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Woman Sues Westchester Restaurant Over Hepatitis Exposure

Bartaco in Port Chester.
Bartaco in Port Chester. Photo Credit: Google Maps

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A class action lawsuit has been filed against bartaco, the popular Port Chester restaurant that had to be temporarily closed down last week because of a potential Hepatitis A exposure that may have left customers vulnerable to the disease.

A lawsuit was filed by a Rochester-based law firm on behalf of Yonkers resident Crystal Lopez and the thousands of people who were required to obtain a blood test and receive a vaccination for Hepatitis recently following the outbreak.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all parties that were exposed to the virus and needed a vaccination as a result of eating at the restaurant.

The Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert on Oct. 25 warning that anyone who ate or drank at bartaco between Oct. 12 and Oct. 23 receive preventive treatment against the viral illness after an employee worked while infectious.

Health officials cautioned that treatment against Hepatitis A is only effective within two weeks of exposure, so diners should hurry to see their doctors if they ate at the location.

In an effort to assist residents, the Health Department provided vaccinations and preventative treatment for free last week, which thousands of Westchester residents accepted.

“Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness whose symptoms include fatigue, fever, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, light-colored stool and jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes,” Sherlita Amler, Commissioner of Health said. “There are no special medications used to treat a person once symptoms appear, but Hepatitis A transmission to others can be prevented through proper hand washing.”

Bartaco was shut down on Oct. 25 and re-opened the following afternoon after an inspection. Officials said that the restaurant owners have been cooperative and voluntarily vaccinated each of their employees for the illness as a result.

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