A lawsuit filed by Oklahoma resident Leah Smith against Taco Bell alleging that the Mexican-style fast food made her sick has been transferred to federal court under U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 68 people were infected by a salmonella outbreak linked to a “Mexican-style fast-food restaurant chain,” while the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Acute Disease Service revealed the chain to be Taco Bell.
Taco Bell said in court filings that the salmonella outbreak occurred through October and November of last year and that “The CDC indicated that some of the people who were ill ate at Taco Bell, while others did not. They believe that the problem likely occurred at the supplier level before it was delivered to any restaurant or food outlet. We take food quality and safety very seriously.”
According to local news sources, 16 people in Oklahoma were affected by salmonella poisoning, however only eight of those affected ate at Taco Bell. The fast-food chain denied that it was responsible for Smith’s illness, and requested a dismissal of the lawsuit. Last week, a Cleveland County judge approved the transfer of the lawsuit to federal court.
Leah Smith’s lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 in damages.