Woman sickened by E. coli outbreak suing Lombard restaurant - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Woman sickened by E. coli outbreak suing Lombard restaurant

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Liz Bernardi Liz Bernardi
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

One of the 21 victims of the E. coli outbreak linked to a Lombard restaurant said she was so sick she wanted to die. Now, she's filed the first lawsuit against the restaurant.

Liz Bernardi, used to visit Los Burritos Mexicanos in Lombard regularly, but after becoming the most ill she's ever been in her life, she says she will never be back.

She blames the steak tacos she brought home from Los Burritos Mexicanos on June 6. Three days later, she started having severe vomiting and diarrhea. She first went to her doctor, but then the symptoms got worse.

"Prior to vomiting, every single time I would have sharp stabbing severe pains in my abdomen," Bernardi explains. "I was starting to hallucinate, I couldn't get up off my bathroom floor and I woke up my husband to take me to the emergency room."

She said the infection caused her normally flat stomach to swell, and it still hasn't returned to normal.

17-year-old Maddie Arnold ate a steak burrito from the same restaurant. She also got very sick and spent five days in the hospital, diagnosed with E. coli poisoning.

"I'm terrified of the hospital so for me to actually go to the hospital, it was unbearable," Arnold says. "It was really bad, like the sharpest pain you could ever feel."

The DuPage County Health Department closed the restaurant after the outbreak, and investigators are awaiting test results before determining when the owners can reopen.

"We don't know if the source of this outbreak is the food itself," DuPage County Health Department Environmental Health Director Kevin Dixon says. "If this was passed person to person, those are all the options we are currently taking a look at."

Bernardi has filed a lawsuit to cover among other things her hospital bill, and the pain and suffering she had to endure.

"It ended up where I could tell my body was shutting down, I wanted to die," Bernardi says.

The owner's son says that this restaurant has been in business for over 20 years and never had a problem.

Many customers have come by today, only to leave disappointed. One customer says she has been going to Los Burritos Mexicanos for over a decade and the food has always been great.

Addie Arnold, who is also suing the restaurant, said she can never eat steak or food from the restaurant again.

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