Papa John's to pay Cabarrus, Meck. counties after hepatitis scare



CABARRUS COUNTY - Cabarrus and Mecklenburg county leaders said Papa John’s restaurant owes them money after they stepped in to help with a hepatitis A scare.

In April, a Papa John’s worker at the store’s Cambridge Commons Drive location had hepatitis A. After the discovery, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties vaccinated thousands of customers.

On May 20 Cabarrus County Health Alliance sent a certified letter to Papa John’s asking to be paid back, saying the vaccinations cost them $22,777.

At a commission workshop Monday night, the county attorney said they still have not heard from Papa John’s and suggested legal action.

“I was surprised there was no response at all from them, but I thought that it presented legal questions that should be pursued given the amount of money,” said county attorney Richard Koch.

Health Alliance spokesperson Erin Shoe said in past cases companies have paid up quickly.

“We had a similar situation with Food Lion in ‘96 and they agreed to pay us back, so we are hoping Papa John’s would do the same,” Shoe said.

Anchor Scott Wickersham called Papa John’s corporate office in Kentucky on Tuesday. The restaurant claimed it never got that letter.

“While we have not yet received any formal request for reimbursement, Papa John’s will reimburse the county for all reasonable costs incurred in successfully responding to this incident,” a company spokesman told Wickersham.

Cabarrus County showed Wickersham a signature officials said shows someone at Papa John’s did receive the letter.

Mecklenburg County said it has not totaled its expenses yet. They said Tuesday Papa John’s has also agreed to pay them back.

Health care workers told Wickersham that since the vaccinations occurred months ago, no one has shown symptoms of hepatitis A.