SAN ANTONIO — The first lawsuit has been filed by Ching-yi Ortiz, on behalf of her minor A.O., against Success Foods Management Group, Torchy's Tacos and ProSource Produce. In this Salmonella lawsuit linked to onions, the plaintiff is represented by Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, and the Hill Law Firm of San Antonio. The case was filed in the District Court of Bexar County, Texas.
On Aug. 21, 2021, the plaintiff (A.O.) ate dinner at Torchy's Tacos, located at 18210 Sonterra Place in San Antonio. A week later, he began to experience exhaustion and a headache. His symptoms progressed over the next 10 days with increasing intensity. He developed a fever, diarrhea and sharp pain in his lower back. He was taken to the Prestige Emergency Room on Sept. 3, 2021, but an examination failed to yield a diagnosis.
"Our client is one of the sickest Salmonella cases I have seen for someone that survived," said Bill Marler.
On Sept. 7, 2021, A.O. was in such intense pain he could not walk or sit up, Marler Clark said. Due to the severity of symptoms, he was taken to the Methodist Children's Hospital where he received a diagnosis of Salmonella Oranienburg infection and began treatment for complications in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
The Salmonella Oranienburg infection caused A.O. to develop sepsis, organ failure, pneumonia, acidosis, thrombocytopenia, a pericardial effusion and interstitial emphysema. He also felt extreme pain as the infection reached the bones around his sacroiliac joint. Currently, A.O. continues to be treated daily with long term IV antibiotics for Salmonella Oranienburg, which was found in his blood, urine and stool. His treatment is ongoing as the physicians address his related complications.
As of Oct. 18, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 652 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been reported from 37 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 31, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2021. Of those sickened, 129 have been hospitalized.
The FDA conducted a traceback investigation and identified ProSource as a common supplier of imported onions to many of the restaurants where sick people ate. They are working to determine if other suppliers of onions may be linked to this outbreak or if there is a common supplier of onions in Chihuahua, Mexico.