Food Contamination Claims
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What Are Food Contamination Claims?
Food contamination claims may be filed by persons who have sustained injuries such as food poisoning. This may happen in many different contexts, such as restaurant food poisoning, food served in a hospital or school, homemade food such as homebrewed beer, or through the consumption of foods purchased at a grocery store.
People who become sick from eating food contaminated with pathogens usually suffer harm such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, and fever. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal agency that is responsible for fighting these kinds of diseases.
What Are Some Examples of Food Contamination Claims?
Some common food contaminants may include:
- Bacteria and viruses, such as salmonella or E. coli
- Toxic materials that have leaked into the food (such as toxic dyes or paints from packaging)
- Toxins that develop in a more organic way, such as those that develop when the food becomes expired, or from exposure to animals and animal waste
- Physical objects or other foreign objects in the food
One aspect of food contamination claims is that there is a potential for a great number of people to get hurt or sick from the food. This is especially the case for food that is produced in mass quantities and distributed to food outlets or groceries. Drinks and beverages are generally included in food contamination lawsuits as well.
What Are Some Legal Remedies for Food Contamination Injuries?
Proving liability for contaminated foods can sometimes be an extensive process. The plaintiff would need to show that their injury or illness was directly caused by the foods in questions, and not due to other foods or to a previously existing condition. This can be tricky, since symptoms for food poisoning often don’t manifest until later on in the day or even a few days later.
Once liability is proven, the plaintiff will likely obtain a legal remedy in the form of a damages award. This is usually a monetary amount that is sufficient to cover medical expenses, hospital bills, and other related expenses. In some cases, this can be a substantial amount of expenses.
Can I Bring a Food Contamination Claim?
If you consumed a food that was contaminated and suffer from food poisoning, you may sue those responsible for your harm. This can include the restaurant that served the food that was contaminated, the food company or store that sold the food. If you are successful for the food contamination lawsuit, you may recover compensation for your harm such as:
- medical costs
- hospital bllls
- lost income
- future income
- other expenses related to the food contamination
What If My Food Was Contaminated but I Wasn’t Injured?
Suppose that a person discovers that the food is contaminated, and therefore doesn’t eat it. In such cases, they likely won’t be able to obtain a damages award. This is because in most food liability cases require that the plaintiff suffer substantial injuries or losses in order for damages to be issued. On the other hand, they may be entitled to a refund or replacement of the product. Thus, it may be necessary to obtain some legal advice before considering suing a food company.
What Needs to Be Proved in a Food Contamination Lawsuit?
When bringing a food contamination lawsuit, there are some things that must be proved:
- The plaintiff was harmed by the food contamination
- The food that was contaminated was identified as coming from the defendant
- Defendant was liable and responsible for the contaminated food
- The plaintiff was harmed because of the food contamination
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Filing a Food Contamination Claim?
In order to avoid filing a frivolous claim, you need to have suffered substantial injuries or damages in order to file a food contamination claim. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you have been injured due to contaminated foods. Your attorney will be able to inform you of your legal options and rights. Also, your lawyer will be able to provide you with sound legal advice throughout the course of the trial.
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Last Modified: 11-25-2015 10:44 AM PST
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