case number is CV 14-1029-1.
In late June 2014, the Arkansas State Health Department announced that an outbreak of Shigella had occurred at the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas. At or about the time of the announcement, Salsarita’s restaurant had temporarily closed its doors. The health department has stated that 275 cases of Shigellosis have occurred in nine states as part of this outbreak. After investigation, health officials indicated that Salsarita’s restaurant was the source of the outbreak. The outbreak stemmed from a few simple and preventable violations; some of which included employees not washing their hands and employees touching ready-to-eat food without wearing gloves.
In June 2014, Mrs. Groom traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit her parents. While in Arkansas, on Friday, June 13, 2014, she attended a luncheon that included multiple foods from the Wal-Mart Home Office Café, including chips, salsa, and other items produced at the Salsarita’s restaurant located in the Café. The following evening, June 14, 2014, Mrs. Groom began to feel slightly fevered, light-headed, and nauseated. Over the next several days, her symptoms spiraled and included bloody diarrhea and severe gastrointestinal issues. She was later given treatment for metabolic disturbances given her immense gastrointestinal losses and hospitalized in the ICU for several days receiving critical care. Mrs. Groom developed long-term complications and continues to suffer from the effects of the Shigellosis illness.
“After thousands of cases, I am still amazed at how these outbreaks start,” said Marler. “Washing your hands and putting on gloves is not rocket science and it only takes a minute or two.”
Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Most who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. The diarrhea is often bloody. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days. Persons with Shigellosis in the United States rarely require hospitalization. A severe infection with high fever may be associated with seizures in children less than 2 years old.