As of August 25, 2016, there are several lawsuits and one class action lawsuit due to be filed on behalf of individuals who caught Hepatitis A from frozen strawberries imported from Egypt, that were served at a café called the Tropical Smoothie Café.
One plaintiff, Constantinos A. Raptis had consumed multiple strawberry smoothies from the popular café in early August and had started to become ill. Some of the symptoms that he suffered were aches, headaches, nausea, stomach pain, chest pain, and dark colored urine. These symptoms are all signs of hepatitis A.
The lawsuit filed alleges that Tropical Smoothie breached its duty to “use reasonable care in the selection, supervision and monitoring of its employees, suppliers or other subcontractors.”
According to William D. Marler of Marler Clark LLP, whose firm specializes in cases involving food poisoning has said more lawsuits will be filed and more defendants will be added to the class-action lawsuit.
As a result of this outbreak, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Health said that they had confirmed 28 cases of hepatitis A from the Tropical Smoothie Café. This number is expected to rise as those with the liver disease will continue to come forward. Just as a side note, symptoms of hepatitis A generally take anywhere from 15 to 50 days to emerge.
The health department has confirmed that all Egypt-based strawberries had been pulled by August 8 or August 9. The health department is still investigating whether the frozen strawberries might have been served elsewhere as no other links have been confirmed.
This is going to be a big problem for Tropical Smoothie Café as word spreads of the frozen strawberries; it will certainly create a downturn in their business, maybe even its demise. The question must be asked, what are Tropical Smoothie Café’s quality control procedures as so many people got sick from these specific frozen strawberries?