More than 100 members of the NAACP have filed a lawsuit against the Sofitel hotel chain in California state court alleging that they were stricken with food poisoning after eating tainted fish at a gala dinner event at the hotel in Redwood City. According to a Law360 news report, the members say the hotel was the venue for the 2014 NAACP state convention where they were served a meal that included a salmon entrée. Each member of the lawsuit said he or she became severely ill from eating the fish, which was later identified by area hospitals as being contaminated with norovirus.
Complaints of Severe Food Poisoning
The plaintiffs said the morning after, they experienced severe food poisoning symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting. Members were at the hotel lobby. When they requested emergency help from the hotel, they were simply ignored, the lawsuit alleged. The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of general damages to recoup lost earnings as well as punitive damages. Members say the hotel’s refusal to help them when they were ill “stemmed from racial bigotry” and that it violated their right to equal treatment under California state law.
Members said they had to call ambulances and emergency help on their own. Some drove themselves to the hospital. The hotel was also the focus of a prior outbreak of a foodborne illness under similar circumstances, the lawsuit said. During a 2008 inspection, San Mateo County health inspectors found major violations at the hotel associated with food poisoning including nonfunctioning faucets, hot food kept at hazardous temperatures and use of unsanitary rags to clear floor surfaces in the kitchen. The members are also asserting negligence, strict liability and premises liability claims.
Compensation for Victims
Food producers, eateries and hotels have a responsibility to provide customers with food that is sanitary and safe to consume. When they fail to do so because of negligence, they could be held liable for the injuries and damages food-borne illnesses can cause. A norovirus infection could result in violent and severe symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, fever and muscle pain.
Victims affected by food poisoning can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of diagnostic testing, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer can help hold the negligent parties accountable and help those affected obtain fair compensation for their losses.