Attorneys' Fees Donated to local High School for Scholarships

SWANSEA, MASS. - $15,000 was donated to Joseph Case High School in Swansea, Massachusetts, for scholarships today. The check is a portion of attorneys’ fees from a class-action lawsuit that was filed on behalf of people in the Swansea area who received Immune Globulin shots to prevent Hepatitis-A infections during the local Hepatitis-A outbreak in the fall of 2001.

William Marler, one of the attorneys for the class action, called Case High School Principal Joseph Santos with news of the donation. “I think he was a bit shocked,” said Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm nationally recognized for its representation of victims of foodborne illness.

Marler Clark and Somerset lawyer, Steve Sabra, represented the 1,300 people who received Immune Globulin shots and chose to participate in the class action lawsuit. Fall River Superior Court Judge Robert J. Kane ruled last month that proposed settlements to class members of $200 each were fair. Checks in that amont are being mailed to each class member who completed the claim forms.

“It’s fun to challenge people’s preconceived notions of lawyers by doing something like this. It’s a positive thing for the school, and a positive thing for our profession. We have done the same in other cases. It is good to give back to the community,” Marler concluded. Bill Marler, Steve Sabra, and Franc Lucca, the class representative, chose the school as an appropriate symbol of the community.


BACKGROUND: The Marler Clark attorneys ( have extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illness. Marler Clark 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, and a Taco Bell outlet in Florida. The firm presently represents over 80 people who contracted hepatitis-A after eating contaminated green onions at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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