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More lawsuits filed against Ill. McDonald's over hepatitis A

Source of Article:

Christa Hoyland Editor

17 Aug 2009

Two lawsuits have been filed on behalf of customers sickened in a Milan, Ill., hepatitis A outbreak that involved two McDonald's employees. The lawsuits have been filed against McDonald's Inc. and Kevin Murphy, the franchise owner of the Milan McDonald’s restaurant, by Marler Clark, a Seattle-based foodborne illness law firm, and Craig Mielke of the Illinois firm of Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers LLC. A class action lawsuit also was filed on behalf of restaurant patrons who had to get a shot to avoid illness.


The most recent lawsuit is being brought by Karie Fiegel and her 14-year-old daughter, both of whom ate at the Milan McDonald’s in early June 2009. Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)  has an incubation period of 15-50 days, and it was not until early July that Fiegel fell ill with nausea, vomiting, fever and jaundice. She was hospitalized for three days but continues to suffer from elevated liver enzymes. Her daughter also has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A.


Local health officials said last week without identifying the source of the outbreak that a total of 31 cases of HAV had been reported, all of which are related to visits to the Milan McDonald's, according to a story in the Quad-City Times. The Rock Island County Sheriff's Department concluded its investigation into a lag of time between a McDonald's employee's diagnosis and its being reported to public health officials. Investigators found a local hospital system and medical laboratory were slow to report the case to the county health department, where an employee's being on vacation slowed that agency's action.


The first Milan McDonald's employee who contracted HAV was diagnosed on June 9, but the Rock Island County Health Department says it was not made aware of the illness until July 10. The employee has said she notified management immediately after being released from the hospital in late June when she requested a leave of absence to recuperate.


McDonald's franchisee Murphy said in an earlier statement that he took immediate actions to address the situation after being notified by the Rock Island County Health Department on July 13. The restaurant was closed for cleaning and reopened on July 18.


More than 5,000 people received HAV innoculations in mass clinics offered to customers of the Milan McDoanld's.



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