Kumo Sushi & Steakhouse is facing its first lawsuits over...

Kumo Sushi & Steakhouse is facing its first lawsuits over the incident, which Suffolk County officials have said was likely caused by "mishandled and improperly stored" rice. Credit: Morgan Campbell

A mother and daughter who became violently ill last weekend at a Stony Brook restaurant have filed suit against the eatery.

Danielle Krauss and her mother Jacqueline Krauss, both of South Setauket, told Newsday that they began projectile-vomiting Saturday after eating fried rice at Kumo Sushi & Steakhouse and were hospitalized for several hours. The pair had joined about a dozen other friends and family members to celebrate the 6th birthday of Danielle's daughter.

In total, at least 28 people dining at Kumo were sickened by a foodborne illness, including a dozen customers who were hospitalized and later released, Suffolk officials said. The likely culprit, according to Suffolk County spokeswoman Marykate Guilfoyle, was "mishandled and improperly stored" rice.

"It was a nightmare and I still feel very weak," Jacqueline Krauss said on Sunday. "They had to give me a bag of fluids in the ambulance because I was very dehydrated."

Two others in her party were also treated at Stony Brook University Hospital and four others were mildly ill, she said. The two young children at the party did not become ill.

The lawsuits, filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Suffolk County, indicate that both women incurred "substantial medical expenses" as a result of the likely food poisoning and "endured great physical pain, discomfort, mental anguish, and suffering."

Attorney Jory Lange of Houston, Texas, one of two lawyers representing the family, said that as of Wednesday, both mother and daughter continued to feel ill and were receiving treatment for gastrointestinal issues.

"They're hoping to get compensation for what they went through, and they're hoping to get to the bottom of how this happened and how a birthday party turned into this," Lange said. "This was a disaster for all of the families that were involved."

Lange said he expects to file another lawsuit in the coming days on behalf of a man who got sick after ordering takeout food from Kumo on Sept. 7.

A Kumo employee referred Newsday to the restaurant's Garden City-based attorney, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A message on Kumo's Facebook page thanked first responders and health inspectors for their assistance during the outbreak.

“Please trust that we take this incident seriously and we are already working diligently to regain and maintain your confidence in us,” the post said. “ … We are committed to learning from this incident enhancing our practices and ensuring every visit to Kumo is not just a meal but a memorable and safe experience.”

The Suffolk Department of Health Services issued 15 violations to the restaurant, including eight for foodborne illness risk factors, Guilfoyle said.

The health department previously cited the restaurant in 2020 and 2021, Guilfoyle said. She did not detail specific violations.

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