PITTSBURGH -- Seattle attorney William Marler today asked Chi Chi's to pay damages to those people exposed to, and those nearly 300 people infected with, hepatitis A after eating at the restaurant's Beaver Valley Mall location in October and early November. His request was made after Chi Chi's announced in a news release that representatives from company headquarters will be in the Beaver Valley area of Pennsylvania on Wednesday to address the outbreak.
Marler, who represents nearly 40 people sickened and exposed in the outbreak, and whose firm, Marler Clark, has already filed one lawsuit against Chi Chi's, said that the restaurant should be taking a more proactive approach to compensating victims of the outbreak.
"This outbreak has been devastating for the entire Beaver Valley Community," said Marler. "Company representatives shouldn't just be coming to 'address' the outbreak. It is time Chi Chi's stepped up to the plate and took responsibility for what has happened, starting with immediately paying all medical bills and lost wages for those who were sickened."
Marler also recommended that Chi Chi's do the following:
-- Reimburse individuals for the cost of receiving Immune Globulin (IG)
-- Reimburse individuals for wage loss for seeking IG shots
-- Require all employees in all of its restaurants to be vaccinated
-- Review hand-washing and glove policies
-- Agree to further and fair additional compensation for victims, to be
"The Pennsylvania Department of Health had to increase staffing to accommodate screening and administering shots to over 7,500 people over the last four days," Marler continued. "That adds up to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money that Chi Chi's should reimburse the Health Department for. It's part of being a good corporate citizen and taking responsibility."
Marler Clark has successfully represented hepatitis A victims of outbreaks across the country. The firm obtained a million-dollar settlement on behalf of people infected with hepatitis A after eating contaminated food at two Seattle Subway Sandwich franchises. Marler Clark has also represented victims who became ill with hepatitis A after eating at a Carl's Jr. restaurant in Spokane, Wash., three restaurants in northwest Arkansas, a large wedding party in Michigan, which resulted in a death, a Taco Bell outlet in Florida, and at a deli in Massachusetts. The firm has been recently contacted by victims of a recent outbreak in Georgia and North Carolina that was linked to contaminated green onions.
Source: Marler Clark