The hygiene and food safety protocols of the Marriot Hotel in Coraopolis are being scrutinized after a suspected norovirus outbreak there left at least 200 people ill. The Coraopolis Marriot location, which is just outside of Pittsburgh, hosted three large events between April 2nd and April 3rd. Dozens of people from each event have reported norovirus-like symptoms within 36 hours. Could the hotel be to blame and, therefore, be liable for any damages?
What is the Norovirus?
The norovirus is a family of viruses that can affect humans and cause severe gastrointestinal illness, and even death. It is usually contracted through food contamination, for example, when someone uses the restroom, does not wash their hands properly, and then handles food. Although moderately symptomatic in most cases, it is also only dangerous in rare cases. With medical treatment and home remedies like rest and hydration, norovirus is extremely unlikely to be life-threatening or fatal.
Norovirus symptoms usually persist for 24 to 72 hours and can include:
- Frequent vomiting
- Persistent nausea
- Reoccurring fever
Is Marriot to Blame?
The Allegheny County Health Department and its food safety division reportedly investigated the Coraopolis Marriot location for hygiene violations and potential sources of the suspected norovirus outbreak. Details of that report have not been fully released to the public at this time. The investigation is apparently still underway to determine the exact cause of the gastrointestinal illnesses.
However, with more than 200 people falling ill with similar symptoms and all of those people having eaten food that was prepared in the Marriot’s kitchen on the same weekend, it seems that coincidence can be easily ruled out by investigators. Typically, if such a large population of people gets sick at once, then the source is often the food that they all shared.
If this is true in the Coraopolis Marriot case, then the hotel company could potentially face multiple food poisoning lawsuits or a class-action lawsuit. Norovirus symptoms can require hospitalization and often makes individuals miss days or weeks of work, so the victims of the outbreak likely have tangible losses that should be compensated. Legal action might be the best and only way to make that recovery.
For more information about this ongoing story, you can click here to view a full article from KDKA 2, a CBS affiliate station in Pittsburgh. To learn how to file a food poisoning claim or other similar inquiries, you can contact the law firm of Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. From our Pittsburgh law office, we help clients throughout the state with a variety of personal injury claims.