A recent class action lawsuit has been filed against international fast food restaurant McDonald’s after reports surfaced indicating that at least 1,000 customers were exposed to the hepatitis A virus at one of the defendant’s restaurants. In general, HAV is a virus or infection that can lead to liver disease and liver inflammation. It can also cause severe flu-like symptoms, including fevers. If untreated, HAV can lead to jaundice and other severe complications.
On November 13, 2015, the New York State Department of Health, in collaboration with the Seneca County Health Department, issued an announcement stating that any customers who visited McDonalds’ restaurants in the area between October 31, 2015 and November 8, 2015 may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A Virus (“HAV”) through a McDonald’s employee. According to the announcement, any individuals who patronized the restaurant during that period and either consumed food or drink could have contracted the contagious disease.
The Department also urged individuals who may have been infected to contact their doctors and request an immune-globulin (“IG”) vaccine as soon as possible in order to reduce the likelihood of contracting HAV if they were contaminated while at the restaurant. Shortly after the warning was issued, an estimated 1,000 individuals, including the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, received the recommended IG vaccine and a blood test.
The complaint seeks to certify a class of all persons who were exposed and potentially infected with HAV as a direct result of their exposure to the infected McDonald’s employee. Although the class is currently estimated at 1,000 people, it is unknown exactly how many people may have come into contact with the infected employee through consuming McDonald’s food, visiting the restaurant, or coming into contact with someone who did.
The complaint alleges that McDonald’s acted negligently by failing to prevent the infected employee from working, by failing to provide appropriate training, supervision, and monitoring of its employees who prepare food for public consumption, and by failing to require employees to receive HAV immunizations before beginning work. The complaint also includes a breach of warranty claim, alleging that the defendant breached the express and implied warranties provided by law when it sold food to patrons who had come into contact with the infected employee.
Foodborne illness litigation is a critical component of ensuring that our food system remains accountable when it causes the public to suffer illnesses and threats of illness that could be avoided through proper food safety mechanisms. HAV outbreaks and exposures have occurred all too often in the food industry.
If you or someone you love has been exposed to a contagious disease as the result of a restaurant’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our experienced class action and food contamination lawyers have represented many individuals across the nation in actions to recover the compensation they deserve for being exposed to or suffering a serious disease, including in New York, Texas, California, and Florida. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about the scope of your rights and what legal remedies may be available to you and your family. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.