Sickened Diners File Suit Against Firefly - 8 News NOW

Sickened Diners File Suit Against Firefly

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LAS VEGAS -- Some victims of a Salmonella outbreak in Las Vegas are suing the owner of Firefly on Paradise.

Nearly 90 people said they fell ill after eating at the restaurant and at least 10 sought medical attention.

An attorney said a lawsuit filed Friday may be the first of many.

Firefly has been shut down for a week and now a law firm specializing in foodborne illness cases is representing a husband and wife against the owner.

SLIDESHOW: A Look Inside the Firefly Kitchen

Other victims said they have contacted their lawyers and are also considering legal action.

Tina Saari called it the worst week of her life.

"Once I saw the news break out, I went right straight to the ER," she said. "That's when the ER doctor admitted me and said, ‘You got misdiagnosed here and we're sorry and we're going to call the health department and admit you immediately.'"

Medication made Saari's immune system fragile.

She said Salmonella in the food at Firefly sent her to the hospital and then back again a few days later.

"You can't really put a dollar amount on somebody's pain and suffering," she said. "I'm just laying here in bed for 12 days doing nothing. I can't eat and I lost six pounds in five days."

Saari has called her attorney and is considering legal action.

One lawsuit has already been filed by a Seattle law firm called Marler Clark.

Attorney Bill Marler said Salmonella can cause death or permanent health complications.

"We've settled and tried cases where people have gotten ($10,000) to $15,000 and we've gotten Salmonella cases where people get millions of dollars," he said. "It's really dependent on the severity of their illness."

He said he's received dozens of calls from people who said they became ill after eating at Firefly.

Marler believes there are many more people who haven't been counted.

Last Friday, health inspectors shut down Firefly. They gave the restaurant 44 demerits, including violations for handwashing facilities, inaccurate food thermometers, and spoiled food.

Saari said she is demanding the respect she didn't get when she ate there.

"He should apologize to every single one of us and he should think about us right now and not getting his restaurant up and running," she said.

John Simmons, chef and owner of Firefly, was not available for comment but in a statement said:

"While we cannot comment on any pending litigation, we have been working closely with the people who have been affected by the situation who have contacted us. We encourage anyone who has been affected to contact us at 702-369-3971."

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