In June of 2004, a food worker at a Friendly’s restaurant in Arlington, Massachusetts was diagnosed with hepatitis A, a virus that can cause acute liver failure. Health officials estimated that more than 3,800 people were at risk for developing hepatitis A infection after dining at the restaurant.
In mid-June, more than 3,000 people exposed to the hepatitis A virus at Friendly’s lined up at an area clinic to receive immune globulin (“Ig”) shots to prevent hepatitis A infection. When administered within 14 days of exposure to the virus, Ig is effective in preventing – or at least reducing the symptoms of – hepatitis A infection. Many of the people who lined up for shots were initially turned away and due to a lack of Ig and had to return later.
Marler Clark filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of customers and employees of the Friendly’s restaurant who were exposed to the hepatitis A virus. Friendly’s and Marler Clark resolved the case in 2005.