Casa Romero customer claims salmonella

By Steve Gonzalez | Jul 25, 2006

John Laughlin filed suit against Casa Romero in East Alton in Madison County Circuit Court July 19 claiming the food he was served on May 21, 2005, was tainted with salmonella.

According to the complaint, shortly after Laughlin ate at the restaurant he became ill with a high fever, stomach cramping and diarrhea which caused him to go to the emergency room at Saint Anthony's in Alton.

"On May 27, 2005, lab results from the testing confirmed that the plaintiff had salmonella poisoning," the complaint states.

On June 2, 2005, Laughlin had to return to the hospital due to an extremely large and painful abscess that developed.

"Testing revealed the abscess to be an antibiotic resistant staph infection that lasted through July," the complaint states.

Laughlin claims due to the extreme pain and discomfort he could not sit, could only lie on his stomach and was unable to work.

The Madison County Health Department reported on June 13, 2005, that there were 22 confirmed cases of salmonella that had been linked to Casa Romero.

This is the fifth suit since the announcement.

Laughlin claims Casa Romero failed to thoroughly cook animal products, failed to maintain clean and separate working areas for raw animal products and non-animal products, failed to teach its staff basic food safety and that some employees failed to wash their hands after handling raw animal products and after using the restroom.

Represented by David and Richard Bender of Clayton, Laughlin is seeking damages in excess of $100,000, attorney fees and costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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