Can I Sue for Food Poisoning?
Many people, unfortunately, will experience foodborne illness at some point in their lives. What many people do not know is that they can take legal action against a restaurant for food poisoning if sufficient evidence can be presented in support of the claim.
If a restaurant distributes tainted food, they can be held liable. Usually, illness spread at the restaurant level indicates a problem with the cleanliness of the facility, the way food is stored, or the hygiene of food handlers or other employees. When food is not properly refrigerated, for example, or a sick employee does not wash his hands before touching ingredients, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other toxins can spread rapidly.
The following are some common culprits of foodborne illness:
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Campylobacter enteritis
Determining Restaurant Liability in Food Poisoning Cases
If you are seeking compensation from a restaurant after a case of food poisoning,keep the following elements in mind to increase your chances of a successful claim:
- The specific pathogen that caused the illness must be determined. A claim is only likely to be successful if the exact pathogen is pinpointed. This will involve the help of a doctor who can test stool samples for the presence of common pathogens associated with foodborne illness.
- PFGE testing must be performed. Pulsed-field gel electrophoreses can determine if an outbreak has resulted from contaminated food.
- You may sue the restaurant even if the food was not the direct source of your illness. Even if there was nothing wrong with the quality of the food, you may still hold the restaurant liable for allowing a sick food handler to work, or for failing to enforce hand-washing rules.
- You may still have a claim even if you do not know what particular food item made you sick. A claim does not have to hinge on narrowing down the exact source of the pathogen. Through PFGE testing, it can be enough to link multiple cases of illness arising from the same pathogen to the restaurant.
- Keep the leftovers! If you have leftovers, they can be tested to obtain evidence that your illness was caused by tainted food.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Denver
With the appropriate evidence, restaurants can be held responsible for spreading potentially deadly pathogens and toxins by way of their food. If you suspect that you have been sickened by contaminated food, there is no time to delay in contacting an attorney at once. The sooner you call, the sooner your case can be investigated for evidence that could be used to strengthen your claim.