December 14, 2017
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 48 million Americans experience food poisoning each year. If you are experiencing symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea or fever, then you may have food poisoning. It is important to try and determine the cause of the illness, especially in the most serious cases. If you believe a food establishment that you ate at is responsible for the food poisoning, then there are actions you may take.
Liability in a Food Poisoning Case
Taking legal action in a food poisoning incident may be the viable option, because the liable parties may be required to compensate you for any medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost income, pain and suffering or emotional distress.
If you wish to sue the company/establishment at fault for your food poisoning, there are three grounds under which you can file a lawsuit against them:
- Strict Product Liability: Under the law of product liability, you only need to prove that the food you consumed was contaminated and caused your illness. You do not need to prove that the distributor was negligent in handling the food nor do you need to know what it was that caused the contamination. If liable, anyone in the line of distribution can be sued for having sold contaminated food.
- Breach of Warranty: Food manufacturers have a minimum food standard, known as implied warranties, they must abide by. If a contaminated food is distributed and sold, the warranty has been breached. If it has caused you food poisoning, then any part of the line of distribution may be liable in a lawsuit.
- Negligence: If it can be proven that a business did not exercise reasonable care in manufacturing, supplying or handling the food that caused food poisoning, then you may have a case under the law of food negligence.
Proving Your Claim
For any of the grounds for suing an establishment for food poisoning, you must provide proof of your illness as well as the contaminated product that caused your illness:
- Although it can be difficult, you need to pinpoint the exact food that caused your illness. Scientific testing can find “disease causing microbes” in a contaminated food that may be traced to your illness.
- Proving that the contaminated product caused your illness can be done by providing a stool sample. If an analysis of the stool sample finds evidence of the “disease-causing microbe” that was found in the contaminated food, then you probably have a strong case.
If you decide you would like to take legal action in the case of food poisoning, an experienced personal injury attorney such as the Personal Injury Lawyer will be your best bet at winning compensation in a case. They can help give you legal counsel, gather evidence and facts, file the necessary court documents and even represent you in court.