By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff
When Greg Dimitrenko ordered a steak taco meal to go from a Crystal Lake restaurant in April he says it came with an unwanted special sauce: human blood.
Now the McHenry County man is suing the restaurant, La Rosita, claiming its negligence left him nauseated for weeks, made eating a struggle and caused him “unusual emotional distress.”
“This just simply defines outrageous behavior,” Dimitrenko attorney George Kililis said.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, also lists restaurant owner Sergio Perez and cook Efrain Lopez-Lozano as defendants. Perez was not available Wednesday, a restaurant employee said.
The suit says Dimitrenko bought a steak taco meal at the restaurant April 17 then walked to his nearby workplace to eat it. With about half of it gone, the suit alleges, he noticed what appeared to be human blood on the tacos, wrappers and the to-go bag.
When he walked back to the restaurant to confront a manager, she told him that the red smears were “spices,” court documents state. But when police later went to the restaurant to investigate, the suit says, they spotted cook Efrain Lopez-Lozano with a fresh bandage and latex glove on his hand.
“The manager then admitted to the police that Lopez-Lozano had ripped off one of his fingernails, was bleeding profusely and had bled on the packaging and food eaten by Greg,” the suit states. “Upon confirming that he had eaten blood-contaminated food, Greg was overcome with nausea and began vomiting.”
For several weeks after the incident Dimitrenko suffered from constant nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and he would gag when he tried to eat, his suit claims.
He would not show affection to his wife or his two-month-old child, for fear of infecting them with a disease, according to the suit.
The suit is scheduled to make its first court appearance Jan. 5 before McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell.