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Firefly Patrons Sue After Salmonella Outbreak
Firefly Patrons Sue After Salmonella Outbreak

AIR DATE: May 14, 2013


Bill Marler, attorney, Marler Clark Attorneys at Law 

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- Firefly patrons who ate food contaminated with salmonella had to pay for their meals twice – once when the bill arrived and of course later, when they became seriously ill.

So what’s that worth in damages?

“What people are entitled to is their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for what they had to go through,” says Seattle-based attorney Bill Marler, who is representing some of those diners.

“I’ve settled or tried almost 10,000 salmonella cases so I have a pretty good idea what the market is for those cases,” says Marler. “Most of them are in the $10-20,000 range. They go up based on the severity of the illness.”

Marler says there’s a slim chance that court findings will reveal that the outbreak was the responsibility of a distributor, and not the popular tapas restaurant.

“We know that this outbreak happened at Firefly,” says Marler. “If there any other illnesses of this particular genetic chain that occurred anywhere else in Nevada in the same time frame that we can say ‘this place got the same chicken as Firefly, this place got the same lettuce as Firefly.’ Then it becomes a different thing.”

Even though Firefly’s reputation has obviously taken a serious hit as a result of the outbreak, Marler has seen other restaurants bounce back.

“You know, Jack In The Box survived. It was tough, but they survived. Other restaurants who’ve had similar outbreaks reached out and did the right thing for their patrons, cleaned up their act, became activists in food safety,” says Marler. “It’s not a death knell. It doesn’t have to be a death knell.”



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I cant believe State of Nevada only gave one side of the story on this. Normally i listen to and support public radio because they often bring on both sides of the story and give people an equal chance to explain their position. Today's story seemed completely about stoking the flames of fear associated with food poisoning rather than an attempt to report a news story. All the while sensationalizing the ability to make 10-20k in bogus settlement payouts. I will not be able to continue supporting public radio in the future. Tell Flo Rogers to stop begging for money every few months as you will no longer get it from this former listener.
LarryMay 14, 2013 14:21:57 PM
Things happen in a kitchen that are beyond the restaurant's control regardless of how tightly they adhere to safety guidelines. Just like in life. Any judge who doesn't throw this nonsense out of his or her court is wasting taxpayers' money.
PjMay 14, 2013 12:21:01 PM
I have seen the media rip people to shreds before but what I have witnessed with Firefly is just plain mean. This is a local business that had something go wrong, they are doing everything in their power to make things right. They have apologized and are working with the people who were exposed to the salmonella and its just a nightmare that doesn't seem to go away. What more would the public like them to do? I have been a supporter of Firefly and will continue to be a supporter of it. Now that something negative has happened people forget about the great food, wonderful drinks and great experiences that they have had at Firefly.
Jenny MMay 14, 2013 11:15:02 AM
You bring in an out of state lawyer and put him on to help put a locally owned restaurant that provides hundreds of local jobs, out of business? I've eaten at all of the Firefly locations before the incident, and have eaten there several times since, and never had a problem. I was an NPR supporter in the past. I will not be in the future.
GeorgeMay 14, 2013 10:19:29 AM
I agree with the last post, this has gone too far! The guy that killed 3 people on the strip isnt getting this much air-time! Let the local business guy get back to doing business. Ive been going to Firefly for years and i cant wait for them to re-open!
Joan P May 14, 2013 10:17:22 AM
Agree with Dave B. It's also astounding the lawyer is like a starving dog with a dangling steak in terms of these lawsuits when they have yet to determine the source of salmonella. What a scam. It also speaks volumes about what a litigious society were are and a scare for establishments out there doing business to the best of their abilities but dependent on third party distributors. I feel for those customers who fell ill, having experienced it myself. Please interview Firefly!
LeslieMay 14, 2013 10:07:30 AM
Where's the side of Firefly's story? Come on NPR. This is obviously not a normal news story, it's a lynching. Golden Nugget gets closed down for salmonella and maybe gets 10 seconds of airtime, a small local, local-favorite gets closed and the collective media including NPR helps the out-of-town lawyers plug their firm? Yes, something happened there and the public safety is a huge concern, but is what happened at firefly worse than any other everyday care of food poisoning besides the higher victim count? A number that is more to blame on high volume of business they do and the style, ie, everyone shares everything. As a local restauranteur this treatment terrifies me. Had I witnessed this media supported lynching I would've picked a new city to start my business.
Dave B.May 14, 2013 09:14:51 AM
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