McDonald's

If there was any question about how seriously people are taking a confirmed case of hepatitis A in a McDonald’s worker, it was answered by a drive to Mynderse Academy on Saturday afternoon. Parking lots at the school were full and a long line snaked out of a school entrance as hundreds — if not thousands — of people flocked to the school for a vaccine clinic.

SENECA FALLS — The attorney who represented plaintiffs in the 2005 cryptosporidium bacteria outbreak at the Seneca Lake State Park sprayground has filed a class-action complaint in connection with the hepatitis A exposure involving a local McDonald’s worker.

Paul Nunes of Rochester-based Underberg & Kessler filed the litigation on behalf of Christopher Welch of Waterloo and “other similarly situated” people who may have been exposed to hepatitis A. That number could be at least a thousand, the complaint stated.

Jascor Inc., the independent operator of the Seneca Falls McDonald’s, is named as the defendant.

The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court of Seneca County in Waterloo. No date has been set for arguments.

Nunes is being assisted by Seattle-based Marler Clark, a firm that’s been involved in class-action lawsuits involving restaurants nationwide.

State and Seneca County Public Health officials announced Friday that customers who patronized the Mound Road McDonald’s on Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 may have been exposed to hepatitis A from an infected employee. All potentially affected people were advised to get a vaccine shot.

Clinics were set up at Mynderse Academy over the weekend, and shots are being offered at the county office building this week.

The complaint alleges McDonald’s was liable because it sold food and drink that may have been contaminated with hepatitis A, exposing customers to possible illness and forcing them to receive a vaccine or take a blood test.

It also claims the restaurant failed to exercise proper care in assuring that its employees obtained hepatitis A immunization and for allowing one or more employee to work while infected with the virus.

It does not ask for specific monetary damages at this time.

The litigation states the losses could be for lost wages; medical and medical-related expenses; travel and travel-related expenses; emotional distress; fear of harm and humiliation; physical pain; physical injury; and other incidental and consequential damages that could arise.

Jascor CEO Jim Coriale said this morning he was unaware of the complaint.

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