Potentially thousands of people in Somerset County, New Jersey may have been exposed to hepatitis A recently due to an ill ShopRite deli worker, warns the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH). According to the DOH, which was joined by the Somerset Department of Health and the Wakefern Corporation, a deli worker who is remaining anonymous at this time tested positive for hepatitis A. They worked in the deli between October 13th and October 30th, 2019, when the disease was at its most contagious.
If you shopped at the Somerset County ShopRite – located at 435 Elizabeth Avenue, Somerset, NJ 08873 – between October 13th and October 30th, you and your family may have been exposed to hepatitis A. If there is any food purchased from the deli during those days, it should be discarded immediately.
How Dangerous is Hepatitis A?
An infection of the liver, hepatitis A can range dramatically in severity. Some people may only experience mild symptoms, such as fatigue and joint pain. Others could experience severe symptoms that may lead to death if untreated.
Severe symptoms of hepatitis A include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Liver failure
Unfortunately, vaccinations against hepatitis A are will no longer be effective for cases originating from the ShopRite incident. Health officials said people would need to be vaccinated by November 13th for the vaccination to be effective. Without a vaccination, it is not curable.
It is not clear how many ShopRite shoppers were actually exposed to hepatitis A due to the deli worker. However, it is just one of many outbreaks plaguing New Jersey. Dating back to December 2018, nearly 550 hepatitis A cases have been confirmed with a total of 337 hospitalizations and 6 deaths. The lengthy outbreak and potentially the ShopRite incident may all be attributed to the opioid crisis, as heavy narcotic use has been confirmed as an increased risk factor for hepatitis A and similar diseases. Hepatitis A is also most commonly spread through exposure to microscopic amounts of contaminated fecal matter.
Can Shoppers Sue ShopRite of Somerset County?
At this time, Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is currently hearing from Somerset County ShopRite shoppers who have been diagnosed with hepatitis A after going to the deli or the bathroom in the grocery store. ShopRite has an unshakable duty to protect its shoppers from unreasonable dangers and health hazards, including diseases spread by its workers. Store management should have reasonably known that the deli worker was ill and removed them from the deli. Since hepatitis A is most likely caused by fecal matter exposure, it is also no stretch to say the store was not enforcing basic health code among its workers.
With this in mind, ShopRite can be held strictly liable for their negligence and the danger they put their shoppers in. Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is already pursuing litigation regarding positive testing for hepatitis A following food purchased and eaten from this ShopRite. We can use our legal experience to the benefit of others in the same situation.
Damages we can pursue in a ShopRite hepatitis A exposure claim include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Short term and long-term health problems
- Wages lost due to illness
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- Medical surveillance costs
A claim may also be awarded punitive damages, which serve to punish ShopRite for putting so many people at risk of exposure.
Call (732) 440-3089 today to speak with a New Jersey hepatitis A exposure attorney today from our law firm. During an initial case evaluation, we can help determine if you have a valid claim to file against ShopRite for your illness and related damages.