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Lawsuits filed against Firefly over salmonella outbreak

Molly Waldron

Lawsuits filed against Firefly over salmonella outbreak

CREATED May. 3, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The first lawsuits were filed Friday against Firefly Tapas Kitchen and Bar after a widespread salmonella outbreak.

One lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Minnesota couple who said salmonella poisoning ruined their wedding celebration in Las Vegas.

According to their lawyer, Katie Yokiel and Jonathan Radford ate at Firefly on April 22. Shortly after their wedding the next day, both fell ill with symptoms including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, cramps and headaches.

When the couple returned to Minnesota on Thursday, Katie sought medical treatment and doctors confirmed she had salmonella poisoning. Test results to confirm Jonathan's illness are still pending. 

The complaint filed in the District Court of Clark County holds Firefly accountable for negligence and states they should be held liable for "serving defective and unreasonably dangerous product." 

The couple  in the case are suing for a total of $20,000 plus punitive damages and attorney fees. 

A second lawsuit was filed on behalf of a local Clark County couple. Both ate at Firefly on April 23 and became ill with salmonella not long after. The complaint filed states that they were forced to pay for medical care and missed work. 

The Clark County couple is asking for $10,000 in damages, along with money to cover lost wages, attorney fees and medical fees. 

Health officials said at least 86 people were sickened after eating at Firefly. 

Reports began to surface of the illnesses last week. That prompted health inspectors to pay a visit to Firefly on Friday. They issued 44 demerits and immediately shut down the eatery. 

After testing stool samples from patients, health officials confirmed the cause to be salmonella. 

Now, health inspectors are working to determine exactly what food items were tainted with the bacteria. 

Firefly's owner hopes to reopen the restaurant next week after identifying the source of the sickness and hiring someone to help maintain better practices. 

The Southern Nevada Health District warned Firefly that once they reopen, the property will be subject to frequent inspections. 

Firefly operates two other locations in the Las Vegas Valley -- one on Sahara and one in Henderson. No salmonella cases have been reported from guests at those locations and both remain fully operational.

Officials say the salmonella outbreak is one of the worst in recent history.