Oxford

Wahaca diner considers suing over suspected norovirus outbreak

Sarah Cousins Image copyright Sarah Cousins
Image caption Sarah Cousins has diabetes and was hospitalised after eating at a branch of Wahaca

Wahaca faces a claim for compensation from the family of a girl hospitalised after a suspected norovirus outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) said more than 300 people have fallen ill because of the infection, which led the Mexican restaurant chain to shut nine branches.

Sarah Cousins, 16, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, visited a branch of the restaurant in White City on 29 October.

Now her father Mike has instructed solicitors Irwin Mitchell with a view to claiming compensation.

A Wahaca spokeswoman said the company was "deeply saddened" by the case and had been in touch with the family.

Miss Cousins, who is an A-level student with Type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease, said she began to feel ill in the days after her meal and suffered from persistent vomiting.

'Sickest I've ever been'

She was admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis and ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin.

The teenager was put on a drip and kept in overnight until she was well enough to return home.

Miss Cousins, known to her family as Evie, said: "I was probably the sickest I've ever been and I've been in hospital quite a few times."

She missed a week of college because of the illness and said the company paying her compensation would be the "decent thing to do".

A spokeswoman for Wahaca said: "We are greatly saddened by this case, and promptly after the family in question was in touch with us our co-founder responded personally.

"Wahaca has been proactively working with the relevant authorities in order to limit the impact on our customers and employees, following the recent outbreak of suspected norovirus in some of our outlets."

Image caption The restaurant chain was founded by 2005 MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers

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