In South Florida, the family of Courtney Rohn, a 32-year-old mother who died from sepsis last January, is suing El Toro Taco in Homestead for her death. Their Florida wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, claims that Rohn, who had eaten taken food from the restaurant, sustained the bacterial infection because she was the victim of food poisoning.
Her stepfather and mother, Walter and Margaret Armstrong, are accusing the restaurant of negligence, strict liability, and violating the Florida Food Safety Act. Per their Miami-Dade wrongful death complaint, on January 4, 2009, Rohn ordered food for herself and her son. She then woke up the next day experiencing severe symptoms of food poisoning. She went to the Homestead Hospital emergency room where she went into cardiac arrest and died three hours later.
Rohn experienced sepsis, which is a kind of body inflammation that can occur when there is an infection. It can also lead to organ failure and organ damage. In about 20-35% of cases, sepsis can be fatal.
After she died, Florida inspectors issued 53 safety and sanitation violation citations to El Toro Taco. 35 of the violations, they noted, could result in illness, food contamination, or environmental damage. The Miami-Dade lawsuit against the restaurant accuses the facility of neglecting to operate and maintain the restaurant in a reasonable and safe manner, failing to comply with the appropriate health codes, as well not offering food considered fit for people to eat. The lawsuit notes that employees were inadequately trained to properly and safely handle, prepare, and serve food and the premise was not free of rodent or insect infestation.
Amy Hernandez, who is one of the restaurant owners, said that they don’t think that Rohn died from food poisoning.
Restaurants can be held liable for Florida personal injury or wrongful death if a restaurant patron gets sick from eating the food served on the premise. Restaurant employees must be trained to handle, store, and serve food in a manner that won’t compromise anyone’s health. This includes maintaining a sanitary environment and making sure that food isn’t spoiled and is cooked properly.
Food Poisoning Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Florida, About Lawsuits, August 20, 2009
Lawsuit: Woman died after eating tainted takeout food in Homestead, Miami Herald, August 15, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Sepsis (Blood Infection), eMedicineHealth