McDonald’s Named in 3rd Illinois Hep A Suit

The fast food giant, McDonald’s Corporation is facing the third lawsuit from patrons who contracted <"">hepatitis A allegedly after eating at its Milan, Illinois locations.

Last month we wrote about the family of a boy suing McDonald’s for damages and “other relief,” reported Reuters previously. Now, Kari Fiegel, 33, who contracted hepatitis A after eating at the restaurant said, “I knew something was wrong, especially when my daughter also got sick, but I was completely shocked to learn it was hepatitis A…. I’d never heard of hepatitis being a food-borne disease,” quoted QCTimes. The lawsuit was filed against the McDonald’s and, Kevin Murphy, its owner, reported QCTimes, and was filed on behalf of Fiegel and her daughter, Cayla Matthews, 14.

To date, 31 people have been confirmed sickened with hepatitis A in this outbreak.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis A is an acute, contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The disease is transmitted by the ingestion of fecal matter or contaminated food or drinks or from close person-to-person contact. The ingestion can be, says the CDC, even in microscopic amounts. Such person-to-person contact can occur when, for instance, an infected person does not wash his or her hands properly after going to the bathroom and touches other objects or food, the CDC explained.

Two McDonald’s food handlers are among those sickened, said Reuters. Citing press reports, Reuters said that one of the workers who was ill on June 16, was later diagnosed with hepatitis A. It seems the worker did handle food while she was infectious, said Reuters.

Hep A symptoms usually appear anywhere from two-to-six weeks after exposure and develop over a period of several days and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, and jaundice. Hep A, while not chronic, can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months and, while most people recover with no long-lasting liver damage, people can feel sick for months. Hep A can cause liver failure and even death in people over the age of 50 or in those with other liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or C.

We recently wrote that personal injury attorneys in Illinois are working on a class action suit that involves one man—Cody Patterson—and thousands of other potential plaintiffs who ate at McDonald’s in Milan, according to Justice News Flash.

QCTimes said over 5,000 people were vaccinated against hepatitis A at clinics put together by the county health department. Reuters said over 10,000 people may have been exposed based on traffic information for the two establishments involved.

The two Milan McDonald’s were closed on July 15 by the Rock Island County Health Department for health official inspection and cleaning, reported the Denver Post previously; both sites reopened on July 18. A recently completed investigation conducted by the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department revealed that the Trinity Regional Health System and the Metropolitan Medical Laboratory did not report the cases in a timely manner, as is mandated by law, according to QCTimes.

Justice News Flash previously pointed out that when patrons fall ill because a restaurant owner fails to maintain “a safe and healthy working environment, as required by state and federal health laws,” those patrons may be entitled to compensation for damages and injuries, including physician visits, hospital stays, medications, and lost income, to name some.

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