Attorney for hepatitis victims cautions against assuming green onions are source of hepatitis


Seattle Attorney also renews call on Chi-Chi’s to compensate victims of hepatitis outbreak, repay Department of Health for shot administration and outbreak investigation

PITTSBURGH — Seattle attorney William Marler today cautioned consumers against attributing the current outbreak of hepatitis-A in Pennsylvania to consumption of green onions. Marler again called on Chi Chi’s to pay damages to those 8,000 people exposed to, and 500 people infected with, hepatitis-A after eating at the restaurant’s Beaver Valley Mall location in October and early November.

Marler represents nearly 50 people sickened and exposed in the outbreak. His law firm, Marler Clark, along with the Pittsburgh law firm of Meyers, Rosen, Louik, and Perry, has already filed three lawsuits against Chi Chi’s.

“While it is true that an earlier hepatitis-A outbreak occurred in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee following consumption of green onions in mid-August, there is no clear indication at this time that green onions involved in that outbreak also caused the outbreak that has devastated Pennsylvania,” Marler said. “The Health Department and CDC are still in the middle of an investigation into the source of the current outbreak.”

Marler cautioned that consumers who are simply avoiding green onions might have a false sense of security. “This outbreak has been a horrible experience for the entire Beaver Valley Community, but avoiding green onions might not be the answer.”

Marler renewed his call to Chi-Chi’s to pay all medical bills and lost wages for those who were sickened in the outbreak, saying, “It is time Chi Chi’s stepped up to the plate and took responsibility for what has happened.”

“Costs of administering shots and investigating this outbreak have added up to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax payer money that Chi-Chi’s should reimburse the Health Department for,” Marler continued. “The longer this outbreak investigation goes on, the more it will cost. Chi Chi’s, as the source, should take on the financial burden associated with this outbreak.”

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BACKGROUND: Marler Clark (www.marlerclark.com) has achieved great success representing hepatitis-A victims across the country. The firm obtained a million dollar settlement on behalf of people infected with hepatitis-A after eating contaminated food at two Seattle Subway Sandwich franchises. Marler Clark has also represented victims who became ill with hepatitis-A after eating at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Spokane, Washington, three restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, a large wedding party in Michigan, which resulted in a death, a Taco Bell outlet in Florida, and at a deli in Massachusetts. The firm has been recently contacted by victims of a recent outbreak in Georgia and North Carolina that was linked to contaminated green onions.

See the Marler Clark Web sites about Hepatitis A and about Hepatitis A Litigation.