Customer suing Federico's for bloody diarrhea outbreak

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by Crystal Cruz

Video report by Marie Saavedra

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:14 AM

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LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. -- A man who got sick after eating at Federico’s Mexico Food in Litchfield Park has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant.

Read the complaint

The complaint was filed by attorney William Marler of the law firm Marler Clark in Seattle, Washington.

According to the court filing, Brian Clayton, 25, bought food from the restaurant on July 27 and July 29. Clayton said he got sick on July 30. He went to a hospital emergency room on Aug. 1 and was eventually admitted to the hospital.

 One of his attorneys is Phoenix based Johnathan O'Steen.

"Our clients will incur substantial medical expenses, some may be unable to work for a period of time, and it's about holding people responsible for wrongdoing," O'Steen said. 

The suit claims the restaurant owners were negligent and is asking for damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses.

The restaurant reopened on Monday.

According to the The Maricopa County Department of Public Health, more than 30 people complained of bloody stools following a visit to the restaurant on or after July 23.

Twelve people have been hospitalized.

The bacteria E. coli could be the reason several people are sick across the West Valley after eating at Federico’s Mexico Food.

Clayton’s doctor confirmed on Friday that his colon was inflamed and swollen, and that Clayton had colitis.

“When I woke up I could barely stand because my stomach felt stretched,” said Clayton.

On a pain scale of 1 to 10, Clayton described his pain as a 9.

Clayton had three chicken tacos with hot sauce and a soda more than a week and a half ago.

“I never felt that type of pain before, it was just horrible to where I couldn't stand up and it's just been unreal," Clayton told 3TV.

3TV has also learned a teenager is in a local hospital ill, possibly from the food at Federico’s Mexican Food.

The doctor prescribed Clayton several different types of medicine to help get him back to normal.

Health officials encourage anyone who has eaten at the restaurant on or after the July 23 and feels ill to see a physician.

"At this early stage we don't know where the contamination originated from, but I have full faith this agency will get to the bottom of it and we'll know exactly what happened with respect to these cases," said O'Steen. 

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