Norovirus lawsuit filed against Blimpie's

SEATTLE – A lawsuit was filed Thursday against the Grand Rapids Blimpie’s Restaurant that was the source of a Norovirus outbreak in early May. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Douglas Devries, a Grand Rapids resident who became ill with Norovirus after eating sub sandwiches purchased at the Blimpie’s Restaurant located at 1040 Leonard NW. Mr. Devries is represented by Marler Clark, the Seattle attorneys who have successfully represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness across the nation, and Michael Heilmann, a respected Southfield, Michigan attorney.

In the complaint, which was filed in Kent County Circuit Court, attorneys allege that Mr. Devries purchased three subs from Blimpie’s on May 4. He ate two of the sandwiches for lunch, one on May 4 and one on May 5. On May 6, Mr. Devries became ill with symptoms of Norovirus, which include fever, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

“Blimpie’s had a duty to sell a product that was wholesome and unadulterated. Unfortunately, they sold my client a defective product that was harmful to his health,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “Anyone who has experienced a Norovirus infection knows it’s not a pleasant experience. Mr. Devries just wants to be compensated for what he’s gone through.”

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) became aware of the outbreak on May 5, and at the conclusion of its investigation into the outbreak on May 18 announced in a press release that approximately 125 people had become ill with Norovirus after eating food purchased at Blimpie’s.

Marler Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of two men who became ill with Norovirus after eating at a Grants Pass, Oregon restaurant in January, 2005.

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illnesses. The firm has represented thousand of food poisoning victims since 1993, when William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million E. coli settlement with Jack in the Box. Since that time, Marler Clark has represented victims of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, hepatitis A, Shigella, Campylobacter, Norovirus, and Listeria outbreaks across the United States. Marler Clark and Michael Heilmann represented thirty victims of the Black Forest Bakery Salmonella outbreak in Clinton Township, Michigan, in 2002.

See the Marler Clark-sponsored web sites about Norovirus, and about foodborne illness.

More about the Blimpie's norovirus outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.