Oyster poisoning in Florida caused paralysis and nerve damage in men
The court ordered the restaurant in Tampa, Florida, to pay a couple 6,7 million in compensation after seafood poisoning caused a rare disorder in the injured man.
The decision of the court was made in May, years after the man’s illness led to a rare disorder causing paralysis and nerve damage.
On December 21, 2013, married couple Angel and Maria Martinez dined on their favorite seafood dishes - lobster and oysters - at the restaurant Lobster Haven in Tampa. Before that, the couple had been to this place about 10 times.
A few hours after eating, they began to vomit and diarrhea, according to court documents.
Experts say that the disease was most likely provoked by oysters.
“You take risks when you eat raw oysters,” said Brandon Katay, who represented Martinez. "You don't expect them to cause life-long harm."
Maria Martinez recovered a few days later, but after three weeks her husband had to be taken by ambulance to the Pasco Regional Medical Center after he lost consciousness.
Doctors transferred him to Tampa Hospital, where he spent 7 days in the intensive care unit. For several months he was paralyzed from the waist down and had to re-learn to walk after the paralysis had passed.
Nutritional Martinez Disease has developed into Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes the immune system to attack its own body.
He has recovered from the most severe symptoms of the disease, but is likely to feel long-term consequences, his lawyer Brent Steinberg said.
“For the rest of his life, he will be accompanied by pain, sensory problems, weakness, fatigue and other neurological defects,” Steinberg said in court.
Lobster haven acknowledged that the couple dined with seafood, but denied that it caused Guillain-Barre syndrome, calling the meat of the lamb, which the man ate a few days before visiting the restaurant, as the cause of the poisoning.
Insurance company Lobster haven proposed closing the case with $ 20 000 in 2016, but by that time Martinez’s medical bills had reached more than $ 325 000.
Restaurant insurance made it possible to pay up to $ 1 a million compensation, and Martinez probably would have agreed to this amount, but the institution did not offer it, so the determination of the amount was submitted to the court, which awarded the couple $ 6,7 million compensation.
Now the restaurant is threatened with closure due to the huge amount of compensation.
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