Compensation claims for illnesses contracted at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Simi Valley have been filed in California following last August´s norovirus outbreak.
Last August, 234 customers of the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Simi Valley, California, contacted the Ventura County Environmental Health Division complaining of gastrointestinal illnesses. The source of their illnesses was a kitchen manager, who first displayed symptoms of an illness on August 18th, but who continued to work at the restaurant until he was diagnosed with norovirus on August 20th.
However, rather than inform the Health Division of the contamination at the time, the restaurant closed its doors for a day “due to staff shortages” and conducted a deep clean-up operation in an alleged attempt to cover up and conceal evidence of the norovirus outbreak. The norovirus outbreak was only reported to health officials once the restaurant reopened several days later.
Dozens of those affected by the kitchen manager´s negligence are making compensation claims for illnesses contracted at the Chipotle Mexican Grill. According to the lawyer handling the claims, the plaintiffs are seeking compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and additional damages. Many more customers of the restaurant may still decide to join the legal action.
The early indications are that the restaurant chain will contest the compensation claims for illnesses contracted at the Chipotle Mexican Grill. A company spokesperson said: “Generally speaking, the actions we took on the heels of this incident – including reporting it to county health officials – were appropriate.” This is despite the actions of the restaurant being the subject of a criminal investigation.
Chipotle Board Under Pressure from Investors
The restaurant company´s board of directors already have enough on their plate to deal with. Even before the compensation claims for illnesses contracted at the Chipotle Mexican Grill were filed last week at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California the company had been served with a securities lawsuit by its own shareholders claiming that the company had mislead them about the nature of its sanitary procedures.
A number of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have been attributed to poor hygiene standards at Chipotle restaurants; including an E.coli outbreak affecting twenty customers in Oregon, an outbreak of norovirus affecting 140 customers in Boston and an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in Minnesota. Since last October, shares in the company have fallen 45 percent – a situation that will not be helped by the most recent compensation claims for illnesses contracted at the Chipotle Mexican Grill.