Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Update

empty hospital roomThe number of individuals who have been affected by the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A in Hawaii continues. The outbreak has been linked to a seafood importer and a sushi chain. A class action lawsuit has been filed against both entities, alleging various claims against them. According to the Hawaiian state health departments, the number of individuals who have contracted Hepatitis A as a result of the outbreak has climbed to 228. Based on this and other information regarding the outbreak, the estimated number of individuals who could end up contracting Hepatitis A or who have been exposed to Hepatitis A could reach 10,000.

The restaurant chain involved in the incident is called Genki Sushi, while the distributors involved include Koha Foods and Sea Port Products Corp. According to the Food and Drug Administration, scallops provided by the distributor and served by the restaurant were contaminated with Hepatitis A. The federal food safety agency has advised anyone who has eaten at Genki Sushi or who may have come into contact with an employee or someone related to the restaurant to seek medical care as soon as possible.

Since Hawaii is a tourist hot spot and an island state, there are many individuals who visit the island and return to other locations. A common example would be flight attendants who make routine trips to the islands, sometimes completing multiple flights per week. These individuals can easily return to their home communities and further contaminate other people.

Hepatitis A can cause serious illness and even death. The most common symptoms are nausea, muscle pain and aches, loss of appetite, dark urine, yellowing of the skin, diarrhea, vomiting, and high fevers. In most cases, the symptoms will manifest within 21 days after the point of exposure. If the illness affects someone with a weakened immune system, the outcome is even more severe. Some of the most susceptible groups include pregnant women, children, people with autoimmune disorders, and the elderly.

If you have contracted hepatitis A as a result of exposure at a food establishment, you can bring a negligence action against the food provider to seek damages for your injuries. A negligence claim requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant failed to use reasonable care when procuring, harvesting, storing, preparing, handling, cooking, or serving food. In cases involving hepatitis A, this also extends to situations in which a food establishment failed to use reasonable care in preventing infected employees from handling food or coming into contact with surfaces that could yield contamination.

At Moll Law Group, we have substantial experience handling food contamination claims throughout the nation, including in Illinois, California, New York, and Texas. We provide a free consultation to potential clients to help them learn about the legal options that may be available to their families and them. The judicial system can be complicated, and when it comes to contaminated food cases, it is not always clear who is responsible for your illness. We can assist you with each stage of the process, including investigation and evidence gathering, to ensure that you bring a strong case. Call us now at 412-362-1700 or contact us online to set up your consultation.

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