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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Class Fears Hepatitis Outbreak From Pizzeria

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) - A Papa John's pizzeria in Charlotte, N.C., negligently served as many as 4,000 patrons food contaminated with the hepatitis A virus, a class action claims.

Elishevia Graham claims in Mecklenburg County Court that she bought food at the Papa John's outlet on Cambridge Commons Drive in early April and shared it with four others, including a grandchild.

Days earlier, an employee of that Papa John's had become ill and was later hospitalized with what was later diagnosed with hepatitis A, Graham says in the lawsuit.

All these events occurred between March 24 and April 7, according to the complaint.

Graham claims that the Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County Health Departments set up vaccination clinics for people who were exposed to the contaminated foods.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis A; gamma globulin injections can increase one's resistance to the disease.

"While at least 2,400 food orders were purchased by members of the consuming public during this period, it is estimated that as many as 4,000 persons may have consumed contaminated foods manufactured and sold by this Defendant," Graham says in the complaint.

"Plaintiff, as well as all other persons similarly situated as the plaintiff, was forced to receive immune globulin (IG) shots after being exposed to the Hepatitis A virus," she says. "Additionally, the plaintiff and all other persons similarly situated as the plaintiff have and will continue to be concerned and scared for their future health and well being as the result of the acts by the defendant."

Graham says that despite receiving two vaccinations, she suffers from anxiety, emotional distress, worry, frustration and fear of illness.

She seeks $20,000 in damages for product liability, breach of warranty, and negligence.

She is represented by Pamela Hunter of Charlotte.

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