I have my eye on you.
Hepatitis A is a human fecal virus. It is endemic outside the United States. Since 2016 the CDC has reported over 30,000 infections with over 19,000 hospitalizations and 300 deaths.
Hepatitis A is vaccine preventable.
The ongoing hepatitis A outbreak is primarily in the homeless population and those linked to the opioid crisis – many of whom find low wage jobs in the restaurant industry.
Is there any wonder why on a near daily basis there are news reports of food service workers exposing customers (and those exposures are likely underreported)?
Over the last decades I have sued countless restaurants who exposed thousands of patrons – some of who contracted hepatitis A – and some who died.
The restaurant industry needs to step up.
In 2000, I wrote this:
In light of the recent, large-scale Hepatitis A exposure in the San Francisco Bay Area, food safety attorneys of the Seattle-based law firm of Marler Clark, are asking restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily vaccinate all workers against Hepatitis A. “In the last six months Hepatitis A exposures have been linked to two Seattle-area Subways, a Carl’s Jr. in Spokane, WA, Hoggsbreath, a Minnesota restaurant, and three restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, IHOP, U.S. Pizza, and Belvedeers. Now more than seven hundred children are being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus in California after possible consumption of contaminated strawberries. Furthermore, this isn’t the first time that strawberries have been implicated in the outbreak of a foodborne disease.” Marler continued, “Restaurants and food manufacturers must take action and voluntarily vaccinate all of their employees.”
Hardly a week goes by that there is not yet another announcement of a hepatitis A positive employee putting co-workers, customers and the restaurant brand at risk. There have been illnesses, deaths, thousands of customers have had to stand in long lines to get preventative vaccines, some restaurants have shuttered and there certainly have been lawsuits.
All preventable by a hepatitis A vaccination – the only foodborne illness that is vaccine preventable.
So, here is my offer – to the first restaurant chain with more that 250 locations (corporate and/or franchise) that will offer hepatitis A vaccinations to all present and future employees and I will agree to consult with that restaurant chain for $1.00 and conflict Marler Clark from being on the opposite side of the courtroom.
This seems like an “offer you can’t refuse.”
Whether or not you take me up on my offer, consider offering to vaccinate your employees anyway – be a food safety leader. In addition to being the right thing to do during a nation-wide outbreak of hepatitis A, it is good for your employees, your customers, your brand – and, for taking money out of my pocket.
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 $700 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.