Hepatitis A Legal Cases

A preliminary settlement of up to $4,500,000.00 has been reached in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of those who were exposed to hepatitis A related to eating at Genki Sushi restaurants in Hawaii in 2016, but who did not become ill with hepatitis A. The class is represented by Seattle based, Marler Clark, the nation’s food safety law firm, Perkin and Faria, and Starn, O’Toole, Marcus, and Fisher, respected Hawaii firms.  See www.HawaiiHepA.com 

Genki-Stipulation for Order Stipulating Class filed 10.12.18

Genki-Order Approving Stipulation for Class Certification filed 10.12.18

Qualified class members are entitled to receive up to either $350, $250, or $150 by submitting a claim form available at www.HawaiiHepA.com or by calling 1-800-532-9250.

The hepatitis A outbreak:

On August 15, 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. The product of concern was identified to be Sea Port Bay Scallops that originated in the Philippines and were distributed by Koha Oriental Foods.

The class is defined as follows:

All persons who: (1) as a result of the 2016 Hepatitis A Outbreak infections linked to consuming food at thirteen Genki Sushi restaurants located on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, and Maui, were exposed to the hepatitis A virus (“HAV”) through one of three exposure-mechanisms (defined in the Exposure Subclasses), but did not become infected, and (2) as a result of such exposure, after learning of the requirement of treatment from an announcement of public health officials or a medical professional, obtained preventative medical treatment within 14 days of exposure, such as receiving immune globulin (“IG”), HAV vaccine, or blood test.

The preliminary settlement covers three subclasses:

Exposure Subclass 1 – up to $350: All Class Members who were in contact with one of the 292 persons who the Hawai’i Department of Health identified as infected with HAV as part of the 2016 Hepatitis A Outbreak. A contact is defined as:

  • All household members of one of the 292 persons
  • All sexual contacts with one of the 292 persons
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with one of the 292 persons
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with one of the 292 persons
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by one of the 292 persons

Exposure Subclass 2 – up to $250: All Class Members who as a result of consuming food on or between August 1 to August 16, 2016, were exposed to HAV at one of the thirteen Genki Sushi restaurants located on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, and Maui, implicated in the summer 2016 outbreak of HAV.

Exposure Subclass 3 – up to $150: All Class Members who as a result of consumption of food or drink from one or more of the Secondary Establishments identified below, where an employee infected as part of the 2016 Hepatitis A Outbreak (one of the 292 persons) was found to have worked on the Identified Dates, were exposed as a result of consuming food or drink at the Secondary Establishment during one or more of the Identified Dates. The Secondary Establishments and Identified Dates are as follows:

  • Baskin Robbins located at Waikele Center, HI 96797: June 30 and July 1, 2, 2016;
  • Taco Bell located at 94-790 Uke’e St., Waipahu, HI 96797: July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 2016;
  • Sushi Shiono located at 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, HI 96738: July 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 2016;
  • Chili’s Grill & Bar located at 590 Farrington Hwy, Kapoelei, HI 96707: July 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 2016;
  • Twelve Hawaiian Airlines flights (24) flight 118 on July 24; (25) flight 117 on July 24; (26) flight 382 on July 24; (27) flight 383 on July 24; (28) flight 396 on July 24; (29) flight 365 on July 24; (30) flight 273 on July 25; (31) flight 68 on July 25; (32) flight 65 on July 25; (33) flight 147 on July 26;; (36) flight 18 on August 10; and (37) flight 17 on August 12, 2016;
  • Tamashiro Market located at 802 N. King St., Honolulu, HI 96817: July 23, 2016;
  • Papa John’s located at 94-1012 Waipahu St., Waipahu, HI 96797: August 2, 2016;
  • New Lin Fong Bakery located at 1132 Maunakea St., Honolulu, HI 96817: July 27, 29, 30, and August 1, 3, 5, 6, 2016;
  • Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, located at 801 Kaheka St., Honolulu, HI 96814: and August 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 2016;
  • Kipapa Elementary School located at 95-76 Kipapa Dr., Mililani, HI 96789: August 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 2016;
  • Zippy’s Restaurant located at 950 Kamokila Blvd., Kapolei, HI 96707: August 14, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 2016;
  • Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38 located at 1133 North Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817: August 30-31 and September 1- 12, 2016;
  • Ohana Seafood at Sam’s Club located at 1000 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City, HI 96782: September 1- 11, 2016;
  • Chart House Restaurant located at 1765 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96815: September 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 2016; and
  • McDonald’s Restaurant located at 4618 Kilauea Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816: October 5, 7, 11, 2016.

