The family of a woman killed in an Athens Ohio Salmonella outbreak will file a lawsuit Monday in the Athens County Court of Common Please against the Athens-based restaurant Casa Lopez. The suit is the second filed by Seattle-based food poisoning law firm Marler Clark on behalf of victims made ill in a 2010 Salmonella outbreak.
According to the complaint, Zella Ploghoft, an 82-year-old Athens resident, ate with her family at Casa Lopez on April 30, 2010 where she and her son shared the “Special Dinner for Two”. The next day both experienced severe gastrointestinal symptoms. While her son eventually recovered, Mrs. Ploghoft spent 7 weeks in and out of hospitals and care centers, enduring a number of medical complications, including severe bodily swelling and a stroke, before passing away on June 22, 2010.
In May of 2010 the Athens Health Department began recording higher than normal incidences of Salmonella infections, prompting an investigation that linked Casa Lopez to the outbreak. Health officials observed a number of food safety violations including improper temperatures for hot and cold holding, no soap available at the employee hand washing station, no date markings on any food, and raw food stored above uncovered prepared food. In total 56 people were sickened from eating or being exposed to food from Casa Lopez.