Nationally-known food safety attorney Bill Marler calls for Bartaco to reimburse Westchester County for the hepatitis A vaccinations issued by county health officials over the past month. According to press reports, the vaccinations have cost the county between $75,000 and $210,000, which will end up coming out of taxpayer’s pockets.

“Hepatitis A is the only vaccine-preventable foodborne illness.  Bartaco should have offered hepatitis A vaccines to all of its employees and avoided this outbreak,” said Bill Marler. “Bartaco should now step up and reimburse the department of public health for the cost of vaccinating over 3,000 people.  Other companies in similar situations have paid for their error and relieved the taxpayers of the cost burden.”

Marler Clark has already filed a class action lawsuit against Bartaco, representing those who have received shots. The firm is working to recover costs for those who received shots privately.  Marler Clark has also been retained by some of those who actually contracted hepatitis A.  Those cases will be handled individually.

Hepatitis A is one of five human hepatitis viruses (hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E) that primarily infect the liver and cause illness. It is a communicable (or contagious) disease that spreads from person-to-person through fecal-oral contact, often from an infected food handler contaminating food. The cases the Marler Clark hepatitis A lawyers have been involved in have generally resulted from contaminated food or water.

An estimated 80,000 hepatitis A cases and an estimated 100 deaths due to acute liver failure brought on by hepatitis A occur each year in the U.S. The rate of infection has dramatically decreased since the hepatitis A vaccine was licensed and became available in 1995. Despite the decrease in hepatitis A cases nationally, Marler Clark has represented clients young and old who have become ill with hepatitis A after eating contaminated food or who were exposed to the virus and had to receive an injection to prevent illness.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.

Westchester, NY – A class action lawsuit was filed Monday in the County of Westchester New York Supreme Court against Barteca Restaurants, LLC, specifically the Bartaco Port Chester, LLC. Marler Clark, the Seattle Food Safety Law Firm, and Underberg & Kessler LLP, located in Rochester, NY, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the named plaintiff, Crystal Lopez, and all others who were forced to obtain a blood test, hepatitis A Vaccine and/or received Immune Globulin after being exposed to the hepatitis A virus at Bartaco.

The “shot class” includes all persons who were exposed to the hepatitis A virus as a direct result of either their consumption of food that was manufactured and sold by Bartaco, or their exposure to persons who were infected with the hepatitis A virus after consuming hepatitis A contaminated food at Bartaco.

On October 25, 2017, Health Officials announced that customers who had visited Bartaco between the dates of October 12th and 23rd had been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus. Health officials estimate that over 3,000 people, including the plaintiff obtained recommended Immune Globulin shots along with blood tests and other diagnostic procedures.

William “Bill” Marler is a nationally recognized personal injury lawyer and food safety advocate. He is the managing partner of Marler Clark, a Seattle, Washington, based law firm that specializes in foodborne illness cases.

“Everyone has a right to expect that the food they are served at a public restaurant is free on contaminants and is safe to eat,” said Paul Nunes of Underberg & Kessler LLP.

Paul V. Nunes is a senior partner at Underberg & Kessler LLP (Rochester and Buffalo, NY) who has been litigating food-borne illness cases with the Marler Clark office in New York State for over 15 years.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. The hepatitis A virus is commonly spread through contact with human stool. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramping, fatigue and fever. In young children these symptoms can appear flu-like, but in some cases, do not appear at all. Symptoms most often begin two to six weeks after exposure and can last several weeks. Preventative treatment is only effective when administered within 14 days of exposure to the virus. After 14 days there is no treatment.

If you would like to speak to Mr. Marler and get a copy of the complaint, please contact Lauren Fricke at lfricke@marlerclark.com or 1-206-346-1888.

statemap-2Arkansas, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing to investigate a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Information available at this time does not indicate an ongoing risk of acquiring hepatitis A virus infection at Tropical Smoothie Café’s, as the contaminated food product has been removed as of August 8. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection can take up to 50 days to appear.

As a result, CDC continues to identify cases of hepatitis A related to the initial contaminated product. As of September 14, 2016:

127 people with hepatitis A have been reported from eight states: Arkansas (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (102), West Virginia (6), and Wisconsin (1).

47 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, wo required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

statemapThe CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A.  74 people with hepatitis A have been reported from seven states: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (59), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1).  32 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.

On August 8, 2016, Tropical Smoothie Café reported that they removed the Egyptian frozen strawberries from their restaurants in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia and switched to another supplier. Out of an abundance of caution, Tropical Smoothie Café has since switched to another supplier for all restaurants nationwide.

