Food Illness Lawsuits

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What are Food Illness Lawsuits?

Food illness lawsuits are legal claims that may be filed for injuries caused by defective food products.  These are personal injury lawsuits that involve injuries such as:

The majority of food illness lawsuits involve toxic substances in food, either due to contamination or due to expiration of the food.  These usually involve some sort of food safety violation. Food contamination, food illness or food poisoning derives when a business or restaurant that is selling the food fails to exercise reasonable care in storing and preparing food, or may be found strictly liable for a defective food product.

Who Can Be Sued in a Food Illness Lawsuit?

Depending on the source of the food, one or more parties may be liable for injuries caused by improper food handling.  Liable parties may include:

In some cases, it can be difficult to track down which parties may be liable for a food illness incident.  Other times, the source of the illness can be traced directly to a specific source; in such cases, a class action lawsuit may result if several people have been affected. 

How Can I Prove a Food Illness Came From the Defendant?

Proving causation can claim food contamination or food illness. A plaintiff must be able to show that the business or restaurant’s unsafe or contaminated food caused the plaintiff’s illness. This can be a difficult task since a person eats a variety of different types of food throughout the day or week at different places and sometimes a person would not get sick right away. In most cases, a doctor has to examine a plaintiff’s stool to determine what type of food in the plaintiff’s body was contaminated. In addition to causation, the plaintiff must also prove that they were actually injured. Simply by getting sick will satisfy this requirement. However, the plaintiff’s degree of sickness can determine whether it would be worth it for the defendant to file an action in court against the business or restaurant owner.

What is a Food Recall?

Food recalls may result if there have been widespread instances of food illness claims.  A food recall involves a food manufacturer removing their product from the market shelves due to contamination, toxicity, or other defects.  These recalls are usually posted in newspapers, aired on the news, or listed on websites.  A mandatory food recall may result from the filing of a lawsuit.

Another legal remedy besides a food recall is a monetary damages award.  This is paid by the defendant to the plaintiff, as reimbursement for losses and costs of medical expenses. 

What Are the Damages that Can Be Recovered in a Food Illness Lawsuit?

The types of damages that can be recovered in a food injury lawsuit can be the following: 

To recover the damages from the liable party, the injured party must claim that the contaminated food did not conform to an ordinary buyer’s expectation of non-contaminated food. Also, the injured party must claim that the injury or illness was in connection of the defendant’s food and not something else. A doctor or physician must be consulted to determine if the illness came from the contaminated food.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Food Illness Lawsuits?

Food illnesses and injuries can be difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to providing evidence for trial.  It may be in your best interest to hire a qualified injury attorney if you need assistance filing a food illness lawsuit. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on how to file your claim, so that you can obtain the legal remedy that is appropriate to your situation.

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Last Modified: 10-18-2016 02:50 PM PDT

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