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McDonald's Sued Over Hepatitis A Exposure

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Santa Clara, CA: A personal injury class action lawsuit has been filed against the operator of a McDonald's restaurant in Waterloo, New York, by a customer who alleges he and others who ate at the restaurant were exposed to food and drinks prepared by a worker with the hepatitis A virus, which causes contagious liver infections.

Filed in New York state, against Jascor Inc, the lawsuit seeks class status for potentially affected customers, who may number more than 1,000.

The lawsuit stems from a Seneca County Health Department confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at the Waterloo McDonald's, on November 13.

Public health officials said diners had a low risk of contracting hepatitis A. However, they urged customers who had consumed food and/or beverages from the Waterloo restaurant on November 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 to consider treatments if they were not previously vaccinated against hepatitis A.

According to the complaint, plaintiff Christopher Welch purchased and consumed products from the restaurant on at least one day when the infected worker was on duty.

The complaint alleges McDonald' is liable because it sold food and drink that may have been contaminated with hepatitis A, exposing customers to possible illness and forcing them to receive a vaccine or take a blood test. Further the restaurant failed to exercise due care in assuring that its employees obtained hepatitis A immunization and for allowing one or more employee to work while infected with the virus, the lawsuit states.

Although plaintiffs are not seeking damages, the complaint states the losses could be for lost wages; medical and medical-related expenses; travel and travel-related expenses; emotional distress; fear of harm and humiliation; physical pain; physical injury; and other incidental and consequential damages that could arise.

The case is Welch et al v. Jascor Inc d/b/a McDonald's Restaurant, No. 49796. Plaintiffs are represented by Underberg & Kessler LLP.

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