Judge certifies class-action suit against Harvey's over E. coli outbreak

A report released last year found the outbreak in North Bay was likely caused by contaminated raw Spanish onions served at the restaurant. It found inconsistent cleaning of an onion dicer may have contributed to the contamination along with a steel mesh glove that can harbour bacteria.

North Bay Nugget
June 13, 2010

Judge certifies class-action suit against Harvey's over E. coli outbreak
Food distributor added to claim
Maria Calabrese, The Nugget

A judge has cleared the way for a class-action suit against Harvey's restaurant following an E. coli outbreak at its North Bay location in 2008.

Superior Court Justice Patricia Hennessy certified the class-action suit May 31 on behalf of people who ate at the Algonquin Avenue restaurant from Sept. 12, 2008 to Oct. 12, 2008 and were infected with the bacteria.

The statement of claim alleges Cara Operations Ltd., 1233280 Ontario Inc. and Summit Food Distributors were negligent because they provided food or beverages contaminated with E. coli, according to the website for law firm Sutts, Strosberg LLP.

It says the lawsuit includes family members and secondary infections of people who became sick through contact with others who had eaten at the restaurant.

At least 235 people became sick during the outbreak that originated at the restaurant. Forty-seven of those were confirmed cases of E. coli O157: H7 infection.

It's the same strain that killed seven people and made another 2,500 people sick in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000.

The certification means the lawsuit can go to trial as a class action involving claims for damages for negligence relating to the outbreak. It's a way for a group of people to proceed with a lawsuit in situations where the case would be too expensive or too complex for one person to sue on his own.

A report released last year found the outbreak in North Bay was likely caused by contaminated raw Spanish onions served at the restaurant.

It found inconsistent cleaning of an onion dicer may have contributed to the contamination along with a steel mesh glove that can harbour bacteria.

Harvey's class action

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