Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Bush's Chicken - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Bush's Chicken

A Killeen woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a popular Central Texas restaurant chain, saying her husband died from eating tainted chicken there in 2012. 

Angela Scurry claims she and her husband went to the Bush's Chicken at 812 38th St. in Killeen Nov. 27, 2012.  She says Morris Scurry ate some of the chicken on the way home, and the rest later that night.  But about 3 a.m. he started vomiting and having diarrhea.

The next day he was in such pain Angela Scurry became frightened and called an ambulance to meet them and take her husband to the hospital.

Court papers say doctors diagnosed him with an infection caused by the Campylobacter bacteria, and during his hospital stay Scurry suffered a heart attack from the infection but was resuscitated.

He was released nine days later, but over the next two weeks went to the hospital two more times for the same symptoms and got the same diagnosis and treatment.

December 21, 2012, the maintenance manager at a local water park collapsed again at home from the pain of the infection, according to the suit, and was pronounced dead on arrival at Metroplex hospital.

Scurry's attorney, Brett Nelson of Christman Kelley & Clarke, PC in Dallas said that infection is either from undercooked chicken or cross contamination from raw to cooked chicken, and it made his client's husband "so sick that he died."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that type of bacterial infection is similar to salmonella and comes from poultry.  It's somewhat common, with a million people getting it each year, but many of them don't know it.  About 75 people die each year from  Campylobacteriosis.
Nelson would not let his client, Angela Scurry, talk to us, but when asked whether she ate chicken that night, too, Nelson said, "No, she did not."

He also did not know whether any other people got sick that night after eating at that restaurant.

The suit claims that particular Bush's restaurant has had a series of problems with food storage issues. News Channel 25 checked three years of Bell County Health Department records and found a number of violations, but the amount was not abnormal for those type of inspections.
"I don't have any info if it's average, above average or below average," Nelson explained.  "What I do know is those type of violations in my view are unacceptable."

Bush's Chicken founder Keith Bush was out of town Friday, but told us in a statement, "For 20 years Bush's chicken has served Central Texas and has provided outstanding service and safe products to our loyal customers.  At this time we are in the very early stages of gathering facts about this situation.  We offer our sympathy to the Scurry family for their loss."

The lawsuit is asking for more than a million dollars in actual damages, plus punitive damages that could be three times that and attorney fees.

It also asks for a jury trial, but the case isn't likely to get that far.  90% of these type of cases are settled out of court, lawyers say.

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