Local News

Hepatitis scare prompts lawsuit against Olive Garden

Posted August 18, 2011

— A group of customers of a Fayetteville Olive Garden have filed a class-action lawsuit against the restaurant after a hepatitis scare that has sent hundreds of people seeking a vaccine.

The lawsuit claims that the customers were exposed to potentially contaminated food or people because Olive Garden was negligent in failing to require its employees to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and by failing to prevent an employee with the disease from working.

State public health officials warned last week that anyone who ate at the restaurant over eight days in late July and early August might have been exposed.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A appear two to six weeks after exposure and include mild fever, lost appetite, vomiting, and jaundice that causes yellowness of the eyes or skin.

Cumberland County health officials have administered more than 2,700 doses of immunizations since last week. There have been no reported cases of anyone getting the disease other than the restaurant employee.

Free immunizations are still being offered until Monday during normal business hours at the county health department at 1235 Ramsey St.

The vaccine can prevent infection if given within 14 days of exposure to the virus.

24 Comments

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  • beachboater Aug 19, 11:44 a.m.

    Google search - Marler Clark a national law firm specializing in food poisoning has filed a class action lawsuit. The only location reference I saw was Seattle.

    Ambulance chasers.

  • GulfWarVet Aug 19, 9:40 a.m.

    " ...How do you prove that that the people who got "Hepatitis A"; got it from said employee at said establishment?" - vraptor

    The great thing about living in this day in age, there are geneticists that specialize in handling this sort of thing. If it really came down to it, they could sequence collected samples from infected worker and any positively infected victim(s) and determine whether or not the infection came from that party, or other sources. Still, I really doubt anyone would go to such effort.

  • kermit60 Aug 19, 9:15 a.m.

    Another lawsuit by a bunch of people looking for a way to get free money. I don't think that any of them even contracted the disease. I'm sure that some money hungry lawer told them they had a chance for the big money.

  • yankee1 Aug 18, 7:57 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be real grown-up if you paid for your own vaccine if you are so concerned? Duh!!!

  • vraptor Aug 18, 7:55 p.m.

    The law suite is a joke. It should be tossed. Say an employee had "Hepatitis A" during the time frame. How do you prove that that the people who got "Hepatitis A"; got it from said employee at said establishment?

    I am trying to figure out where I am getting the "gastroenteritis / norovirus". No luck. If I think I find it. What can I do. Avoid it. I can never prove it.

    When the flu spreads in your work place. How do you prove where or who you got it from??? You cannot.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 18, 7:38 p.m.

    Wonder how many actual have a receipt to show that ate there at that time?

  • As if .... Aug 18, 7:34 p.m.

    Olive Garden should be sued for claiming that it serves real Italian food !!

  • paulej Aug 18, 7:17 p.m.

    " Olive Garden was negligent in failing to require its employees to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and by failing to prevent an employee with the disease from working."

    Oh, my goodness. Are they joking? A business is now required to be the health police? If these requirements need to be met, the state laws should require restaurant employees to go get an annual check-up or something. One cannot blame the restaurant if the law does not require it.

    Oh, and what about all of the customers? Gasp... all patrons must have a checkup when entering the door?

  • Shine -On Aug 18, 7:16 p.m.

    I guarantee there are more germs on the handle of a shopping cart, and money than you could find in a restaurant. Go ahead with your lawsuit......... I would like to personally investigate each and every one of your houses and figure if you could pass my test. How _________ frivilous! I hope you get nothing but a PHAT bill from the law firm and the one representing you loses their shingle.

  • North Carolina Home Aug 18, 7:13 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get a free vaccine that would protect us from opportunists?

    And lawyers.

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