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Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for Foodborne Illness?

Food poisoning, unfortunately, is more common than we would really like to admit. When it is the fault of the restaurant, grocery store, or food distributor, then the consumer may be well within their rights to sue under some common legalities, including negligence and strict products liability. This article will look at some legal options you may have if you are the victim of food poisoning.

Causes of Action

It is the restaurant or grocery stores job to exercise reasonable care when it comes to storing and preparing food. If not, they may be found liable for the defective food products.


If the business failed to exercise reasonable care, then it may be a case of negligence. They failed to maintain a safe environment for the food products and failed to eliminate any unreasonable dangers that existed. Therefore, the restaurant or grocery store has ultimately breached its duty.

In this kind of case, you have to prove that the business is liable. Proving causation can be difficult in these types of cases. You have to be able to identify and prove the source. The plaintiff will then also have to prove harm or injury. The degree of sickness can determine whether you have a worthwhile case or not.

To help prove your case, record how much time has passed between the meal and your symptom onset. If your symptoms become worse, be sure to see a medical professional. Also, seek medical attention if your symptoms don't reside in a few days to a week at home.

If you happened to bring home a doggy bag, make sure to save the leftovers. An independent laboratory can analyze the leftovers. Finally, consult with a personal injury attorney. They can coordinate any lab and medical evidence there may be to help prove your case.

Strict Products Liability

Many states have some kind of strict products liability in place. For example, in Florida, when a manufacturer places a defective product into the commerce stream, they are considered strictly liable for any product defects that may result in injury due to the ordinary or foreseeable use of that product.

In this case, there isn't a requirement to show a lack of reasonable care. The business can be liable under strict products liability just for selling the contaminated food. In the same respect, you may also be able to find the food distributor, retailer, wholesaler, and manufacturer liable as well.

Damages as the Result of Foodborne Illness

Yes. Food poisoning and foodborne illnesses can be considered a form or personal injury, and you may be entitled to compensation just as you would in an auto accident. Some of the legally recoverable damages you can collect in your personal injury case includes:

• Medical bills
• Lost income
• Out-of-pocket expenses
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress

Sometimes, in rare cases, death can even result from this kind of personal injury.

Taking Legal Action

If you are just feeling unwell after last night's dinner, it doesn't always warrant a call to your personal injury attorney to file a claim against the restaurant or grocery store. However, if it has caused you to collect extensive medical bills and other related costs due to the sickness, it may warrant a call to your attorney to file a claim and seek compensation.

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