Lawsuit seeks damages for Maryland Shore hepatitis A victims


SEATTLE - Lori Troyanoski, a resident of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, has filed a lawsuit against Catamarans Restaurant on Solomons Island, after she was infected with hepatitis-A during the August 2000 outbreak in Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties in Maryland. The spread of the hepatitis-A virus has been linked to an employee of that restaurant. Ms. Troyanoski is one of the 24 confirmed victims infected with the virus during this outbreak.

Ms. Troyanoski was vacationing in Maryland with her husband and two young children when they ate at the Catamarans Restaurant on July 27, 2000. On August 22, Ms. Troyanoski fell ill, exhibiting classic symptoms of a viral hepatitis infection: fatigue, jaundiced appearance, and fever. Soon after, she was diagnosed with an acute hepatitis-A infection, and hospitalized for several days for treatment of severe dehydration. The other members of her family were spared an infection, but received the immuno globulin treatment once Ms. Troyanoski’s diagnosis was confirmed.

Ms. Troyanoski is represented by the Seattle, Washington law firm, Marler Clark, whose attorneys are nationally known for their successful representation of victims of foodborne illness, and co-counsel, Benson Klein, with the highly regarded Gaithersburg, Maryland law firm of Ward & Klein. Last summer, Marler Clark obtained a $1.06 million settlement on behalf of 29 persons who were infected with hepatitis-A as a result of eating contaminated food at two Seattle, Washington Subway Sandwich and Salad franchises.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 83,000 cases of hepatitis A occur in the U. S. every year, and at least 5% of these cases are related to foodborne transmission. In 1999 alone, over 10,000 people were hospitalized as a result of hepatitis A infections, and 83 people died. The illness is characterized by sudden onset of fever, malaise, nausea, anorexia and abdominal pain, followed by jaundice. and these symptom can linger for several weeks. The incubation period for hepatitis-A varies from 10 to 50 days.

Hepatitis-A spreads from the feces of infected people, and can produce disease when individuals consume contaminated water or foods. Contamination of foods by infected workers in food processing plants and restaurants is increasingly common. Cold cuts, fruits, fruit juices, milk, milk products, vegetables, salads, shellfish, and iced drinks are also implicated in outbreaks. Water, shellfish, and salads are also common sources.

For more information about hepatitis, visit the Marler Clark Web site about Hepatitis A, with information about the symptoms, risks, detection, and prevention of hepatitis A infection.

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Background: Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of food-borne illness. William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box. In May 1998, Marler Clark settled the Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak for the five families whose children were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice. Marler Clark is currently lead counsel in actions stemming from E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and hepatitis outbreaks in Washington, California, Ohio, Oregon, Missouri, Arizona and Wisconsin. Marler Clark has also litigated on behalf of individuals against KFC, McDonalds, Hardees, Wendy’s, Subway, Sizzler, and Carl's Jr.