Marler Clark, Seattle Women, Sue Ethiopian Restaurant over E. coli Outbreak

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Marler Clark filed a lawsuit today on behalf of 2 women who allege they became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating at an Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle's Central District.

Bill Marler is the nation's leading attorney representing victims of E. coli outbreaks.

Bill Marler, E. coli Attorney

How can a restaurant owner or operator expect to serve safe food if employees don’t have the proper facilities to wash their hands?

An E. coli lawsuit was filed today against Ambassel Restaurant, an Ethiopian restaurant located in Seattle’s Central District that is alleged to be the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among restaurant patrons in February. The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court (13-2-15592-3 SEA) on behalf of two Seattle women who fell ill with E. coli infections after eating at the restaurant by Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness.

According to the complaint, the two plaintiffs dined at Ambassel restaurant on February 8 and February 15, respectively. Both women fell ill with symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection, including bloody diarrhea, within 5 days of eating at the restaurant and sought medical care. Both women submitted stool samples that court documents say later returned positive for a strain of E. coli O157:H7 that was indistinguishable from the strain isolated from other E. coli outbreak victims’ stool samples. The complaint states that Ambassel restaurant was closed by the Seattle-King County Public Health Department on March 6, 2013 after the agency determined that food served at the restaurant had caused the E. coli outbreak.

During a March 6 inspection of the restaurant, the health department cited Ambassel for multiple critical food safety violations, including bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, inadequate hand washing facilities and improper cleaning/sanitizing of food contact surfaces used for raw and ready-to-eat foods. According to inspection reports available online, Ambassel had been cited for inadequate hand washing facilities—a critical food-safety violation—5 times since 2010.

“How can a restaurant owner or operator expect to serve safe food if employees don’t have the proper facilities to wash their hands?” asked William Marler, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Marler and his law firm, Marler Clark, have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illnesses in the 20 years since the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak in the Pacific Northwest (Pierce County Superior Court No. 93-2-00930-1). The lawyers have recovered over $600 million for victims of foodborne illnesses such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria.

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