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Lawsuits filed after three people say they were stricken with salmonella at Brighton restaurant

Three people recently stricken with salmonella after dining at Los Amigos Taqueria in Brighton have filed lawsuits against the local chain, according to legal filings.

Attorneys for the trio filed the suits this week in Suffolk Superior Court, and each plaintiff is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, court papers show. The named defendant is Brighton Amigos Inc., doing business as Los Amigos Taqueria, which has locations in Brighton, West Roxbury, Somerville, Newton, and Brookline, according to its website.

Nataniel Ustayev, a Newton resident identified in state records as the company president, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. No attorney was listed for the company in legal filings.


Ann Scales, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health, said via e-mail that nearly four dozen salmonella cases have been confirmed as part of the outbreak.

“We are currently at 45 lab-confirmed Salmonella cases who reported dining at Los Amigos Taqueria in Brighton prior to illness; most — 29 — are Boston residents,” Scales said. “DPH continues to receive reports of additional lab-confirmed and undiagnosed illnesses associated with the restaurant.”

The plaintiffs filed three nearly identical 10-page civil complaints indicating they fell ill after eating at the Brighton location between May 12 and 19.

On May 18, the complaints said, public health officials held a meeting with ownership to conduct onsite inspections and speak to the company about “the outbreak linked to food served by the company. ... The restaurant chain’s permits have been temporarily suspended and its Brighton and West Roxbury stores have been closed pending the investigation.”

Lisa Timberlake, spokesperson for Boston Inspectional Services Department, said the suspensions for the Brighton and West Roxbury locations will remain in effect until “the conditions ... are corrected and confirmed by the Health Division.”

Timberlake said both locations remained closed as of Monday. A number listed for both locations wasn’t accepting voicemail messages as of Thursday morning.


Jory Lange, a lawyer for the three plaintiffs who have filed suit, said in a phone interview Thursday that his office has received some 80 calls since Sunday from people who ate at the Brighton location. Lange said he believes his firm will end up representing “at least 60 people in this.”

“There are multiple reports of a foodborne illness from items consumed at this location,” said an inspection report for the Brighton facility. “Establishment was issued a TSOP (Temporary suspension of the Permit). Samples were taken of implicated items, cooled/stored under refrigeration. All food items have been embargoed. Owner has been instructed not to handle any food items at this time without approval from the Health Division.”

The West Roxbury inspection report made no explicit mention of a foodborne illnesses but did note several sanitary issues including multiple “rodent droppings on pineapple cans, bag of pinto beans, beverage single use holders, on storage tables [and] floor. Provide a detailed pest control report. Remove foods contaminated by droppings. Clean and sanitize surfaces after cleaning of rodent droppings in all basement areas.”

The report also said there was no “verifible evidence of illness policy training” at the West Roxbury location. “Provide an additional Certified Certified Food Protection Manager for on site monitoring,” the report ordered.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.