Second Lawsuit Filed Against Fig & Olive After Salmonella Outbreak

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Mark Segraves, News4

A second person has filed a lawsuit against D.C. restaurant Fig & Olive after multiple cases of salmonella were linked to the upscale eatery.

A Montgomery County woman is suing the restaurant for $250,000 after she says she came down with salmonella after eating at Fig & Olive Sept. 5. 

The lawsuit claims she ordered drinks and several food items, including truffle mushroom croquettes.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the D.C. Department of Health, has said the dishes that most likely caused customers to get sick were truffle fries and mushroom croquettes.

According to the lawsuit, the woman began to feel ill two days after eating at the restaurant and states she suffered from a week of gastrointestinal problems. She visited a doctor and tested positive for salmonella, according to the suit.

The D.C. Department of Health has confirmed at least 10 cases of salmonella and said more than 60 people became ill after eating at the restaurant in the CityCenterDC complex downtown. Another 150 possible cases were being investigated, Nesbitt said shortly after the outbreak.

The second lawsuit -- filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia -- says the woman has had intermittent pain since developing salmonella. She is suing for general pain and suffering, "loss of enjoyment of life," medical expenses, emotional distress and other damages.

The restaurant was closed for six days after the outbreak. It reopened after receiving permission from the D.C. Department of Health.

A week ago, another woman filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit on the basis of personal injury and product liability, federal court records showed. Fig & Olive declined to comment on that suit.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health confirmed it is participating in a multi-state investigation of salmonella at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood after seven people who said they ate at the restaurant were confirmed to have salmonella infections. Three restaurant employees were confirmed to have the same salmonella type.

The investigation is coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with help from the Food and Drug Administration.

Fig & Olive issued the following statement:

“Fig & Olive’s Washington D.C. City Center and Melrose Place locations are both open and doing business as usual. Our City Center location was inspected and declared safe by the Health Department there 10 days ago and has had no further incidents. About 8 days ago, we voluntarily closed our Hollywood location for a brief time after some diners and employees reported they had become sickened. We immediately hired a third party food safety firm and worked with the Public Health Department in Los Angeles to address the situation and, after taking steps to ensure that all food preparation and safety standards were being followed, that the food stocks were safe and that all employees had been screened, reopened the same day with the Health Department’s approval. We are confident we have adequately addressed the situations. We remain committed to delivering the highest quality food and excellence of preparation and service that have become the hallmark of the Fig & Olive brand.”

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