Can I File a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
There are few things as terrible as becoming ill from tainted food. Although many suffer through this pain, some need more than just rest and lots of fluids. Depending on the microbes ingested, some victims of food poisoning can face life-threatening conditions, or even death. If you or a loved one have suffered from foodborne illnesses, you may want to seek out a food poisoning lawsuit.
If you are suffering injury due to a foodborne illness, you may deserve compensation. However, for the best outcome on any claim, you’ll need strong representation. At Premier Law Group, our team of Seattle personal injury attorneys will provide legal counsel to those who need it.
What Is a Foodborne Illness?
Food poisoning is not new. Humanity has dealt with contaminated food for a long time. However, in our modern age, many people in the United States think that foodborne illnesses are not something they need to be concerned about. This could not be further from the truth, however. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 230,000 people every year are hospitalized due to food poisoning. Additionally, roughly 3,000 of those people die from their illness. This means that every day, more than 8 people die of a foodborne illness.
Furthermore, foodborne illnesses come from bacteria, viruses, and parasites that have contaminated food. For example, improperly cooked meat can carry diseases from the animal. If a dairy product, such as cheese or milk, is not pasteurized, then bacteria may grow and contaminate the food as well.
What Are The Types of Foodborne Germs?
According to the CDC, there are more than 250 different types of foodborne diseases. The majority of these diseases are the result of aggressive bacteria. Others come from viruses or parasites that make their way into unprepared meats, or are the result of toxic chemicals leaking into the supply chain.
However, some germs are heard about more than others. The following are some of the more commonly known suspects in food poisoning lawsuits:
- Coli – you can find this bacteria in uncooked foods such as poultry and dairy
- Listeria – another bacteria in raw foods such as cheese and meats
- Shigella – a bacteria that spreads via contact between people and unsanitary conditions
- Norovirus – a virus that is in human stool and spreads via person-to-person contact
- Salmonella – a very common bacteria in uncooked or raw foods like chicken or dairy
Why Are Foodborne Illnesses Dangerous?
The exact symptoms and type of illness you experience will depend on the germ, or parasite that was in your food. However, all foodborne illnesses are very dangerous. Most commonly, foodborne illnesses will cause vomiting and diarrhea. Severe cases can result in dehydration, and even death, if the issue persists for too long. This is a problem especially for children, the elderly, and pregnant women. In the worst cases, a foodborne illness can cause a pregnant woman to lose the baby.
In addition to dehydration, foodborne illnesses can also result in fever. If the fever is low, this is usually not much of an issue, as most illnesses lead to some level of fever. However, with really bad foodborne illnesses, fevers can get as high as 104 degrees. At that point, your life is in danger, because the human body cannot withstand such a high core temperature. This is especially true for the elderly. They will need emergency care if their fever gets that high.
No matter the kind of illness you develop resulting from contaminated food, your life could be at risk. That is why it is vital that you find the liable party responsible.
At Premier Law Group, our experienced Seattle attorneys can help you with all aspects of your food poisoning lawsuit.
How To Find Out Who is Liable
The best way to recover compensation is by filing a food poisoning lawsuit against the party responsible for your illness. To do this, you must first determine who is liable.
In regards to foodborne illnesses, there are a few different parties that can be considered liable:
- The farming company: Most food in America is produced by large farming companies. While growing, collecting, cleaning, and shipping food, contaminants can find their way into the food, resulting in foodborne illness. If the germ that caused the illness originated when the food was first harvested, then the company in charge of producing the food may be liable.
- The manufacturer: This is the company that put the food you ate together. For example, there have been a number of issues with bagged salads containing E. coli. In these cases, the company that cut the lettuce and other ingredients for the salad and bagged them can be considered at fault for your illness.
- The distributor: Once food is packaged, it is sent out to restaurants and grocery stores. These businesses must then store the food properly and discard any expired food. If they do not do this, then it could result in customers becoming ill. This means the business responsible for distributing the food would be liable.
Determining fault in a food poisoning lawsuit requires figuring out where the food first became contaminated. Whether the contamination started during the harvesting, packaging, or selling of the food will determine which party should pay for your damages. Unfortunately, the answer relies on an investigation, which can be difficult to run while recovering from a serious illness. Fortunately, with the help of Premier Law Group, you don’t have to work on your claim alone.
Contact a Seattle Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you are suffering from a foodborne illness, it is likely you will need financial and other assistance. The Seattle injury lawyers at Premier Law Group will help you through your food poisoning lawsuit and recovery. We will work hard to get you the best care and compensation possible.