Cindy Horney is one of seven people who filed suit against Golden Corral restaurants after becoming ill from salmonella poisoning last year.

The Georgia Division of Public Health a year ago today announced that from early June through late August 2003, a total of 23 people were infected with the bacteria salmonella berta. Of those 23 confirmed cases, 18 had links to the Golden Corral.

Horney and the six others are represented by Bill Marler, a Seattle-based attorney who specializes in food contamination personal injury cases, and William Lanham of the Atlanta firm Johnson & Ward. The two attorneys, who would not say how much they’re seeking for the plaintiffs, represented several Georgia families who sued White Water park after an E. coli outbreak in 1998.

The restaurant was closed for several days in September 2003 while state health officials searched for a source of contamination. Equipment and surfaces were thoroughly scrubbed and sanitized. Bacteria later were found in a floor drain. Health officials said the bacteria may have been on a piece of equipment that was washed during the recent extensive cleaning, and that water ended up flowing into the floor drain.

In health inspections in the two years before the incident, the restaurant received scores of 98 and higher. In its last inspection in May, the restaurant received a perfect score of 100.