On Wednesday, McDonald’s was sued over hepatitis A exposure in New York after a sick employee prepared food and drinks that were served to customers. The worker was later diagnosed with hepatitis A, a liver infection caused by a highly contagious virus.
According to a recent report, one of the restaurant’s customers decided to file a lawsuit against Jascor Inc., a company’s operator in Waterloo, New York.
The lawsuit, which was filed with a state court in Seneca County, is a class-action suit. This means that if the plaintiff wins, all other potentially contaminated customers would have the right to compensation. So far, there may be over 1,000 people affected by the infection.
Jascor Inc. was not available for comment. The company is one of the franchisees that operate the restaurant chain’s U.S. locations. Very rarely, restaurants are run by McDonald’s Corp itself.
On Nov. 13, health officials in Seneca County confirmed that one worker at the Waterloo location had hepatitis A. Officials, however, said that the risk of customers to get infected was extremely small.
Still, people who recall consuming food or drinks from that restaurant between Oct. 31 and Nov. 8, when the worker was on duty, should go see their doctors if they weren’t vaccinated against the virus. Jascor, Inc operates a restaurant on Mound Road in Waterloo.
The plaintiff, Christopher Welch, said that he bought and ate food from the restaurant on one or several of those days. Welch is among the 1,000 people who were exposed to the disease and received emergency treatment.
Health officials explained that the employee might have transmitted the disease if he or she went to the toilet and failed to properly wash hands. Authorities declined to provide more details on the employee’s identity and status.
On Saturday, people that were exposed to the infectious disease were vaccinated with shots provided by The Seneca County Health Department. More than 1,000 people including Welch were offered and accepted the vaccination.
Local health officials said that they had never heard of a hepatitis A outbreak in the county. Vicky Swinehart said that there wasn’t such outbreak in at least 23 years which is as long as her career at the health department. Swinehart was pleased with the high turnout to take the shots last weekend. More than 1,000 people showed up for the vaccine only on Saturday.
Nevertheless, authorities explained that the vaccine can prevent the disease only if it is taken within two weeks of the exposure.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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