Norovirus may cost Toby Carvery restaurant £500,000

Toby Carvery Image copyright Google
Image caption The owners of the Toby Carvery may have to pay out about £500,000

Restaurant customers hit by an outbreak of norovirus may get more than £500,000 in compensation, it has been claimed.

Just under 300 people fell ill after eating at the Toby Carvery restaurant in Middlemoor, Exeter in April 2015.

Owners Mitchells and Butlers closed the site twice for cleaning at the time of the outbreak but have now admitted a "breach of duty" according to legal firm Irwin Mitchell.

Mitchells and Butlers did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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Amandeep Dhillon, a partner and public health expert at Irwin Mitchell, said outbreaks of this size were rare in the UK.

He said: "We estimate at this early stage that damages for group action will be over £500,000, although we are currently gathering medical evidence in this regard."

Irwin Mitchell is working with 280 customers who say they fell ill after visiting the restaurant, the firm said.

Symptoms of the illness include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea and some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

The sickness, spread by human or surface contact, usually lasts one or two days.

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