The victim, Christopher Gage, dined at an Old Country Buffet restaurant in Cheyenne, Wyoming in October 2010. The day before, the Laramie County Health Department cited the restaurant for numerous health code violations, but it wasn’t barred from serving food.
Over the next few days, Gage experienced severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, fever, sepsis, acute kidney failure, acute lactic acidosis, adrenal crisis, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and atrial fibrillation, according to the complaint.
Gage and his wife filed a lawsuit against Ovation Brands, the parent company of Old Country Buffet. In August, Ovation Brands was purchased by Food Management Partners of San Antonio, Texas.
Neither company responded to the Gages’ lawsuit or defended themselves in court, resulting in a judgment of nearly $11.4 million in damages. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl wrote:
“He cannot eat or drink water without vomiting . . . His mobility has been taken from him. He falls on an almost daily basis, which has caused him to break bones. He requires a cane, walker, or wheelchair for mobility, depending on how debilitating his condition is on any given day. His cognitive functioning has been significantly impacted. His relationship with his wife and son have been adversely affected.”
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