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Does Food Poisoning Warrant a Personal Injury Suit?

Does Food Poisoning Warrant a Personal Injury Suit?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 24-May-2017

People often wonder if it’s possible to sue a restaurant for food poisoning. It’s true that the discomfort of foodborne illness can be incredibly unpleasant. Nobody likes to be wracked with stomach cramps and the like that keep you off your feet for several days. If you ate at a restaurant and suspect tainted food, you may also want to ensure that nobody else suffers the same illness.

In truth, however, suing a restaurant over food illness can be a tricky prospect, and it may simply not be worth the time and effort to pursue. Learn the reasons why it’s not always the best approach to sue a restaurant for food poisoning and the importance of getting advice from a Fresno personal injury attorney.

The Burden of Proof

The biggest issue you’ll face when trying to sue a restaurant over food-related sickness is proving that you have a sickness from tainted food, and then demonstrating that you got it from the restaurant. Firstly, food illness carries many of the same symptoms as the common stomach flu, which means it can be tricky to tell if you’re sick from tainted food at all. You may even have a sample of the food to be tested, but was it tainted when you got it or did it grow bacteria while you were transporting it home from the restaurant?

The second problem is whether you got it from a restaurant. Foodborne illness can be contracted from any number of places, and it can sometimes take up to a week before you actually experience symptoms. That means that the sushi you ate at the seafood place last night might not be the issue at all; it could have been the Atlantic cod you had a few days ago that you made in your own kitchen.

Proving Negligence

Even if you do strongly suspect that your case of food poisoning came from the restaurant, you still need to prove negligence on their part. This means that the restaurant did something wrong which directly resulted in your illness.

Can you prove that they were keeping food at unsafe temperatures? Can you demonstrate that an employee failed to wash their hands? Is it possible that they had no idea the lettuce on their salad bar was tainted because it came that way from the farm?

Your Fresno Personal Injury Attorney

Beyond these issues, most incidences of food poisoning only last for a few days and aren’t very serious. Without serious consequences or injury, it’s hard to pursue a case for damages. These cases can also take some time to pursue, and by the time you’re done your symptoms may have passed.

There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule, such as severe cases of e. coli infection, or botulism, which can even be fatal in extreme circumstances. In the end, if you’re not sure whether to pursue a case for damages, your best bet is to contact a Fresno personal injury attorney like those at Dunnion Law. An attorney will help you to pursue your case, and advise you if there are other, better options. If you need help or advice with your injury case, call us for a free consultation today!

Categories: Legal Analysis, Negligence