Food Poisoning Liability and Injury Lawsuits

Food poisoning cases can be fairly common and some cases even make news headlines. Some bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning include Botulism, Hepatitis, E. Colis, Shigella, Listeria, and Norovirus. When a grocery store, food distributor, or restaurant is responsible for food poisoning, the consumer may be able to sue the business for strict products liability or negligence.

Potential Causes for Cases for Foodborne Illnesses

In cases of food poisoning, the company selling the food could be responsible for failure to using reasonable care to store and prepare food. They could also be found responsible for a food product that is defective.

Negligence: The general principles of negligence state that a business is responsible to use exercise reasonable care. In the terms of a restaurant, this means that the restaurant is responsible to keep a safe environment, create safe products, and prevent excessive dangers. A negligence claim starts to form is the restaurant breaches their duty to customers. For instance, if the kitchen is dirty and the food is stored in an unsanitary way, the restaurant has breached their duty.

In any negligence case against a restaurant or store for food poisoning, the victim will need to be able to prove that the company was the cause of the food poisoning. Essentially, the victim will need to show that the company’s unsafe food was the cause of their illness. Showing causation is very difficult in these types of cases. The victim will need to show that it was specifically the company’s food that caused the illness and nothing else that they might have eaten. The victim will also have to prove injury or harm, which just by becoming sick will show this. However, how sick someone becomes will determine if it is actually worth filing a case against the company.

Strict Products Liability: In many states there is a form of strict products liability. When there is a contaminated food case, the victim will need to show that the food provided to them by the store or restaurant was defective or unreasonably dangerous. It will also need to be shown that the unreasonably dangerous and contaminated food caused the victim to become ill. A company can be responsible under strict products liability for selling contaminated food. Everyone in the entire chain of distribution is eligible to be sued.

Food Poisoning Damages

If food poisoning has called an injury or illness, damages the victim can legally recover in the personal injury case could include:

  • Lost income
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Expenses paid out of pocket

In extreme and very rare cases, food poisoning can cause death. The loved ones of the deceased could file a wrongful death action against the responsible company.

Food poisoning cases can be fairly common and the companies that sell the contaminated food are often to blame. However, just because you start feeling ill after eating at a restaurant does not mean you should call a personal injury attorney Atlanta, GA trusts. However, if you have had to pay large medical bills and other costs related to your illness from food poisoning, making a claim against the company could be a real option.




Thank you to our contributors at The Law offices of Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury.