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Class-action lawsuit filed against Great Escape over 2008 norovirus outbreak

2012-01-18T17:43:00Z Class-action lawsuit filed against Great Escape over 2008 norovirus outbreakJON ALEXANDER -- jalexander@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star

QUEENSBURY -- Attorneys representing more than 100 people filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Warren County against the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark over a 2008 norovirus outbreak.

The state Department of Health documented more than 600 cases of norovirus in March 2008, apparently stemming from contaminated food and pool water at the park's hotel complex.

"Here, many people, especially children, suffered brief but violent periods of illness," said Don Boyajian, one of two attorneys representing those who were infected.

Those infected experienced brief but violent fits of vomiting and diarrhea.

Dozens of people filed lawsuits following the incident. Those claims were consolidated into a single case -- the class-action lawsuit, which has been in the works since 2009.

Boyajian did not specify the amount of damages being sought. He said damages would depend on the virus' impact on each individual.

Attorneys representing Great Escape were not available on Wednesday for comment.

Boyajian alleges that Great Escape, and its parent company Six Flags Inc., failed to maintain proper sanitary conditions and didn't warn guests once the outbreak became known.

"Guests reported that entire floors of the hotel were sick," Boyajian said. "Yet, Six Flags continued to keep their doors open and charge admission."

The outbreak resulted in the hotel and indoor water park temporarily closing two of its restaurants, installing hand-sanitizing stations and implementing more rigorous disinfection measures at its indoor water park.

State Supreme Court Justice David Krogmann has ruled that anyone who experienced gastrointestinal illness while visiting the park during the outbreak, or within 72 hours of departing, can be party to the case.

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(8) Comments

  1. MayorOfLoserville
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    MayorOfLoserville - January 20, 2012 2:34 pm
    I've got a sniffle. Who do I sue?
  2. adkadvisor
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    adkadvisor - January 20, 2012 9:49 am
    The only people who will make real money on cases like this are the plaintiff's attorneys. Of course someone brought the virus to the park. That's how these things spread. Someone was sick, touched a hand rail and someone else got sick. So on, and so on. Class action lawsuit, crazy....
  3. holyqby
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    holyqby - January 19, 2012 4:27 pm
    Doing some research, it seems as though the norovirus is pretty common in areas that are highly populated where there are a number of "touch points." No hotel, cruise ship, restaurant or school is immune to it- there was even an outbreak at a Brand New hotel hosting a Medical Convention in Washington, DC back in April of 2008: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/norovirus-sickens-least-35-gaylord-national-resort.

    I think there is alot more to the story and GI discomfort is seen in a variety of different illnesses- it's not fair to ostracize one company until the facts are clear. What if one person or family had traveled to the hotel already having symptoms and that one family was the cause of the entire outbreak? Let's wait to see what the facts are- businesses are hard to run as it is these days, let alone to let mass speculation cause undue hardship.
  4. northq
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    northq - January 19, 2012 3:28 pm
    Just to be absolutely correct I "checked my facts"...the Festival is held in November,the weekend after Thanksgiving.Several vendors became ill,and my friend said "something is not right with this place,people are getting sick from the water and food." So apparently their was a problem even before the outbreak in March but nothing was done to correct it.
  5. northq
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    northq - January 19, 2012 2:28 pm
    holyqby...you're absolutely correct, the Festival was held the previous December...I guess the Waterpark already had a problem with cleanliness but decided to ignore it.
  6. mommyof2
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    mommyof2 - January 19, 2012 2:09 pm
    there was no festival going on that day. they hold that later on going towards more summer. check your facts. and for the great escape to still keep there doors open and charge admission is completly money hungry and selfish of them. they have no business to do that. some nerve they have
  7. holyqby
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    holyqby - January 19, 2012 11:44 am
    northq- You may want to double check your facts. The Festival of Trees would NEVER be held in March.
  8. northq
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    northq - January 18, 2012 6:40 pm
    During the time period mentioned in the article the Great Escape Water Park building was also hosting the Festival of Trees...a friend who was also a vendor at the festival said to me "Don't drink the water here and don't eat the food or you'll get sick".I'm glad I took her advice, several people associated with the festival developed the exact sypmtoms listed in the article.

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