After the police used a DNA test to confirm that a waiter had spit into their drink, an upstate New York couple is suing a Chili’s restaurant and the waiter for potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis.
The Yerdons plan to sue Lamica and the owners of Chili’s this week. They want compensation for the psychological trauma they endured not knowing whether Yerdon had contracted HIV or hepatitis because he’d sipped from the cup twice before seeing the spit. Ken Yerdon, 45, a traveling operator for a power company, tested negative for HIV and hepatitis immediately after the incident. But he had to wait six months to be tested a second time to ensure he was in the clear. “It was a long six months of anxiety,” Julie Aluzzo-Yerdon said. Marissa Rice, director of youth services at ACR Health in Syracuse, said today that saliva is not one of the four bodily fluids through which HIV can be transmitted. Even if someone had blood in his or her saliva, swallowing that person’s saliva would not transmit the disease because it has to get into someone’s bloodstream, said Rice, who’s trained by the state in AIDS prevention education.
The couple says that they are suing Chili’s because the company took no action against the waiter before he quit. The spitting reportedly occurred after the couples complained about their meal and then asked for drinks to go. The waiter’s Facebook page has been screencapped at the above link.