Restaurant Where 260 Diners Got Ill On Thanksgiving Has Closed Its Doors

Image courtesy of WHEC

Last Thanksgiving, hundreds of people who ate at one western New York restaurant fell ill thanks to what local health officials later determined was gravy containing the bacteria Clostridium perfringens. Some of those sickened diners have now filed lawsuits, and now the eatery is shutting its doors for good.

TV station WHEC reports that the restaurant, Golden Ponds, is still serving customers that had already scheduled banquets and parties, but is not accepting new event reservations and isn’t open for regular restaurant business. It had originally re-opened a month after the health department shut it down.

Since then, diners have started to file lawsuits. Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm that specializes in representing food poisoning victims, is partnering with a local firm to sue the restaurant. There are dozens of plaintiffs so far, including a mother and son who reported almost a month of cramping and bloody diarrhea (warning: auto-play video at that link), and a 90-year-old woman who alleges that complications from the infection resulted in surgery to remove her entire colon, and she will use a colostomy bag for the rest of her life [PDF].

The local health department estimates that 1,200 people dined at Golden Ponds during the holiday, and there are 260 confirmed cases of illness. None of the customers died, but four were hospitalized.

When a WHEC reporter asked the restaurant’s owner whether he planned to reopen, he couldn’t say. “I have no comment,” he said. “I can’t say nothing at all. It is in litigation.”

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