There's seemingly no end in sight for Chipotle's problems: Now, another alleged victim of the burrito chain's E. coli disaster is suing. According to the Seattle Times, 27-year-old Thomas Kniffin says "he was sickened in July during an undisclosed E. coli outbreak" — months before a spate of illnesses caused dozens of stores in the Pacific Northwest to temporarily close.
According to Kniffin's complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Washington, he was hospitalized for three days with the same strain of E. coli that would later be linked back to Chipotle. The county health department confirms at least four other people were sickened at the same time, but at the time they were unable to connect it to Chipotle. Kniffin is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $75,000.
Chipotle already has numerous other lawsuits pending against it in relation to the E. coli outbreak — not to mention a criminal investigation by the FDA and the U.S. Attorney's Office — but Kniffin's is significant: If Chipotle's E. coli was making people ill as far back as July, the outbreak could have affected many more people than was originally thought. And this surely won't be the last we've heard of new lawsuits against the company.
Chipotle stock is currently sitting at $411.10 per share, its lowest point in more than two years. The company has previously stated it does not comment on pending litigation.