$4.5M settlement reached in Hepatitis A class-action lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of people exposed to Hepatitis A linked to tainted scallops at Genki Sushi.
An Asian-themed restaurant is set to open in the Grande Dunes in November. (Source: Pixabay)
An Asian-themed restaurant is set to open in the Grande Dunes in November. (Source: Pixabay)(Pixabay)
Updated: Oct. 19, 2018 at 5:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A $4.5 million preliminary settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit related to the Hepatitis A outbreak linked to tainted scallops at Genki Sushi restaurants.

The state health department found the source of the outbreak came from raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants, but to be a claimant in the settlement you don’t need to have eaten the scallops.

The virus was traced to a single company that supplied scallops to Genki from the Philippines. The chain immediately closed down for heavy cleaning and was cleared by the Health Department. 292 people got Hep A, one person died and insurance records show 120,000 people got vaccinations as a precaution.

Those people can submit a claim form by clicking here.

“The most suprising thing was how many people got shots. I had no idea that basically a tenth of Hawaii’s population could have received shots,” said Trevor Brown of Starn O’Toole Marcus and Fisher.

Attorneys who sued Genki Sushi and its suppliers say the $4.5 million dollar settlement is not for people who got sick, but only for the roughly 50,000 people who where potentially exposed and then got the vaccine within two weeks.

“These are people who took that precaution when the Department of Health annouced it and got the shot within 14 days of their exposure to hepatitis A either through family members, eating at Genki or eating at places where people who got sick at Genki were working,” said Brown.

Potential claimants can get $150 to $350 dollars depending on their level of exposure. Attorneys say you don't need proof of when or where you ate. You just need to sign an affidavit, provide insurance information and evidence of getting the vaccine if you paid out of pocket.

“That was our goal was to make it simple for people that had to go through the inconvenience and time and expense of getting a shot,” said Brown.

As for the roughly 80 individual hepatitis A claims where people got sick, attorneys say most of them have been settled out of court. Genki Sushi had no comment.

The deadline to file a claim on HawaiiHepA.com is November 29th.

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