Not every dining experience is a pleasurable one when eating at restaurants. If you have suffered food poisoning while consuming food at a restaurant or other establishment, you likely feel very sick. You are probably wondering who is liable for your injuries and if you can file a lawsuit claiming negligence of others.
Most individuals suffering food poisoning can often source their injuries back to the consumption of contaminated food. Serious health issues arise when exposed to harmful bacteria, toxins or viruses that contaminate many food products.
CDC and Food Poisoning
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recognizes food poisoning as the nation’s most frequently reported injuries at dining establishments. The number of food poisoning cases total more than 70 million in the United States every year. The CDC believes that many cases are unreported simply because victims infected with food poisoning are unaware of the cause of their uncontrollable stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.
Most serious life-threatening infections caused by food poisoning are the result of consuming foods with harmful bacteria including:
• Salmonella and Norovirus
• E. coli enteritis
• Staphylococcus aureus
• Campylobacter enteritis
• Toxins from fish
The deadly bacterium and toxins enter the body by various means, including through poultry and meat products kept at temperatures too high. Exposure to sources of toxic bacteria can occur from consuming improperly refrigerated mayonnaise, negligent manufacturing processes, defective food packaging or coming in to close contact with human waste usually by not properly washing hands and fingers that touch food.
The Connection between Negligence and Liability in Rhode Island
Receiving financial compensation for an injury caused by food poisoning in Rhode island and Providence Plantations can be challenging because a claim for liability must be based on proving negligence. Victims must show how the careless action or inaction of the restaurant staff, cooks or others directly caused the poisoning. Because of the complexity of food poisoning liability cases, many victims will hire Rhode Island personal injury attorneys or RI food poisoning attorneys / lawyers who specialize in these types of claims for compensation.
“Foodborne diseases monitored through FoodNet include infections caused by the bacteria Campylobacter, Listeria,Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157 and non-O157, Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia, and the parasitesCryptosporidium and Cyclospora. The data collected by FoodNet also lets CDC, its partners, and policy makers know how much progress has been made in reaching national goals for reducing foodborne illness.” CDC https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsfoodnet2012/
A skilled Providence food poisoning lawyer can build a product liability case for recompense by showing how the defendants at fault for the food poisoning did not act reasonably careful when making, distributing, storing, cooking or serving contaminated food products. Successful resolution of a case or Providence Superior Court lawsuit will require pinpointing the particular food that made the victim sick and the direct link between the contamination and the consumption of the food.
The problems with Salmonella
The Center for disease control (cdc) states “Salmonella is a bacteria that makes people sick. It was discovered by an American scientist named Dr. Salmon, and has been known to cause illness for over 125 years. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites. In these cases, Salmonella can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.” http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/index.html
Common defendants in a Rhode Island food poisoning case often involve:
• The owners, management, cooks, wait staff and servers at an eating establishment;
• Food prep staff who handle food products when it was outside of refrigerated storage areas;
• Food shippers, distributors and suppliers
• Food product manufacturers
• Farmers and food growers
Recovering Losses and Damages using a personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island (RI)
Successfully resolving a lawsuit or claim to recover losses and damages against those at fault for causing a food poisoning injury requires proving specific elements that include:
• The food-borne illness or poisoning was diagnosed by a physician who claimed the injury was directly caused by a specific toxin, virus or bacteria;
• The food consumed at the time of the injury was known to harbor that specific toxin, virus or bacteria;
• The illness, complications or symptoms are consistent with food poisoning caused by the consumption of that specific toxin, virus or bacteria.
Medicinet states” “Listeria is a bacteria that has caused the two most deadly outbreaks of food poisoning in United States history. In 1985, an outbreak in California was traced to eating a type of fresh cheese, and in 2011, Listeria food poisoning was traced to a cantaloupe farm and processing operation in Colorado. It is most often associated with eating soft cheeses, raw milk, contaminated fruits, vegetables, poultry, and meats. Newborns, the elderly and others with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of becoming ill with Listeria infections. Pregnant women are also at higher risk of contracting Listeria infections and are recommended to avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and blue (cream cheese is safe) to avoid infection and to prevent transmission to the fetus” http://www.medicinenet.com/food_poisoning/page2.htm
Rhode Island food poisoning injury attorney
If you, or a loved one, have suffered serious injuries, harm or symptoms that you believe are caused by food poisoning, you need to have your legal rights protected. You are likely entitled to receive compensation from the eating establishment, food supplier, grower, farmer and/or others. Your RI injury attorney will seek legally recoverable losses and damages including your medical expenses, lost income from time away from work and out-of-pocket costs. In addition, your East Providence negligence lawyer will seek compensation from all parties at fault for your non-economic losses including pain, suffering, mental anxiety and emotional distress.
It is important to note that not every case of food poisoning rises to a level that requires civil action. However, if you are facing extensive medical expenses after suffering a particularly acute case of serious food poisoning, taking legal action is likely your best and most viable option.