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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Houlihan’s Hepatitis A Lawsuit

Paul Dailing of the Kane County Chronicle wrote this morning about our client who is considering filing suit against the Geneva Houlihan’s. I have repeatedly encouraged and warned restaurants that it is the customers and their own interest to vaccinate all employees for Hepatitis A BEFORE they are allowed to serve food. Had Houlihan’s required employees to be vaccinated, it now wouldn’t be facing thousands of customers angry over having to stand in line of immunoglobulin (Ig) shots. Houlihan’s and customers also would not be facing weeks of waiting to see if Hepatitis A illnesses surface.  Over the last several years, Marler Clark has brought Hepatitis A claims against:

Carl’s Jr.
Maple Lawn Dairy
Silver Grill Location Catering

A couple of key points in the Chronicle’s article entitled: “Houlihan’s lawsuit possible”

  • Anyone who ate at the restaurant from Jan. 8 to 6 p.m. Jan, 19 might be infected. Jan. 8 was the first day that the worker exhibited symptoms and was, therefore, contagious.
  • “It’s only the people who ate at the restaurant and had an ice beverage,” health department spokesman Tom Schlueter said. “Hopefully, this person who had hepatitis washed his hands. We don’t know that.”
  • The department is trying to locate the 3,000 people who ate at the restaurant during that time.
  • A hot line has been set up at (630) 444-3300. Between 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and 3 p.m. Tuesday the department gave out 1,314 free shots of immunoglobulin to Houlihan’s patrons, Schlueter said.

This is not our first case in Suburban Chicago. In 2003 we represented nearly 50 people who contracted salmonella poisoning at Chili’s Grill and Bar in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills, north of Chicago, Illinois. Health authorities reported that the restaurant continued to operate even after a dishwashing sanitizer broke down and the kitchen lost its fresh water supply. County officials called it the worst salmonella outbreak in nearly 20 years. Among those sickened were 29 restaurant workers, and authorities blamed the outbreak on poor sanitation, including the lack of safe water for hand-washing.

For updates on Hepatitis A visit my Hepatitis Bog.