It wasn’t me: Fig & Olive says third party responsible for Salmonella outbreak

I’m no lawyer, but given strict liability in the U.S., Fig & Olive, is taking an, uh, unique approach.

wasn't.meThe restaurant chain Fig & Olive denies it was responsible for an outbreak of Salmonella at its DC location that the city’s health department said sickened more than 60 people.

Fig & Olive “denies that it was negligent or that its actions caused damage to plaintiff” in regard to several counts in a complaint filed in September by Laura Donahue, an Arlington woman who ate croquettes with truffle oil at the restaurant and was hospitalized.

“If plaintiff sustained the injuries and damages alleged,” the New York chain writes in its answer, “said injuries and damages were due to the acts or omissions of a third party over which this defendant had no control.”

The restaurant’s DC location was closed for six days while the DC Department of Health investigated. Fig & Olive’s West Hollywood, California, location was linked to the outbreak later in September. The DC Department of Health and Department of Forensic Sciences told Washingtonian at the time that the Centers for Disease Control had “confirmed that this is now a multiple state investigation tied to Fig and Olive food establishments.”

Familiar with strict liability? Schnucks sued over E. coli outbreak

A woman from St. Charles County is seeking damages from Schnucks and three companies in its supply chain after suffering kidney failure and long-term health problems from an E. coli bacterial infection linked to romaine lettuce sold at the Arsenal Street store in St. Louis, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in St. Louis circuit court.

lettuce.skull.e.coli.O145The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Romaine lettuce from salad bars at nine Schnucks locations was the most common denominator in an E. coli outbreak in the fall of 2011 that sickened 60 people in 10 states. The contamination probably occurred at a farm before the lettuce reached the stores, according to a federal health investigation.

The plaintiff, Lisa Bryant, spent a week in the hospital and required blood transfusions while being treated for the illness after eating the lettuce in October 2011. She has accrued more than $85,000 in medical bills, according to her attorney, Bill Marler of Seattle.

About a dozen lawsuits related to the outbreak have been filed against Schnucks. Lori Willis, a spokeswoman for Schnucks, said, “It is our position that Schnucks holds no liability on this matter, and we intend to aggressively defend that position in court.”