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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Easter Update Alamosa Salmonella Cases Top 180 – Who is Responsible and How Much?

As of today, 183 cases had been reported in Alamosa.  A city spokeswoman says of those, 57 were confirmed by lab testing, and nine people were hospitalized.

The Alamosa News continues to cover the rising toll of what appears to be Salmonella-tainted tap water – “More salmonella cases reported.”  According to the paper:

Salmonella has not been definitively linked to the Alamosa municipal water supply but the City of Alamosa is taking precautions because one site in the city’s water system tested positive for coliform bacteria and city officials decided not to take any chances with public health. The contaminated sample is undergoing further tests.
Alamosa County Emergency Operations Center Public Information Officer Connie Ricci said that by late Thursday the number of lab-confirmed cases of salmonella rose to 47 in addition to 76 cases that met the clinical definition for salmonella but had not been confirmed through laboratory tests.

Interesting fact – Let us assume that the Salmonella is coming from the Alamosa City water.  And, let us assume that the parents of the sick and hospitalized children seek compensation.  What result?  Interestingly, under Colorado Law (C.R.S. 24-10-106) the city would not be immune from liability (not able to sue them), but any damages awarded would be capped at $150,000 per person and a total of $600,000 per incident.  So, the more sick people, the less the city has to pay per person. Interesting incentive to NOT poison your citizens.

  • Karen

    I am currently a resident of Alamosa, but thankfully have been salmonella free thus far. Friends of mine have gotten the bug and I was wondering if there is a group lawsuit in progress, or does that have to wait until the definite source of the problem is determined?