by: Nicole Carr Updated:
ATLANTA - A local bride and her husband, who got violently sick on their wedding day, have filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta hotel that held their reception.
The health department determined norovirus sickened Michelle Francis, her husband and dozens of their guests.
Francis hopes her lawsuit against the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel will prevent others from getting sick.
"Our best day turned into a nightmare,” she said.
She says she noticed the first sign of trouble while eating dinner at her reception in March 2016. One of the servers didn't look right.
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"I was like, ‘You're sweating really bad. Are you OK? Do you feel OK?’ And he was like, 'I'm fine. Just tired,’” Francis said.
Then she says her husband started feeling sick.
"Monday morning. That's when he started the vomiting and the diarrhea came,” she said.
Francis' boss, who attended her wedding, also got sick.
"Later on that day while I'm at work I start feeling really sick. My stomach, I get these little, like a queasy nauseous,” she said.
Next, she says, the phone calls started pouring in from dozens of wedding guests, including a 1-year-old girl who had to be hospitalized for dehydration.
So Francis called the Atlanta Airport Marriott to tell them something wasn't right.
“I said, ‘They're really sick. Like people are calling me from diarrhea, fatigue, nauseousness, sweating, chills,’” Francis said.
Francis says the Marriott gave her the run-around.
"It was just brushed off, like it's your problem not ours,” she said.
Her attorney told her to call the Fulton County Health Department, who asked her to collect stool samples.
"So I had to pick them up, store them in my fridge, which I did, which was gross,” she said.
Channel 2’s Nicole Carr obtained records from the health department's investigation. Their conclusion was "an outbreak of norovirus." And "the outbreak included guests of at least three other events... As well as at least 40 hotel employees."
It isn't the only suspected norovirus outbreak at a Marriott property.
People got sick at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, in January 2015, and in Hartford, Connecticut this past March.
Francis says she just wants Marriott to do the right thing.
“I just think they should step up to the plate and say, ‘Hey, we made a mistake. We should have sent people home. We should have been more thorough. We should have been more clean,’” Francis said.
Carr contacted the Atlanta Airport Marriott hotel and their corporate headquarters. Both told her they don't comment on pending litigation.
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