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Food Illness Claims

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What Are Food Illness Claims?

Food illness claims are a branch of personal injury lawsuits. They generally involve injuries that are traceable to the consumption of foods containing bacteria, toxins, viruses, or other contaminants. Symptoms of food illness (or “food poisoning”) can include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, gastro-intestinal disorders, fainting, and other similar symptoms. 

Food illness can be traceable to the negligent of several different parties. These can include:

  • Restaurant workers and management (chefs, cooks, waiters, servers, etc.)
  • Food delivery companies
  • Stores that sell pre-packaged foods
  • Grocery store branches
  • Food product and ingredient suppliers

Other parties can be held liable for food illness injuries.  This may often depend on the laws in each particular jurisdiction.

What Are the Legal Remedies for Food Illness Lawsuits?

This will of course depend on the types of injuries that result from the food illness.  In some cases, legal remedies can involve a compensatory damages award to reimburse the victim for their losses. These types of legal remedies can cover a broad range of expenses, including medical bills, loss of income, and pain/suffering. A food recall by a manufacturer or distributor can also result from the filing of a food illness lawsuit.

Can I File a Food Illness Claim Even if I Have a Food Allergy?

In some cases, a person will be prevented from obtaining damages if they had a pre-existing food allergy, yet still consumed the food that they were allergic to. For instance, if a person knowingly ordered a dish containing almonds, even though they knew that they were allergic to almonds, they probably wouldn’t succeed if they tried to sue the restaurant establishment. 

On the other hand, suppose that the same person informed the restaurant that they were allergic to almonds and should not be served any dishes containing almonds. If the restaurant disregarded this request, and the customer was injured, the establishment might be held liable for any resulting food illnesses or injuries.

Thus, communication regarding food allergies is often essential when dealing with food illness claims and lawsuits.

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

Filing a claim for a food illness case can often be somewhat complex and challenging.  It can involve the interaction of many different laws and many different facts regarding the injuries. If you need legal assistance with a food illness claim, you may want to hire a lawyer immediately. Your attorney can assist you in filing a claim so that you can request damages for your losses. In addition, your lawyer can provide you with legal representation during the court hearings if needed. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 12-31-2013 11:16 AM PST

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