N.C. BBQ Joint Faces Wrongful Death Suit

     (CN) – A Lexington, N.C., barbecue restaurant was slapped with a wrongful death suit after one of its customers allegedly died from Salmonella contracted from its goods.
     George Allen, a 94-year-old widower, was said to like nothing more than going out to dinner with his caretaker, Vickie Frye. According to a complaint filed in Davie County Superior Court last month, on the evening of June 16, he and Frye went to the Tarheel Q restaurant, where they both ate BBQ salad.
     A few days later, Allen became ill and within hours developed “ongoing, effusive diarrhea,” the complaint says.
     He eventually went to his primary physician, who immediately sent him to a local hospital. It was there that a stool culture taken from him tested positive for salmonella. Although Allen briefly rallied, he died of acute renal failure due to Salmonella gastroenteritis on June 27, the complaint says.
     According to court documents, the Davidson County Health Department, North Carolina Division of Publish Health, and the Davie County Health Department, began investigating a Salmonella outbreak linked to Tarheel after at least 30 of its patron reporting symptoms ranging from diarrhea. to abdominal pain, to fever, nausea and vomiting.
     All of those who became sick ate at the restaurant between June 6 and June 21.
     “As of the filing of this lawsuit, North Carolina’s Division of Public Health has identified 267 Tarheel Q Salmonella victims,” the complaint says. “Of the victims, 58% are male and 42% are between the ages of 20 and 49. Most of the victims live in North Carolina, with the largest number residing in Davidson and Davie Counties.”
     Of these, “[a]pproximately 9% of the victims have been hospitalized,” it adds.
     The complaint says that while the authorities have yet to determine the cause of the outbreak, Tarheel Q has been cited “numerous times in recent years for failing keep foods at proper temperatures and for employee hygiene and sanitary issues.”
     To date at least six other lawsuits have been filed in connection with the Salmonella outbreak.
     Allen’s family seeks compensatory and punitive damages on claims of wrongful death and strict products liability.
     It is represented by Henry “Hank” Van Hoy II of Ron Simon & Associates of Houston, Texas.
     Representatives of Tarheel Q could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. However, the owners have previously apologized over the situation and vowed to regain the public’s trust.

%d bloggers like this: