Joey Eau Claire restaurant facing $17M class-action lawsuit over COVID-19 outbreak

CALGARY – A class action lawsuit worth $ 17 million has been filed against the Joey restaurant location in Eau Claire following a COVID-19 outbreak at the restaurant.

The lawsuit against Joey Tomato’s (Canada) Inc. states that the company has not taken reasonable steps to protect employees, customers, and their immediate families from infection by COVID-19.

“This is about ensuring that companies do not bring their customers and the health of their employees to the bottom line,” said Mathew Farrell, partner in the Guardian Law Group, who filed the lawsuit.

If the lawsuit is certified as a class action lawsuit, it would represent anyone who contracted the virus within two weeks of eating at Joey, anyone who shared a household with the sick.

“It is alleged that this restaurant did not do the things that are sensible and that people are expected to take care of each other. As a result, there was an increased risk of COVID-19 communicability and, in fact, quite a number of people became sick, ”Farrell said.

According to the allegation, Representative Plaintiff Matthew Cornfield and his pregnant wife had dinner at the restaurant on March 13, 2021. A week later, he tested positive for COVID-19. His spouse, who was 20 weeks pregnant at the time, also tested positive and had to be hospitalized.

The claim alleges that six other people who had close contacts, including Cornfield’s parents and his spouse’s parents, were infected with the virus as a result. Cornfield’s mother-in-law was hospitalized with serious complications.

Alberta Health said 58 cases have been reported related to the Joey Eau Claire outbreak. All 58 people have recovered.

The lawsuit alleges the restaurant failed to comply with safety protocols established by Alberta Health Services.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendant violates due diligence for actions, including: failing to maintain or monitor adequate separation between customers and employees; fail to take adequate steps to ensure that the co-sitting guests are from the same household or fail to implement adequate cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Farrell says the lawsuit sends a message to all companies.

“Regulations are one thing, but we all have a duty to take care of one another. We all have a duty to do what is right and to do everything possible to limit the spread of the virus and to do what is sensible. If you don’t and people get hurt, it’s up to you. “

Farrell said the damage claimed at this point is an estimate.

Alberta Health said 58 cases have been reported related to the Joey Eau Claire outbreak. All 58 people have recovered.

Joey emailed CTV News a statement Friday afternoon saying …

“We just learned of this class action lawsuit through the media. We take the safety of our employees and customers very seriously. We have consistently followed Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) public health guidelines and recommendations and have worked fully with AHS Respect for this matter. “

None of the allegations were examined in court.

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