Contact your doctor if you think you may have become ill from eating a smoothie containing strawberries from a Tropical Smoothie Café prior to August 8, 2016 in the following states:

  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina

It is important that food handlers and restaurant employees contact their doctor and stay home if they are infected with hepatitis A. This helps prevent the virus from spreading. Not everyone will experience symptoms from a hepatitis A virus infection. Some people may experience mild flu-like symptoms. Other symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include:

  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pale stools
  • Dark urine

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A in its state. For the latest case count and investigation findings, visit the HDOH outbreak investigation website. On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on the islands of Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the ongoing outbreak.

As of August 31, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 13 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 64 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A 241

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/25/16.

 

On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp. recalled three lots of frozen bay scallops produced on November 23-24, 2015 in the Philippines. The lot numbers are 5885, 5886, and 5887. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. The recalled products were not sold directly to consumers by Sea Port.

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Business Island Location Dates of Service
Chili’s Oahu Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway) July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
Hawaiian Airlines Flight list (click here) July 1-26, 2016
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Oahu Honolulu (801 Kaheka Street) July 21-23, 26-30, and August 2-6, 9-11, 2016
Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
Tamashiro Market Oahu Kalihi (802 N. King Street) July 2, 4, 6–8, 11–13, 15–19, and 23, 2016
Papa John’s Waipahu Oahu Waipahu (94-1021 Waipahu Street) July 23-24, and Aug. 2, 2016
New Lin Fong bakery Oahu Chinatown (1132 Maunakea Street) July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and Aug. 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016
Hawaiian Airlines Flight list (click here) July 31-August 1, August 10-12

 

If you live in Hawaii, or have recently traveled to Hawaii and ate scallops at a Genki Sushi restaurant, HDOH has specific advice on its website for you.

Advice to Restaurants and Retailers

  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell recalled scallops.
    • The recalled scallops were produced on November 23-24, 2015 in the Philippines.
    • Recalled lot numbers are 5885, 5886, and 5887
  • The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Restaurants and retailers should check their freezers and inventory for recalled scallops and return them to their distributor.

Advice to Consumers

  • Before you eat raw or cooked scallops in a restaurant, ask the restaurant who supplied the scallops and if they were recalled. If they were recalled or the restaurant doesn’t know the origin of the scallops, don’t eat them.
  • If you think you’ve gotten sick from eating contaminated scallops, contact your health care provider.
    • Some symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include:
      • Yellow eyes or skin
      • Abdominal pain
      • Pale stools
      • Dark urine
    • CDC recommends the following groups be vaccinated for hepatitis A:
      • All children at age 1 year
      • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
      • Family members and caregivers of recent adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
      • Men who have sexual contact with other men
      • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs
      • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
      • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
      • People who work with Hepatitis A infected animals or in a Hepatitis A research laboratory

tropical-smoothie-cafe1The number of confirmed cases of hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia continues to climb.

As of Friday, there were seven new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of cases among Virginia residents to 35, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Breaking down the numbers, there are now six cases in Central Virginia, 14 in Northern Virginia, five in Northwest Virginia and 10 in the eastern region on the state.

Throughout the week, confirmed cases of hepatitis A have increased beginning with 17 cases on Tuesday.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, wo required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

tropical-smoothie-cafe_1471641149449_5578065_ver1.0Virginia health officials say they have confirmed 17 cases of hepatitis A are linked to frozen strawberries used by Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

The Virginia Department of Health says testing indicates frozen strawberries from Egypt used at the smoothie chain may be to blame for the illnesses.

The 17 hepatitis cases are from across Virginia: five in the eastern region (which includes Hampton Roads), four in the northern region, four in the northwestern region, and four in the central region.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe says it stopped using the strawberries from Egypt at all of its stores, including those outside Virginia, after learning about the potential issue. The smoothie chain says the cafes and their food handling practices “have not been implicated in any way.”

Health officials are encouraging anyone who consumed a smoothie with frozen strawberries at a restaurant in the last 50 days to watch for symptoms of hepatitis A. Those include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea.

Food safety advocate and attorney Bill Marler returns to Oahu to represent a victim of the outbreak.

Oahu resident Brant Mauk is suing Genki Sushi Restaurant and Koha Foods, who sold and imported scallops now believed to have triggered the Hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened 168 people and hospitalized 46 since June 2016. Michael F. O’Connor of Ogawa, Lau, Nakamura & Jew, and food safety advocate William D. Marler, managing attorney at Marler Clark LLP, the Food Safety Law Firm, based in Seattle, are representing the victim.

