Food poisoning can make you feel like you’ve got one foot in the grave. Severe cases can stretch on for days and cause you to lose work. You might even undergo complications. Every year, millions of Americans are sickened due to poorly-prepared food—but can you sue a restaurant or company that poisoned you?
The simple answer is: Yes, IF you can prove that the food provider was responsible for your illness. However, that can be difficult to prove thanks to the delayed onset of symptoms. In most cases, it’s easier when a government agency has already identified a particular restaurant as the source of the outbreak. For example, you might remember some of these major food-borne illness incidents.
- You may be able to argue that a food manufacturer, supplier or restaurant failed in their duty to serve safe food. Your case will hinge on whether the food provider exercised reasonable care when making or supplying the food.
- Product liability. Most states allow food poisoning suits to proceed under a strict product liability claim, which means you won’t have to prove negligence. All you need to show is that their product (the food) was contaminated, which caused your food poisoning.
- Breach of warranty. Finally, you may be able to proceed under a theory of breach of warranty. The idea is that the food provider offers an implied warranty that their food was safe. (In some cases, the warranty might be express, if they make safety claims on the packaging or in their advertising.) Contaminated food is a breach of that warranty.
How to Prove Your Claim
No matter which legal theory you pursue, you’ll need to prove that the food you ate was contaminated, and that was what made you sick. If a government agency has already stepped in to test an outbreak, it’s easier to prove who is responsible for the contamination.
In most cases, the best way to prove causation is to have a stool sample tested. If the sample contains the same pathogens that were linked to the food poisoning outbreak, you’ll have a better chance of proving your case.
In most mild cases, it’s not worth the time to pursue a legal claim. However, if you were hospitalized for your illness, or the food provider’s conduct was especially reckless, you deserve to be compensated.
Talk to an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been sickened thanks to someone else’s food-related negligence, you may have a case. Call me to discuss whether you have grounds for an individual case or a class action suit. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today for more information.