Local News

Hepatitis scare prompts lawsuit against Olive Garden

Posted August 18, 2011 5:50 p.m. EDT

— 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.