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Lawsuits pile up as restaurant reopens after E. coli outbreak

E. coli bacteria | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Bridgeport neighborhood restaurant was hit with its fifth lawsuit Thursday, less than a week after it reopened following an E. coli outbreak that has sickened dozens.

Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill opened at 300 W. 26th St. on July 29, four weeks after they voluntarily shut down, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

At least 50 of their customers were diagnosed with the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria that causes severe cramps and diarrhea, health officials said. It can be transmitted through contaminated food including undercooked beef and unwashed raw produce.

Carbón withdrew from the Taste of Chicago after the outbreak and briefly closed their West Town location at 810 N. Marshfield Ave. as a precaution, health officials said.

The latest lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by Hannah Tunstall, a Frankfort woman who had to be hospitalized for nearly two weeks with E. coli after eating a burrito from Carbón, she claims. At least four other suits have been filed against the restaurant since July 5.

An employee said by phone Thursday that the restaurant reopened last Friday. The owners have not returned multiple requests for comment, and a spokesman for the health department did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the decision to allow Carbón to reopen.

Tunstall’s four-count negligence suit seeks more than $200,000 in damages.