What Caused a Norovirus Outbreak at a Virginia Chipotle?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 16-Aug-2017

Chipotle is once again facing public backlash after several customers became sick while dining at one of its restaurants. Multiple people allege they became ill after dining at a Chipotle in Sterling, Virginia. An investigation revealed norovirus, a highly contagious virus, was to blame for the outbreak. Norovirus is commonly referred to as the “stomach flu.”

According to Chipotle, the norovirus outbreak occurred because store managers were not following company sick leave policies. Chipotle employees have also confirmed that the relaxed enforcement of sick leave policies is to blame. During an interview with CNBC, employees claimed they had been forced to work while sick. Employees claim their jobs were threatened if they did not come into work, even though they were suffering from a contagious illness.

This is not the first time Chipotle has faced criticism for its cleanliness standards. In 2015, more than 140 people became sick with norovirus after eating at a Chipotle in Boston. During 2015, Chipotle also dealt with an E. coli outbreak that resulted in 60 cases of food poisoning and 22 hospitalizations.

Can Norovirus or Food Poisoning Be Fatal?

While norovirus frequently causes in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever, it can also be fatal. However, in cases where the person who is infected has a compromised or weak immune system, norovirus can result in death.

Restaurants are legally obligated to ensure their policies and products do not harm consumers. In some cases, food-borne illnesses and other contagions can result in serious injury or death. For example, tainted strawberries served at a Tropical Smoothie restaurant in Virginia last year caused a number of cases of hepatitis A, a disease that can result in liver damage or liver failure in severe cases.

If you or a loved one suffered harm while eating a restaurant or after buying a food product, you may have legal options to pursue damages against the parties who are responsible.

The Washington DC food poisoning lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can help you learn whether you have legal options to pursue damages.

Categories: Product Liability
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