McDonald’s 'Hepatitis A' Outbreak Results in Personal Injury Lawsuit
By Meaghan Olson
Personal injury attorneys in Illinois are filing a class action lawsuit against a McDonald’s chain in Milan, Ill. The case focuses on customer Cody Patterson who became ill after eating several times in June and July at the Rock Island County location of the fast-food restaurant. The class action lawsuit includes a confirmed number of 19 sickened, 11 of whom required hospitalization. The suspect is a McDonald’s employee who perhaps unknowingly infected customers with Hepatitis A.
The Rock Island County Health Department closed two McDonald’s restaurants in Milan, Ill. on July 15 for health inspection violations. While the Rock Island County Health Department has not confirmed the source of the Hepatitis A outbreak, their mission has been to prevent its further spread.
Injury lawyers estimate upwards of 10,000 people sickened by the Hepatitis A outbreak based on the sheer volume of customers who frequent the fast-food chain.
The suspected culprit is the Hepatitis A virus, which is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food and drinking water. The infectious disease is typically transmitted along the oral-fecal route. This means that employees handling food have most likely failed to wash their hands properly after using the bathroom.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) indicates that Hepatitis A is generally transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food and water sources by fecal matter. Approximately 10 million people worldwide are infected with Hepatitis A every year most likely through contaminated food and water handled by unclean hands.
The CDC points out that the Hepatitis A vaccination is the best prevention to the virus but clean personal hygiene, including the frequent washing of hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom or handling fecal matter can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. The vaccination is available for children starting at the age of 1 and is also recommended for travelers to some foreign countries.
The virus causes an acute viral infection of the liver. After an initial exposure, it may take 28 days before symptoms present themselves and the acute illness may last between 2 weeks and several months.
The U.S Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is an agency under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) charged with ensuring safe and healthy working conditions. They employ state and local agencies to conduct workplace inspections.
A clean work environment more likely ensures the safety and health of its employees and customers. If an employer does not maintain a healthy and safe work environment as required by law, and a consumer becomes ill, that customer is entitled to compensation for damages and injuries. Doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and hospital bills all add up. Infected customers also lose income from time spent away from work recuperating from an infectious disease such as Hepatitis A.
Source: Justice News Flash