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We've all had a bout of food poisoning at one point or another, and we usually just call in sick, curl up in bed, and wait for the worst of it to pass. But sometimes, the food contamination may not be limited to just a dish or two, and the health effects may be more severe.
In that case, you may be thinking of filing a lawsuit against the food manufacturer, supplier, or restaurant. And if you do, you should know your rights and responsibilities when filing a food contamination lawsuit.
Know Your Rights
Victims of food poisoning have the right to a legal remedy. If you were sickened by food from a restaurant, you may have a claim against the restaurant, its employees, or its food supplier. Restaurants must submit to inspections from the health department and their employees must comply with health regulations when storing, handling, and preparing food. If they fail to satisfy these requirements and it results in food poisoning, you may have a valid negligence claim.
If the restaurant was supplied with tainted food, or you purchased contaminated food, you may have a products liability claim against the food manufacturer or supplier. Food companies and suppliers must provide proper labeling, adequate warnings, and are also required to follow health and safety standards when processing and packaging food.
Know Your Responsibilities
It may be obvious to you that you got food poisoning, but winning a food contamination lawsuit isn't easy. Suing a restaurant for food poisoning may entail identifying exactly what made you sick (testing food for E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella, for example) and/or finding other people who were sickened at the same restaurant. Although you may not need to figure exactly which dish got you sick, you'll need to tie the sickness to that restaurant.
You'll also need to document your illness, from diagnosis to treatment, along with associated medical costs or lost income. An essential element to any personal injury claim is damages, meaning you'll need to prove an injury and how much it cost.
Food contamination and food poisoning claims can be difficult to prove. If you've been sickened by contaminated or mistreated food, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.