Key dates for claimants to be aware of:

On October 15, 2018, the Notice Company will establish a website for this Settlement at www.HawaiiHepA.com which will include electronic copies of the Claim form, the Notice of Settlement for publication, the Preliminary Approval Order, and other information pertaining to the Settlement.

Beginning on or promptly after October 15, 2018, the Notice Company shall commence an online or social media campaign, to include Facebook, Instagram, or such other social media as the Notice Company deems appropriate, to disseminate notice of the Settlement

Beginning on or promptly after October 15, 2018, the Notice Company shall cause the Notice of Settlement for publication to be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in the Honolulu Star Advertiser on Oahu, Hawai’i, and Maui as a paid legal advertisement

The deadline for Class Members to request exclusion from the Class, to file objections to the Settlement, or to submit a Claim Form, shall be November 29, 2018.

A Final Approval Hearing shall be held on December 11, 2018 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, Hawaiii, before the Honorable Judge James H. Ashford for the purpose of determining: (a) whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be finally approved by the Court; and (b) whether to issue a final judgment order.

News 12 reports that a Westchester couple says their dream wedding turned into a nightmare as a result of the hepatitis A scare at the Cortlandt Manor venue where they were recently married.

Jay and Jennifer Gorinson had their wedding and reception on June 10 at the Monteverde at Oldstone Restaurant.

The newlyweds have since had to visit the Westchester County Health Department in White Plains for hepatitis A vaccinations. The Gorinsons say they were called about the newly issued Health Department warning while on their honeymoon.

A bartender with hepatitis A worked at the venue while she was infectious, putting the Gorinsons and their 175 wedding guests at risk of contracting the virus.

The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and can be treated with a vaccine. Its symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, dark urine and yellowing of the skin and eyes. It can take from two weeks to two months to develop.

In a previous response, a Monteverde spokesman says the bartender didn’t work the Gorinson wedding, but that some bridal guests did buy drinks from her. Jay Gorinson says the memories of their wedding day are ruined and that the restaurant’s owner and manager have been dodging his calls and emails for nearly a week.

He says he finally received an answer from Monteverde on Tuesday, saying only that they were “unaware” that the bartender was ill.

“It’s embarrassing and sad that the venue has taken no responsibility for this, and we hope it’s something that no one else has to encounter on their wedding day,” says Jay Gorinson.

The Gorinsons say they will have to return to the Westchester County Health Department in six months for further treatment.  In the meantime, they say they’re considering legal action.

As of September 14, 2016:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 19 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 68 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A – 271
Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/4/16.

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Listed businesses will be removed from this list once 50 days have elapsed from the affected employee’s last service date while potentially infectious. Since the incubation period for hepatitis A is between 15 and 50 days, any customers who were potentially exposed at that business are no longer considered at risk for developing hepatitis A from that exposure after 50 days have passed.

  • Chili’s, Oahu, Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway), July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
  • Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Oahu, Honolulu (801 Kaheka Street), July 21-23, 26-30, and August 2-6, 9-11, 2016
  • Papa John’s Waipahu, Oahu, Waipahu (94-1021 Waipahu Street), July 23-24, and August 2, 2016
  • New Lin Fong bakery, Oahu, Chinatown (1132 Maunakea Street), July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and August 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016
  • Hawaiian Airlines, July 31-August 1, August 10-12
  • Zippy’s Restaurant, Oahu, Kapolei (950 Kamokila Boulevard), August 14, 18–19, 21, 23, and 25–26
  • Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38, Oahu, Honolulu (1133 North Nimitz Highway), August 26 through September 12
  • Benjamin Parker Elementary School, Oahu, August 28 through August 30

Arkansas, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing to investigate a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Information available at this time does not indicate an ongoing risk of acquiring hepatitis A virus infection at Tropical Smoothie Café’s, as the contaminated food product has been removed as of August 8. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection can take up to 50 days to appear.

