Can I Sue For Food Poisoning?
If you contract food poisoning that leads to life threatening illness or wrongful death, you may be able to sue the restaurant you visited for serving inedible food. Depending on how specific you can be regarding exactly what item made you sick, there is even a possibility to sue the farmer or manufacturer as a liable third party. The most difficult part of these cases is to actually prove that the restaurant employees, environment or food directly caused your illness.
3 Ways to Prove Restaurant Liability for Food Poisoning
It is common for restaurants to reference any possible case for your illness besides their direct actions. Maybe you have the stomach flu or ate something else that day that caused sickness or allergies. In such a situation, you must find concrete legal explanations for how your food poisoning is directly caused by the restaurant or their distributors.
As the most common claim for any lawsuit, many people turn to negligence by restaurant staff as the reason for their food poisoning spell. Restaurants are highly regulated and are expected to exercise a duty of care, meaning they must provide safe meals, create a safe environment, and avoid any unnecessary dangers. A restaurant can defy its duty of care by failing to keep the restaurant clean according to health regulations, or mishandling food.
If an investigation of the restaurant reveals consistent violations against restaurant health regulations, you may have a strong case for negligence. The violations must be in tandem with your illness, but in all likeliness if the restaurant has such obvious violations, this is most likely the cause. The best way to prove direct causation is to immediately visit a doctor to test your body for bacteria that matches those found in the restaurant kitchen (counters, refrigerator, etc.) or in the food.
Strict Product Liability
If the cause of your food poisoning goes beyond the restaurants health violation code, it may be caused the the food distributor or manufacturer. Strict product liability means that even if the manufacturer or distributor did everything in their power to keep consumers safe, they are still liable for any harm their products brought to the consumers. In the case of food poisoning, the ill must prove that the food created or distributed was unreasonably dangerous. It is not necessary to prove that negligence was involved in such a case because it is “strictly” expected that the manufacturer would never allow contaminated food to leave their premises under any condition.
Caused By a Sick Employee
This may be the last thing you want to think about, but if an employee is sick and handling your food there is a good chance you will contract their illness as well. This is also the case for employees who fail to wash their hands after using the restroom. If you believe this is the cause of your food poisoning illness, the best way to prove it is to try to find other people who may have been affected or complained the same night,in the same way, from the same restaurant. If an individual employee is liable, it is likely that the restaurant as a whole will be sued due to lack of preventative action (negligence).
Food poisoning can be one of the most unfortunate 24 hours of your life. If your illness only lasts a day or so, it may not be worth your time and money to follow up with a lawsuit. However, if it causes hospital visits or even permanent damage, you should immediately contact Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. Our attorneys are experts in collecting compensation for clients who have sky high medical bills and life altering injuries.