HUNTINGTON – A Cabell County man claims a case of food poisoning after a trip to Panera Bread resulted in more than $170,000 in medical bills.

Marshall University student Dillon Neace filed his lawsuit April 18 in Cabell Circuit Court against Alcadan LLC and franchisee Candall Group Inc., doing business as Panera Bread in Barboursville at the Huntington Mall.

In his complaint, Neace says he visited Panera Bread on April 21, 2012, and was infected by a foodborne pathogen known as campylobacter after he ate at the restaurant.

“Neace became severely ill as a result,” the complaint states. “He required hospital admission at Cabell Huntington Hospital, was intubated and treated in the ICU, and ultimately required transfer to the Cleveland Clinic for treatment.”

His complaint states that Neace suffered the illness, extreme pain and suffering, prolonged hospitalization, medical bills in excess of $170,000, loss of enjoyment of life, adverse impact on his education and other injuries and damages.

He claims the defendants failed to establish, implement or comply with a food safety program and failed to comply with food safety standards in the storage, preparation, handling and distribution of food service.

“Defendants are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees or contract agents,” the complaint states.

He also claims the actions that resulted in his illness were made consciously, so he seeks punitive damages.

Neace seeks compensatory damages and other relief.

He is being represented by William M. Tiano and Cheryl A. Fisher of the Charleston law firm of Tiano O’Dell PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Chris Chiles.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 14-C-326

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