Food-related illnesses and injuries have been all over the news in recent years. It seems that every time we turn on the TV, another recall is plaguing American consumers. Most recently, Chipotle grabbed national headlines when it was linked to hundreds of cases of E. coli and norovirus in college students all over the country. In total, 43 stores were shut down in response to the outbreak of illness. If this has happened to you, please contact a Chula Vista San Diego food poisoning attorney as soon as you can.
If you have ever been a victim of food poisoning, you know how miserable the experience can be. Excessive nausea and vomiting can lead to dehydration and even hospitalization. If this scenario sounds familiar, you may be wondering if you have a food poisoning claim. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances of your case, but only an experienced Chula Vista San Diego food poisoning attorney will know for sure.
Legal Theories and Food Poisoning
Food poisoning claims often fall under the realm of defective product liability. Simply put, a manufacturer sold you a defective product (in this case, food) that led to your illness or injury. There are several theories involved in product liability, though:
- Strict product liability. Generally, in personal injury cases, the burden of proof is on the accuser. However, it can be hard to prove that a manufacturer did not exercise reasonable care in preparing your food. Strict liability relieves you of this responsibility. All you have to prove is that you were sickened by the food product in question.
- Failing to exercise reasonable care in the preparation and distribution of food products is known as negligence. If another party would have acted differently in a similar circumstance, you may use this as an argument for your food poisoning injury claim.
- Breach of warranties. States impose a minimum standard for quality when it comes to food products—these are also called “implied warranties.” If a food company or restaurant fails to adhere to this standard, you may qualify for compensation for damages.
Pursuing Your Chula Vista Food Poisoning Injury Claim
Food poisoning cases work a little differently than other personal injury claims. In general, you need to provide sufficient evidence that:
- You ate a contaminated food product
- That product lead to an illness or injury
It can be difficult to determine which food was contaminated because of the time-lapse between consuming contaminated material and the onset of food poisoning symptoms. It is easiest to trace when a health department is involved: for example, produce and meat recalls are closely monitored by local, state, and federal health departments. Scientific tests can reveal the presence of certain bacteria, like E. coli, that lead to food poisoning symptoms.
Proving that the contamination made you sick is as easy as having a stool sample analyzed for the presence of the same bacteria that was found in the food. If you went to the emergency room as a result of your food poisoning, hospitals may test for this as a common practice.
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to pursue damages from a member of the food distribution chain: the manufacturer, the distributor, or the restaurant or grocery store. Discuss your options with an attorney, who can help you determine who is liable for your food poisoning injury claim and which avenues for compensation are open to you.
How Do I Pursue Damages for My Food Poisoning Claim?
Food poisoning is more than a mere annoyance; it can cause undue pain and suffering. When your illness is the result of someone else’s negligence, you need the help of an experienced personal injury law firm. The Chula Vista San Diego food poisoning attorney at Howard Kitay has been advocating for and protecting Chula Vista families for over 20 years. To get started on your food poisoning injury claim, contact us for a free initial consultation.