As a result, CDC continues to identify cases of hepatitis A related to the initial contaminated product. As of September 14, 2016:

123 people with hepatitis A have been reported from eight states: Arkansas (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (98), West Virginia (6), and Wisconsin (1).

47 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.

The Source:

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A in its state. For the latest case count and investigation findings, visit the HDOH outbreak investigation website. On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on the islands of Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the ongoing outbreak.

On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp. recalled three lots of frozen bay scallops produced on November 23-24, 2015 in the Philippines. The lot numbers are 5885, 5886, and 5887. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. The recalled products were not sold directly to consumers by Sea Port.

The Toll:

As of August 31, 2016:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 13 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 64 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A – 241

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/25/16.

The number of people sickened in a Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries from Egypt served by Tropical Smoothie Cafe increased Friday to 35 as the timing of the public warning remain perplexing.

Virginia’s Department of Health issued a public warning August 19. However, the Health Department has not provided the date that the state received test results showing the victims are infected with the same strain of Hepatitis A isolated in strawberries from Egypt.

In a YouTube video posted last Sunday, Tropical Smoothie Cafe CEO Mike Rotondo apologized to customers and said the Virginia health department notified the chain August 5 about the possible link between the Egyptian strawberries and the outbreak. He said the chain immediately removed the frozen berries from all of its stores.  He did not explain why he did not then alert the public of the risk of illness.

As of Friday, the lag time between August 5 when the restaurant chain was apparently notified and August 19 when the public warning was issued remains unexplained by the Virginia health department or Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

As of August 3, 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health has identified 42 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 39 have required hospitalization.  The total is now 135 with onset of illness ranging between 6/12/16 – 7/24/16.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu.  Seven (7) individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

The following locations are NOT the source of the outbreak, but ill persons have work there and have expose other people:

  • Baskin-Robbins Oahu Waikele Center – exposure risk: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
  • Chili’s Oahu Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway) – exposure risk: July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
  • Costco Bakery Oahu Hawaii Kai – exposure risk: June 16-20, 2016
  • Hawaiian Airlines Flight – exposure risk: July 1-26, 2016
  • Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) – exposure risk: July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
  • Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) – exposure risk: June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

UnknownHHThe Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a confirmed case of Hepatitis A in a food service employee at the ice cream specialty store, Baskin-Robbins, located at the Waikele Center in Waipahu. The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store between June 17 and July 3, 2016 (actual dates: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3) they may have been exposed to the disease. Unvaccinated individuals should contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

This individual is one in a growing number of ill reported to DOH. Since the outbreak began, there have been 52 cases of hepatitis A reported to and now confirmed by DOH. All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization. The department issued a Medical Advisory to all healthcare providers on June 30 urging them to be vigilant and report all suspected hepatitis A infection immediately.

“The source of this outbreak has still not been determined. In the meantime, we encourage all persons consider and talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case demonstrates the potential to spread hepatitis A virus to many others who remain susceptible. In an effort to stem the spread of disease, individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes, and typically last several weeks to as long as two months. Treatment of hepatitis A is supportive, and most people will recover without complications.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Hepatitis A vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies. Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, given at least six (6) months apart, are needed for lasting protection. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Cristina Rojas reports that a confirmed case of hepatitis A has been traced to a food worker employed at Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering in Hamilton, officials said late Monday.

Health officials warned that anyone who ate at or catered from the restaurant between Nov. 10 and Monday may be at risk for developing Hepatitis A if they have not been previously vaccinated.

Unvaccinated individuals who ate there should receive an injection of immune globulin or hepatitis A vaccine. Both can prevent an infection if given within 14 days of exposure.

Officials urged anyone who ate at the restaurant who develops symptoms to call a doctor. The symptoms include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and dark urine and jaundice.

The disease varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks.

Springfield Missouri Health officials administered more than 5,000 doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.

On May 20, 2014, health department officials learned of a food service worker at the Red Robin restaurant who had tested positive for Hepatitis A. Individuals potentially exposed to the Hepatitis A virus dined at the restaurant between May 8 and 16.

Marler Clark filed a class action lawsuit against Red Robin restaurant.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of restaurant patrons who received hepatitis A vaccinations after alleged exposure to the hepatitis A virus at the restaurant between May 8 and 16, 2013.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.