SENECA FALLS –– Litigation involving a 2015 Hepatitis A scare at the McDonald’s Restaurant on Mound Road has been settled.
Tuesday, State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle approved a final order certifying a class of 1,073 plaintiffs and a settlement of just under $240 for each plaintiff. The June 18 hearing was to determine whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and, if so, whether Doyle should issue a final judgment order.
An employee of the restaurant in the fall of 2015 was found to have had Hepatitis A while at work.
That could have infected those who consumed food or drink from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8, 2015 and later obtained a Hepatitis A blood test and immune globulin or Hepatitis A virus vaccine within 14 day of consuming the food or drink products between Oct. 31 and Nov. 8. and did not afterwards become infected with the Hepatitis A virus.
Special clinics were set up at Mynderse Academy the weekend after the event was made known and shots were also offered at the County Office Building in Waterloo.
A class action lawsuit was filed against the restaurant in November 2015.
Notices were mailed to 2,875 potential class members.
In April, a settlement amount of $250,000 was proposed. An effort was made to reach out to others who may have consumed food or drink during those nine days and later obtained the Hepatitis A blood test or vaccine within 14 days. A deadline of May 2 was set for customers to sign a claim form.
There were 1,165 claim forms submitted. Some were eliminated as duplicate submissions, late submissions, deceased claimants, incomplete forms and so-called “repeat claimants’’ who submitted claims in other class settlements involving Hepatitis A outbreaks in other jurisdictions.
After further review of the claimants, the number of the class finally certified by Doyle was 1,073.
“The court now finds that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate and consistent in the best interests of each of the parties and class members,’’ Doyle wrote.
William Marler, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs, said the only named plaintiff, Christopher Welch, will receive an additional $1,000 for being the class representative.
“The checks should be mailed out within 10 days,’’ Marler said, adding that the settlement is “similar to other similar class action cases involving Hepatitis A in which no one contracted the virus.’’
The defendant was Jascor Inc., owner of the McDonald’s under franchise agreement.