BOSTON – Marler Clark, the Seattle food safety attorneys, filed a class action lawsuit against Quizno’s Friday on behalf of all individuals who received Immune globulin (Ig) injections after being exposed to the hepatitis A virus at the Quizno’s Subshop located at 74 Summer Street in Boston. The lawsuit, the second class action lawsuit the firm has filed in two weeks on behalf of individuals who received Ig shots, was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court.
Like the previous lawsuit, this class action asks for compensation for people who were forced to receive inoculations to prevent hepatitis A infection. The lawsuit seeks compensation for lost wages, harm, and emotional distress.
“Friendly’s took action and did the right thing by reimbursing the health department for costs of administering Ig shots to those individuals exposed to the virus,” said William Marler, attorney for the plaintiffs. “In past outbreak cases, we have represented health departments who were trying to recover costs for making shots available to consumers.”
The Marler Clark attorneys have called numerous times on the restaurant industry to vaccinate employees against hepatitis A, which would ultimately reduce the number of hepatitis A outbreaks linked to food establishments.
“Vaccinating food workers is not cheap, but it beats the cost of having to reimburse a health department for the cost of inoculating thousands of customers,” Marler continued. “It’s good business sense. After a hepatitis A outbreak at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Spokane, Washington, the restaurant started vaccinating food workers, which went a long way toward showing that Carl’s Jr. wanted to do the responsible thing and prevent future outbreaks.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 83,000 cases of hepatitis A occur in the United States every year, and at least five percent of these cases are related to foodborne transmission. In 1999, over 10,000 people were hospitalized due to hepatitis A infections and 83 people died. Although the CDC has not called for mandatory vaccination of food service workers, it has repeatedly pointed out that the consumption of worker-contaminated food is a major cause of food borne illness in the United States.
“Absent vaccinations and an effective and rigorous hand washing policy, there will be more hepatitis A outbreaks,” added Denis Stearns, a partner with Marler Clark. “And if there are more hepatitis A outbreaks, there are going to be more restaurants going out of business as a result.”
Marler Clark has extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illnesses.
Denis Stearns and William Marler write and speak frequently on issues of safe food. The Marler Clark law firm is also proud to sponsor several information-sites, including www.about-hepatitis.com, www.hepatitislitigation.com, www.hepatitisblog.com, and www.foodborneillness.com.
More about the Quizno's hepatitis A exposure case can be found in the Case News area of this site.