The first lawsuit on behalf of a customer sickened in the Milan McDonald’s outbreak was filed today in the Circuit Court of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Rock Island County. The lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s Inc., and Kevin Murphy, the owner of the McDonald’s restaurant at 400 West First Street in Milan, IL, by Marler Clark, the Seattle-based foodborne illness law firm, and the Illinois firm of Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers LLC.

The lawsuit is being brought by the family of a Rock Island County teenager who fell ill after eating at the Milan McDonald’s and was diagnosed with hepatitis A virus (HAV). On July 12 the 16-year-old came down with a very high fever, aches, and fatigue. His fever continued for several days, and he became visibly jaundiced. When his symptoms continued to worsen, he was hospitalized for four days. He has returned home, but continues to recover from his illness.

“I’ve been concerned by some information surrounding this outbreak indicating that Hepatitis A is not a serious illness,” said William Marler, the family’s attorney. “Hepatitis A can make you very sick, and in rare cases, endanger the liver. This is not a disease to be taken lightly, and the medical costs associated with cannot be taken lightly either. These families need help, and our job is to get it for them.”

A food worker at the Milan McDonald’s had Hepatitis A, and in a cascade of mistakes and miscommunications, as many as 10,000 were exposed to the virus before the restaurant was closed and cleaned (it has since re-opened). At least 23 people in four counties are confirmed ill with Hepatitis A; eleven required hospitalization due to the severity of their illnesses.