Maureen Horan of Pennsylvania was a guest at The Windrift Hotel and Resort in Avalon in 2010. She ate three raw clams from the menu, and ended up in the hospital with what doctors diagnosed as a Vibrio vulnificus sepsis infection and fasciitis. Doctors had to amputate her leg to stop the further spread of bacteria.

Despite that, a judge ruled last week that Horan's doctor's testimony was a hypothesis, an assumption, or an opinion - not fact.

The Cape May County Board of Health inspected the Windrift a month after Horan's visit and found several violations, including failure to regularly clean and sanitize a wooden cutting board where shellfish were shucked, failure to regularly sanitize the shucking knife, keeping the shellfish in a refrigeration unit measured at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and poor hand hygiene by the raw bar employee, the law journal said.

Jodi Hilton/Getty Images

Unless I'm really just missing part of the testimony (which you can read in its entirety here), I'm amazed the judge said the restaurant wasn't liable. If the health inspector said things weren't sanitary, and the doctor said her illness came from that sort of exposure, it seems like the restaurant was responsible.

Regardless, I think I'll stay away from seafood for a little while.

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