Lawsuit filed against restaurant chain with 2 locations closed amid probe into Salmonella outbreak

BOSTON — A woman is suing a local restaurant chain for contracting Salmonella food poisoning after eating at one of its locations last week, court documents revealed Tuesday.

On Friday, city officials temporarily shut down two of Los Amigos Taqueria’s Boston locations in Brighton and West Roxbury after public health inspectors found a slew of health violations, including unsanitary working conditions that appear to be linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the area.

City and state public health officials “are investigating an emerging Salmonella outbreak linked to Los Amigos Taqueria restaurant in Brighton, affecting residents in the Brighton, Boston, and Greater Boston area,” a Boston Public Health Commission spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, Chloe Crelia claims that she became ill from Salmonella food poisoning after eating at Los Amigos Taqueria’s Brighton restaurant on or about May 17.

“At Los Amigos’ Brighton restaurant, Chloe bought food manufactured, prepared, distributed and/or sold by Los Amigos. The food products, manufactured, prepared, distributed, and/or sold by Los Amigos were contaminated with Salmonella,” the lawsuit states. “On or about May 19, 2023, Chloe developed fever, watery diarrhea, body aches, and severe abdominal pain. Chloe sought medical treatment for her severe symptoms.”

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for medical expenses and lost earnings incurred by Crelia, and also for “conscious physical pain and suffering and mental anguish” and “the physical impairment suffered by Chloe in the past and will likely suffer in the future.”

Attorneys Jory Lange and Michael P. Joyce are representing Crelia, who is “one of numerous people who got Salmonella food poisoning after eating last week at Los Amigos Taqueria’s restaurants in Brighton and West Roxbury,” the attorneys said in a statement Tuesday.

“The scary thing about this outbreak is, as a consumer, there’s nothing you can do to tell whether the food that you are buying is safe. You can’t taste, smell, or see Salmonella. Food that is contaminated with Salmonella may look, smell, and taste just like any other food,” Lange said. “This is why it is so important that restaurants who make and sell our food, make sure that the food is safe before they sell it.”

The Lange Law Firm has received many calls from people sickened in this outbreak, he said.

Los Amigos Taqueria at 366 Washington Street in Brighton and its second Boston location, at 1741 Centre Street in West Roxbury, had their licenses to operate suspended following inspections on Thursday and Friday, respectively, city officials said.

“We encourage residents who visited the Brighton location between May 12 and May 18 to monitor themselves for symptoms of Salmonella infection, including fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and to contact a healthcare provider for an evaluation and testing if appropriate,” the Boston Public Health Commission added.

Among other health violations found at the two Boston locations, the city said that “multiple rodent droppings” were found on pineapple cans, bags of pinto beans, single-use beverage holders, and storage tables.

Los Amigos also has locations in Brookline, Newton, and Somerville.

The Newton location currently remains open and is not impacted by the foodborne illness reports, Boston 25 learned.

Boston 25 has reached out to the restaurant chain for comment, as well as health officials in Brookline and Somerville.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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