ROANOKE, Va. – The hepatitis A outbreak at multiple Famous Anthony’s locations has now made its way into federal court.
The corporate entity that owns two of the restaurants filed for bankruptcy on Monday.
This comes after the Virginia Department of Health announced in September 2021 that an employee who worked at three Famous Anthony’s locations in Roanoke was diagnosed with hepatitis A. The employee had worked at the Oak Grove Plaza, Williamson Road and Crystal Spring locations.
Since then, four people have died and multiple people have been hospitalized. Attorney Bill Marler is representing 27 clients involved in the outbreak.
“The bankruptcy court will take control of all the cases that have been filed, the ones that I have filed will be stayed. They will be stopped. And then what the bankruptcy court will do is bring all the lawyers and they’ll figure out the assets of Famous Anthony’s. Then they’ll come up with a strategy to fairly divide the money between all of the victims,” said Marler.
Lawyers for the restaurant filed three Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is filed to allow a business to stay in business and restructure its financial obligations.
The three cases are for KBK Enterprises of Roanoke, Inc., Famous Anthony’s Brookside Inc. and Famous Anthony’s Inc.
The reason for the three is that KBK owns the Famous Anthony’s location at Oak Grove Plaza, Brookside owns the Williamson Road location and Famous Anthony’s Inc. was the target of most of the lawsuits filed against the company after the recent hepatitis A outbreak, according to Famous Anthony’s lawyer, Andy Goldstein.
Goldstein told 10 News that the bankruptcy filings stop the current lawsuits from going forward and move all the cases into bankruptcy court.
Victims in this case now have 70 days to file claims.
Given that this is Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Goldstein said that business at Famous Anthony’s will go on as usual as no firings or closings are expected.
By taking this course of action, the company now has 90 days to come up with a plan to pay its debts over a period of time.
Marler sent 10 News the memo he sent to all his clients Monday after learning of the bankruptcy filing:
I want to inform you that a few moments ago counsel for Famous Anthony’s informed me that Famous Anthony’s will be filing chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is something that I expected and we are prepared for it. This does not mean that you will be left without. The Bankruptcy Court will determine all Famous Anthony’s assets (insurance and otherwise) and we will come up with a method of treating everyone fairly.Bill Marler
See our previous reporting below: