Third Lawsuit Filed In Chipotle Grill Hepatitis A Outbreak

A third hepatitis A lawsuit was filed today against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., in San Diego County Superior Court. The complaint was filed on behalf of two Santee residents, Nick Sowter and Shannon Jacobs (husband and wife). Both were infected with hepatitis A after eating food from the Chipotle Grill in La Mesa, California, in March and April 2008. The couple 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. Sowter developed symptoms of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection on April 7, 2008 and as a result, was hospitalized from April 11-14, where his blood tested positive for hepatitis A. Mr. Sowter continues to recover from his illness.

Ms. Jacobs’ symptoms began on April 8, and she sought medical treatment on April 11. During treatment, her blood tested positive for hepatitis A. She continues her recovery from her illness.

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. Currently twenty-two people have tested positive for HAV infection in connection with the outbreak; seven 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 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 (3/1/08-4/22/08) to get tested for hepatitis A. More information on HAV can be found at