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Food Poisoning as a Personal Injury

As our nation’s food system grows more vast, outsourced, and industrialized, the risks of food poisoning will increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one in six people will suffer from food poisoning in the United States each year, while 128,000 are hospitalized. Another estimated 3,000 will die.

It was recently reported in the national news that Chipotle, the well-known, national burrito chain, recently closed 43 of its stores after 22 cases of E. coli has surfaced in the states of Washington and Oregon. Although no deaths have occurred as a result of the food poisoning as of this writing, eight of the cases have resulted in hospitalization. In a statement made by the company’s spokesperson, the outbreak has been tied to just six of the company’s restaurants in the area, but they closed a total of 43 restaurants just to be safe. The origin of the contamination is still under investigation, and the reopening schedule will be determined by the investigation.

  1. coli is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, among other illnesses. It usually originates from animal products since it is a bacteria commonly found in animal intestines.

Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning can affect one person or a group of people who all ate the same food. It is more common after eating at picnics, school cafeterias, large social functions, or restaurants. Poisoning occurs after you ingest food or water that has a bacteria, virus, or parasite that makes you sick.   Food-related illnesses and food poisoning may be considered a type of personal injury. In order to be able to have a legitimate claim, you should know which pathogen made you sick. The most common types of toxins are:

  • Cholera;
  • coli enteritis;
  • Staphylococcus aureus; and
  • Salmonella.

This means you need to be diagnosed by a doctor with an illness caused by a foodborne pathogen. It is recommended you have stool samples taken to pinpoint the exact pathogen. While it is not necessary, if you also have leftovers to be able to test, that is always helpful.

If you have eaten at more than one chain location, the doctrine of alternative liability may be called upon in order to hold a group of products manufacturers liable for an injury caused by a product, even if the plaintiff does not know from which defendant the product originated (e.g. national chains). Even if the contamination is traced to another business such as a distributor or another third party, there is liability for any injuries resulting from consumption of food served. In food poisoning lawsuits, you can usually seek damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering. In cases of death, survivors may choose to file a wrongful death claim.

Protect Your Rights. Maximize Compensation After an Injury.

At Calhoun Law, PLC in Nashville, we utilize the specialists necessary to prepare and present a persuasive case that documents our client’s injuries and the defendant’s fault. If you or a loved one has suffered physical injuries and economic losses due food poisoning or a toxic product, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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