December 8, 2021

Wild Ginger sued after illness

Photo from the Cortland Standard photo archive 2016

A lawsuit has been filed against Wild Ginger Asian Fusion restaurant after eight people got a food-borne illness after dining at the establishment.

“We’ve been contacted by others, but I can’t comment further than that,” said Paul Nunes, the lawyer for Christina Gordon.

Gordon is suing the restaurant for pain and suffering, emotional distress, reasonable fear of injuries and harm, medical expenses and lost wages, according to court documents filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Cortland County — the same day the restaurant reopened.

Nunes didn’t indicate how much Gordon was suing for.

“We’re not asking for anything more than what she’s entitled to,” Nunes said. “We’re here to make our client whole to the extent that money can.”

“This is the first we have heard of this,” said Steve Scott, a business consultant with the restaurant, in an email.

Cortland County Health Director Catherine Feuerherm confirmed Nov. 6 that eight people contracted a gastrointestinal illness linked to the downtown Cortland restaurant, which shut down to clean and educate staff and reopened Tuesday.

“They complied with everything and it’s all in good shape,” Feuerherm said Wednesday.

The eight people ate between Oct. 18 and Oct. 31 at Wild Ginger Fusion restaurant, exposing them to campylobacteriosis, caused by the campylobacter bacteria, typically linked to raw or undercooked chicken.

“Camplyobacter is found most often in food, particularly in chicken food products, as the food is contaminated when it comes into contact with animal feces,” state court documents.

The health department said in a news release on the outbreak that most illnesses occur from eating undercooked or raw poultry or something that touched it. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said symptoms can last for one to several weeks, and exposure can lead to arthritis and rarely to Guillain-Barré syndrome. People with compromised immune systems are at increased risk and may need antibiotics.

Gordon alleges in the court documents that she ate at the restaurant on Oct. 25 and four days later began experiencing symptoms that included diarrhea, dizziness and body pains “which worsened over the following days.”

Gordon sought medical care on or around Oct. 29 at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center emergency room and then again Nov. 4 at Convenient Care at Cortland, run by Cayuga Medical Center.

“As of Nov. 11, 2019, plaintiff (Gordon) continues to recover from her Campylobacter infection and related injuries,” the court documents state.

The lawsuit claims the restaurant broke a promise as the manufacturer, distributor, preparer, server and seller that the food product was safe to eat. The lawsuit also alleges the restaurant was negligent and liable.

“When a person walks into a restaurant they have every reason to expect the food is safe to eat,” Nunes said.