Can You Sue For Food Poisoning?
In theory, you are able to sue for food poisoning in any state. You could be able to sue a variety of parties which are liable with assistance from a personal injury attorney Atlanta, GA trusts, including the restaurant in which you ate the food, the suppliers that provided the restaurant with the food, the growers of the food, and the restaurant chain’s owners. There have been quite a few cases in which the victim in a food poisoning lawsuit has won.
What is Food Poisoning?
When you eat out at a restaurant, you want to have a wonderful evening with great food or simply just the convenience of having someone else prepare food for you. The last thing you and your family would expect is to become sick because of something you ate. Obviously, it is expected that a restaurant and all of their employees would handle food correctly and responsibly. Unfortunately, however, there are many cases of food poisoning that are linked to fast food restaurants, diners, food vendors, and many other food-related businesses every year.
Foodborne illnesses you can get in restaurants include norovirus, E. Coli, shigella, botulism, Listeria, and hepatitis. Food poisoning takes place when viruses or bacteria in the food are passed onto diners. This can take place for multiple reasons:
- The supplier may have sent the food already contaminated
- Food handling, storage, washing, or food preparation methods have been improperly used
- Employees may not wash their hands properly or regularly or other food safety guidelines may not have been followed
- Employees may have come to work ill and could pass on highly contagious diseases through serving or preparing food
- Hygiene and food guidelines could have not been followed when cleaning surfaces used for food preparation
- Employees may not have been properly trained
- Food may not be heated to the required temperature
- There could be rats or other pests infesting the food areas
Many of these reasons can be prevented. In a lawsuit, the court will have to decide if these occurrences are a form of negligence by the restaurant owner.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Food Poisoning?
A restaurant that does not follow proper guidelines for food safety, hygiene, or employee training may be seen as obviously negligent. However, lawsuits over foodborne illnesses can be very difficult to prove for a variety of reasons:
- Determining the exact cause of a foodborne illness is difficult: Symptoms may not show up for a few hours or days and in that time you could have eaten something else.
- Evidence can be easily contaminated: It will be hard to show there was negligence because you ate the food, meaning there is nothing left so examine.
- Evidence can break down almost instantly: Your body will naturally work to rid itself of the illness, making any evidence of your illness disappear. Restaurants also may clean their kitchen or throw away any contaminated food, so there would be nothing to examine.
- You could have a difficult time proving you ate at a restaurant
- There are many potentially liable parties
- You could only receive minor damages
- The defendants could be very powerful
- It can be hard to prove there was something wrong with the food
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the law offices of Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into food poisoning and personal injury.