1st lawsuit filed over foodborne illness in Ariz. - New York News

1st lawsuit filed over foodborne illness in Ariz.

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PHOENIX -

A customer has filed a lawsuit against a Mexican restaurant in Litchfield Park over an outbreak of bloody diarrhea.

The suit filed Monday says Federico's Mexican Food restaurant was negligent in serving tainted food.

11 of the 15 people diagnosed with bloody diarrhea last week said they had eaten at the Federico's restaurant.

8 of those people were sent to a hospital.

State health department investigators determined that the E. coli bacteria was responsible for the illnesses.

A Seattle attorney who specializes in class-action food-safety lawsuits is representing 5 of the people who got sick.

Attorney Bill Marler says there may still be some victims who haven't been identified by Maricopa County Health Inspectors.

"Some of these folks were hospitalized as recently as today and they haven't been counted in the system," says Marler."

He says the five cases he is representing are some of the most extreme.

"Two of the children are in Phoenix Children's Hospital in severe distress, both have developed acute kidney failure, one is on dialysis and the other is undergoing a blood transfusion."

Another victim - Bryan Clayton - filed the suit against the owners of Federico's in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Clayton says he suffered severe gastrointestinal problems and is seeking compensation for damages from Federico's.

"The medical bills that some of these kids will be facing will be hundreds of thousands and future complications in the millions of dollars. This could potentially be a $25 to $30 million problem for the restaurant and supplier."

Related story: Diarrhea outbreak investigated in Phoenix area

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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