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First Norovirus Lawsuit filed against The Habit Burger Grill restaurant in Seattle – 23 reported cases

(Seattle, WA) The first Norovirus lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Ed Yusen against Seattle Char., d/b/a The Habit Burger Grill in the current Seattle Norovirus outbreak. The outbreak is linked to The Habit Burger Grill located at 1253 N. 205th St., Shoreline, Washington. Mr. Yusen is represented by Marler Clark, the Food Safety Law Firm. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington in King County. Complaint: 21-2-07415-1 SEA (see attached complaint).

On May 25, Ed Yusen went to The Habit Burger Grill restaurant in Shoreline, Washington with a friend for lunch. He ordered the #1 Charburger with fries and a drink. Mr. Yusen woke up around 1-2 a.m. on Thursday, May 27th with severe abdominal pains and vomiting. His symptoms continually increased in severity to the point that Mr. Yusen lost consciousness and hit his head on the bathroom counter. He awoke in a pool of blood and a gash in his head and immediately proceeded to make his way to the emergency room at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Washington.

When he arrived at the emergency room, Mr. Yusen was treated for approximately 6 hours and left the hospital with seven staples in his head. Mr. Yusen learned after the fact that his dining companion also fell ill on May 27 with similar symptoms. As of the date of filing this complaint, Mr. Yusen continues to recover from his illness and related injuries.

As of June 3, 2021, Seattle and King County were investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illnesses with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills. The illnesses were associated with Habit Burger Grill in Shoreline, Washington. There are 23 reported cases as of June 3, 2021, from six unrelated meal parties. The people who reported being ill had eaten at Habit between May 21-24. No ill employees have been identified.

The restaurant was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection before it was re-visited by investigators on May 28. They conducted onsite food safety and employee illness training with staff and reinforced cleaning, disinfection, handwashing, and no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food. Health investigators intend to return to Habit again within two weeks’ time to ensure compliance.

“Norovirus is a nasty pathogen that should be controlled in a restaurant environment,” said food safety lawyer, William Marler. “Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States, sickening over 32,000,000 of us each year,” added Marler.

Norovirus, commonly called “the stomach flu”, is the most prevalent foodborne illness, transmitted primarily through a fecal-oral route, person to person, or through contaminated food or water. Symptoms of Norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after being exposed and typically last for about 1 to 3 days. Norovirus causes a relatively short, intense illness in healthy individuals. However, in some cases, severe dehydration, malnutrition, and even death can result from Norovirus infection, especially among children, the elderly, and immune-compromised adults.

The Marler Clark Norovirus lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of foodborne illness. Our Norovirus lawyers have represented thousands of victims of notable Norovirus outbreaks. Marler Clark is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

If you or a family member became ill with a Norovirus infection after consuming food and you are interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation. Call toll-free at 800-884-9840 or complete the contact us form.

Yusen FS Complaint (pdf)
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