A lawsuit was filed today against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., in San Diego County Superior Court for the recent hepatitis A outbreak linked to a La Mesa Chipotle restaurant. Terry Wesley, the plaintiff, became infected with hepatitis A after eating in March and April at the Chipotle Grill on Fletcher Parkway in La Mesa, California. Mr. Wesley is represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm dedicated to representing victims of food borne illness, and Keeney, Waite, & Stevens, a San Diego area firm.
The lawsuit states Mr. Wesley developed symptoms of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection on April 24, 2008 and required medical attention on April 25 and May 2, when his blood tested positive for hepatitis A. He remains ill and has not been able to return to work.
In late April 2008, San Diego County health officials announced that a number of HAV infections had been traced to the restaurant, located at 8005 Fletcher Parkway in La Mesa. Officials advised customers who had eaten at the restaurant between March 1 and April 22 that they might be at risk for infection. As of May 6, twenty people who ate at the La Mesa restaurant have tested positive for HAV infection. Four of those victims have contacted Marler Clark for assistance with their cases.
Hepatitis A is a food borne virus that can be passed by infected food handlers to consumers. The virus attacks the liver, and symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, dark urine, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, loss of appetite, and later on, jaundice. In extreme cases, liver failure can result. The virus has a long incubation period, and symptoms may not appear for fifteen to fifty days. San Diego health officials continue to urge anyone who ate at the Chipotle Grill during the infection window (5/1/08-4/22/08) to get tested for Hepatitis A.