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E. Coli Outbreak At Carbon In Bridgeport Leads To First Lawsuit

By Ed Komenda | July 6, 2016 6:51am
 An investigation of the restaurant at 300 W. 26th St. showed the outbreak began there.
An investigation of the restaurant at 300 W. 26th St. showed the outbreak began there.
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DNAinfo/Ed Komenda

BRIDGEPORT — A victim of the recent E. coli outbreak at Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant.

On June 26, Chicago resident Melissa Andrews bought three chicken tacos, chips and salsa from the restaurant at 300 W. 26th St., according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Andrews, who was not immediately available for comment Tuesday, later became one of at least 25 people sickened from E. coli after eating at Carbón, the lawsuit said.

She’s now seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and her suffering, according to Bill Marler, the Seattle-based lawyer representing Andrews and four others sickened at Carbón.

Andrews “was injured both internally and externally,” the suit said. She "suffered from bodily pain and and injury and mental anguish from then until now and will continue to suffer in the future.”

A Chicago Department of Public Health investigation showed the E. coli outbreak began at Carbón, but it’s unknown if the illness-sparking bacteria started with a particular food item or a sick employee.

As of Tuesday evening, health department officials did not have any update on whether the number of victims had grown. Carbón owners gathered at the restaurant Tuesday morning would not comment on the outbreak.

Four days after eating at the restaurant, Andrews felt sick.

The next day, she felt worse, with “severe abdominal cramping,” the suit said.

On June 28, Andrews went to the hospital for a body scan, and doctors “noticed significant inflammation in her colon and some inflammation in her appendix,” the suit said.

Stomach pain and severe hydration forced Andrews to stay at the hospital overnight. Doctors put her on a regimen of IV fluids, antibiotics and morphine to ease her pain.

Andrews was not able to eat solid food until July 1, when doctors discharged her.

“The plaintiff continues to slowly recover,” the suit said.

Carbón voluntarily closed until a health department investigation is complete. As a precaution, owners have also closed their second location at 810 N. Marshfield Ave. In addition, the restaurant canceled plans to participate in this year's Taste of Chicago festival.

Read Andrews' full lawsuit here:

Lawsuit Against Carbón

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