Brinker International was named in two more federal lawsuits over a salmonella outbreak a year ago at a Chili’s Grill & Bar in a Chicago suburb, which sickened more than 300 diners and employees and hurt company sales in the Midwest.
The suits — the fifth and sixth filed by Seattle-based Marler-Clark LLP — allege that the plaintiffs were among the 276 patrons and 29 workers who suffered stomach ailments and flu-like systems after eating or working at the Vernon Hills restaurant between June 23 and July 1, 2003.
Officials with the Lake County Health Department said a dishwashing sanitizer stopped working several days before the outbreak. The restaurant also continued to operate after losing first its hot water and then all water, the health department reported.
The suits seek compensatory and punitive damages but do not list an amount.