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July 16, 2015

Lawsuit filed against Chinatown restaurant after nearly 100 people allege food poisoning

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Joy Tsin Lau Restaurant GoogleMaps/for PhillyVoice

A lawsuit has been filed against Chinatown restaurant Joy Tsin Lau after about 100 people allege they got food poisoning following a private event.

A lawsuit has been filed against a Chinatown restaurant after about 100 lawyers and law students attending a private Lunar New Year dinner in February said they developed food poisoning.

Samantha F. Green, a Philadelphia lawyer who attended the event at Joy Tsin Lau on 10th and Race streets and who said she was diagnosed with the norovirus, filed the lawsuit, citing a "sordid history of health code violation and food-borne illness.” 

A copy of the document filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on Monday was obtained by, which reported the story.

Green’s lawyer wrote in the lawsuit that Joy Tsin Lau was cited for 249 health code violations by the Philadelphia Department of Health in the past six years.

The document also stated that on the morning after the dinner, Green began to feel ill and “raced to the emergency room at Pennsylvania Hospital in agonizing pain. Following nine hours of vomiting, she was unable to consume anything but bananas and tea for four days." 

The lawsuit also noted that 17 days before the banquet, a city health department restaurant inspector allegedly declared that management practices at Joy Tsin Lau allowed "unacceptable public health or food-safety conditions,” and four days after the food-poisoning incident, another city inspector allegedly found "41 violations that indicated a chronic inability to adhere to basic food safety standards.”

The most recent complaint by the city was filed May 6, but a July 6 court date on the complaint was canceled.

A representative of Joy Tsin Lau did not comment on the lawsuit or past complaints. The restaurant currently remains open. 

Read the full article here.