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Lawsuits Against Boston Area Chipotle Likely to Increase After Norovirus Outbreak

Chipotle is a popular Mexican restaurant chain, known for fast service and healthier options than many of its competitors. Lately, however, the restaurant is either making some seriously bad decisions or having a string of really bad luck. The most recent incident involved a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Cleveland Circle, a popular spot for Boston College students. Approximately 140 people, mostly BC students, developed severe nausea and vomiting after eating at the restaurant in early December. The outbreak of illness appears to be linked to norovirus, a highly contagious virus that is typically transmitted by contact with an infected person, or contaminated food, water, or surfaces. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.

Andrea C. Dow, the mother of one of the victims, sued Chipotle in Norfolk Superior Court this Thursday. She claims that her 16-year-old son, Alexander Keough, began throwing up within hours of eating at the Cleveland Circle restaurant on Dec. 4. By early afternoon the following day, “he was so sick he was almost catatonic,” said Dow. “He was sheet white. His heart was racing.” Keough was given fluids and anti-nausea meds at Boston Children’s Hospital. The family’s copay left them with a $350 bill, and the nightmare isn’t over yet. More than a week after the incident, Keough was still complaining of cramps and dizziness. A test confirmed that norovirus is still present in his system.

Cleveland Circle Chipotle Cited for Multiple Violations

An inspection of the Cleveland Circle Chipotle revealed several major violations, including improper heating of chicken and beef, and an employee who had been allowed to work while ill. In response to these violations, and the massive norovirus outbreak, the city ordered the location to close on Dec. 7. As of today, it has not reopened.

In an e-mailed statement, communications director for the chain, Chris Arnold said, “ As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on pending legal action. But I will note in incidents like this, we make it a priority to work with customers who have been impacted to resolve these issues.” According to Dow, her three teenage boys eat at Chipotle up to three times a week. “We believed in the brand,” she said. “I feel a little duped.”

Dow is suing for damages and reimbursement for legal and medical expenses. She cited similar outbreaks connected to Chipotle, including an E.coli outbreak that affected 52 people in nine states last month, and a norovirus outbreak in California that affected more than 200 people over the summer. “They knew about sicknesses and didn’t take proper precautions,” said Dow.

There are lawsuits pending against the Mexican restaurant chain for both of those incidents, as well as an E.coli and salmonella outbreak in Minnesota.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Injury Lawyers Serving All of Boston

When we think of injuries, images of lacerations and broken bones typically come to mind. But personal injury law covers all kinds of injuries, including emotional and physical. Food poisoning and contact with contaminated foods can cause serious injury and even death. The personal injury team at Altman & Altman, LLP has extensive experience in this area. If you’ve become ill due to the error or negligence of another party, we can help. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation