Anthony’s famous owners file for bankruptcy following hepatitis A outbreak
The owners of a chain of restaurants in Roanoke, Va., Have closed one establishment and are bankrupting two more amid a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that swept through the community last fall.
At least four people have died, more than 50 have fallen ill and 36 people have been hospitalized in the outbreak associated with an infected employee who worked at three Famous Anthony sites. An infected person can pass the virus to others for up to two weeks before and one week after symptoms appear.
Lawyer Andrew Goldstein said the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing allows the company to reorganize and stay open. In 90 days, the owners of the business will submit a plan outlining a payment schedule for people who have claims against their restaurants.
In a public statement on behalf of the owners, Goldstein said:
“The famous Anthony’s has had the privilege of serving this community for over 35 years. This unanticipated exposure to hepatitis A at two of our restaurants impacted many members of our close-knit community, including many loyal customers, employees and their families. In an effort to provide adequate compensation to those affected by the exhibition and to preserve the jobs of the dedicated Famous Anthony team members, Famous Anthony’s in Oak Grove Plaza and Williamson Road have each filed voluntary petitions under the Chapter. 11 with the West District Bankruptcy Court. from Virginia. This allows restaurants to operate as usual while also giving them the opportunity to reorganize their activities and meet their obligations. Business generated during this period will improve the results of these goals. As always, Famous Anthony’s appreciates the support of its staff, customers and the community, and looks forward to continuing to serve this community for many years to come.
Seattle food safety attorney Bill Marler, who currently represents more than two dozen people who fell ill or died in the outbreak, has long advocated for restaurateurs and other food service operators to vaccinate their employees against the virus.
About hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection. The virus is usually spread when people enter microscopic amounts of an infected person’s stool through food, drink, or an object. The disease can also be spread through close contact. It can be prevented by vaccination.
Typical symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, clay-colored stools, joint pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Its severity can range from a mild illness that lasts a few weeks to a serious illness that lasts several months. A person can pass the virus to others for up to two weeks before and one week after symptoms appear.
Hepatitis A is preventable by vaccination. The hepatitis A vaccine has been recommended for schoolchildren for many years, and a dose of the vaccine has been required for entry into kindergarten and first grade since 2014. Most adults are unlikely to be vaccinated, but can. if they were vaccinated before traveling abroad. .
Editor’s Note: Bill Marler of the law firm Marler Clark is the editor of Food Safety News.
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