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Norovirus is a contagious virus that is easily spread from person to person via contaminated food, water, or surfaces. People who are infected by norovirus often suffer from serious gastrointestinal inflammation that causes stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Norovirus is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis in the United States, and the illness sickens around 20 million people every year, hospitalizes around 60,000, and kills nearly 1,000, according to estimates by the CDC. Because norovirus is highly contagious, people who are infected—including hospitality workers—can easily transmit the virus to others due to being in close proximity to hundreds and even thousands of people while sick.
It’s up to businesses whose employees frequently interact with guests to make sure they don’t spread illnesses by requiring handwashing, frequent sterilizing of countertops and surfaces, and monitoring the health of employees who may be infected. When businesses fail to do these things, hundreds or even thousands of people may become ill.
Many people are infected by norovirus every year, but because the virus is common, they may not realize that they can pursue claims for compensation—especially if it causes a serious disruption in their lives due to an extended hospitalization or significant time away from work. In addition, they also may be unaware that businesses are responsible for maintaining premises that are free from major infection risks by upholding high hygiene standards at all times.
If you or someone you love recently became ill due to norovirus exposure, the information on the following pages can help you learn more about your rights, how businesses and private companies often fail to protect their customers from illnesses, and the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive:
Although many cases of norovirus don’t involve more than a day or two of gastrointestinal discomfort, the virus can occasionally cause severe symptoms that involve long-term hospitalization, significant time away from work, and even comas. When people are seriously sickened by norovirus infections, they may incur huge expenses and medical bills that they’re unable to pay for—especially when they miss several days or even weeks of work. Our Nashville norovirus attorneys are here to help norovirus victims who face financial difficulties after getting sick.
Businesses where employees come into frequent contact with customers and guests—including hotels, restaurants, and cruise ships—must always maintain excellent hygiene and cleanliness standards to help reduce the risk of spreading diseases and infections like norovirus. When business owners fail to enforce hygiene standards, including frequent handwashing, cleaning and sterilization of surfaces, plates, utensils, and other objects, and not allowing sick employees to come to work, they can be held liable when people get sick. At Matt Hardin Law, we can hold negligent business owners responsible when they fail to protect customers and guests like you.
People can become infected with norovirus in a variety of ways, including:
While sharing food or drinks with someone who is infected with norovirus puts you at high risk of becoming sick, you can also become infected by eating a meal prepared or served by someone who has norovirus. Hotel staff who don’t wash their hands frequently can spread the disease to many guests or diners in a single evening.
Norovirus can survive exposure to the air for long periods of time, making it possible to become infected simply by touching a surface where the virus lives and then placing your hand in or near your mouth. Hotels are responsible for making sure the surfaces in their guest rooms and common areas are kept clean and free from harmful pathogens in order to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like norovirus.
The transmission of norovirus can also occur simply by being in close proximity with someone who is infected. Shaking the hand of someone who is sick, sharing a pen, or exchanging money or credit cards can be enough for virus particles to be transmitted from person to person and result in a new infection. People who work in hospitality and are infected with norovirus may have hundreds of such interactions, putting countless people they encounter at risk of getting sick.
Because of its highly infectious and transmissible nature, norovirus can quickly sicken large groups of people—especially when they are in an enclosed area with common dining spaces, including hotels, hospitals, and cruise ships. Although the majority of people who are infected with norovirus recover after a few days, many become seriously ill and have to be hospitalized, and some even die from their illnesses.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville norovirus attorneys know that being infected with norovirus can cause victims to develop serious health problems that may require long-term hospitalization and result in extended time away from work, expensive medical bills, and the potential to infect others—including their loved ones.
It’s the responsibility of employers in the hospitality and hotel industry to make sure their guests and patrons are kept safe from the risks of being infected by diseases like norovirus by enforcing frequent handwashing among employees, sterilization of surfaces, and preventing infected employees from coming to work and putting others at risk. If they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or a loved one became sick because of exposure to norovirus at a hotel or other private business in Nashville or Middle Tennessee, you may be entitled to compensation for the expenses you incurred as a result of the illness, including your lost wages and medical bills. To find out how our legal team can help you during this time, dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.