Marler is returning to Oahu Tuesday evening, August 16, having previously visited in July to act as a consultant for victims and their families. Marler,  an advocate for the requirement of Hepatitis A vaccination in food service workers, will be in Hawaii until the morning of Friday, August 19. “The reach and extent of this outbreak is unfortunate, but unsurprising when vaccines aren’t required for food workers,” said Marler. “If policies on vaccination don’t change, this won’t be the last major outbreak we see.” Hepatitis A presents higher than usual risk in the food industry, since the pathogen can survive for months in salt and fresh water, as well as in frozen products.

Brant Mauk found himself among the outbreak’s victims in late June of 2016, when, some time after eating at Genki Sushi, he developed the flu-like symptoms that typify a Hepatitis A infection. A visit to the hospital and tests confirmed that he had Hepatitis A. He received a vaccine and was sent home on July 7th, but was hospitalized again that same day as the vaccine combated his worsening symptoms. In total, Mr. Mauk spent 7 days in the hospital, and he continues his recovery today.

Tracking the source of the outbreak proved difficult as the victim count increased, but the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has at last succeeded in identifying the culprit. Genki Sushi Restaurants on Oahu and Kauai are now closed, as the HDOH has identified raw scallops sold at the restaurant and imported by Koha Foods as the likely culprits of the outbreak. Commented Marler, “The Hawaii Department of Health should be congratulated for taking decisive action. Sources for Hepatitis A outbreaks are hard to trace, but thanks to their efforts, justice can be done for those who suffered illness and continue to suffer today.”

The acute, flu-like symptoms of hepatitis A tend to kick in suddenly about a month after the virus is contracted. The illness usually lasts a few weeks, but recovery can take up to a year. Most affected individuals show complete recovery within three to six months of the onset of illness. Relapse is possible, although it is more common in children than adults.

The best protection against a hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated. An estimated 80,000 cases of HAV occur each year, although much higher estimates have been proposed. Hepatitis A is a virus that primarily infects the liver, and an estimated 100 people die each year as a result of acute liver failure in the U.S. due to hepatitis A. However, the rate of infection has dramatically decreased since the hepatitis A vaccine was licensed and became available in the U.S. in 1995.

Because HAV is so readily transmitted, Marler encourages restaurants and food handlers to adhere to strict sanitary protocols. He warns, “The virus is almost exclusively transmitted through fecal-oral contact. I can’t stress how important it is that all employees thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom.” For more information about hepatitis A, please visit www.about-hepatitis.com.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food. The law firm has represented thousands of individuals in class action lawsuits related to HAV, and have brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, Red Robin, Chi-Chi’s, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quizno’s and Carl’s Jr.

As of Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has identified 33 new cases of Hepatitis A, bringing the total to 168.

All cases have been adults with 46 requiring hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu.

Eight individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

Onset of illness has ranged between June 12th to August 1st.

Here are some suggestions for the 168 (or more) sickened that I am sure HDOH officials are already using:

  • Be cooperative – hepatitis A illnesses can last 2 – 6 months and victims are certainly not feeling their best, but their cooperation is vital.
  • Thinking about what you ate or drank and where may well not be that productive – trying to recall what you ate or drank several weeks ago is difficult – I can hardly recall what I ate or drank a few days ago – however, try.
  • Focus on where you have been eating and drinking in the 2 – 6 weeks prior to becoming ill – at home or out. Check your calendar, phone records and social media like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Pull your credit and debit card purchases as well as any accounts you have at grocery stores or restaurants.
  • As friends, co-workers or family what they might recall that you did over that same time.
  • Keep in contact with HDOH. Its resources are stretched and it needs your support and assistance.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

doh-largeThe Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of hepatitis A infections on Oahu.  HDOH staff are conducting interviews with the cases in an effort to identify the source of infection.

Identifying the source of infection continues to be a challenge because of the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

Individuals who are interested in being vaccinated should contact their healthcare providers.

As of July 26, 2016*:Since the last update, HDOH has identified 19 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 29 have required hospitalization.

All of the cases were on Oahu during their exposure period. Four individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
93

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 7/19/16.

Unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

A contact is defined as:

  • All unvaccinated household members
  • All unvaccinated sexual contacts
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene

Note: A food handler is any person who directly prepares, serves, or handles food.

Unvaccinated food handlers who are contacts of cases must have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before they return to work.

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does notindicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Establishment Island Location Dates of Service
Baskin-Robbins Oahu Waikele Center June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

 

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.