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Food poisoning is both angering and debilitating at once. When you purchase food or eat at a restaurant, the last thing that you expect is that the food will make you ill. Some foodborne illness is serious enough to cause lasting damage, and even death in some cases. Below is some information on the common or most severe types of foodborne illness. If you have contracted any of them and have suffered harm, it is vital that you contact a food poisoning lawsuit lawyer. The manufacturer or the purveyor of the food that sickened you may be legally responsible for your illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 250 foodborne illnesses. These are infections that result from bacteria and other viruses. These can also result from toxins and chemicals. According to the CDC, there are five top foodborne illnesses. In addition, there are several other common illnesses beyond the top five.

Norovirus

Norovirus is a severe stomach bug that results in nearly 800 deaths each year. It is highly contagious and easily spread. People can contract norovirus in a variety of different ways, including contact with someone who has the virus. It can be transmitted through food. If someone infected with norovirus comes into contact with food, then the food can carry the virus. Norovirus can also spread through water and surfaces. The illness can last from one to three days, but more severe cases can require hospitalization.

Salmonella

According to the CDC, there are over one million cases of salmonella in the United States each year. The illness kills approximately 450 people each year. The illness generally last from four to seven days, but in many cases, it does not require further treatment. However, if the diarrhea is severe enough, hospitalization is required. Salmonella is often spread through contaminated meat. For example, there was a recent outbreak of salmonella that has been connected to Butterball turkey products. There is also another active outbreak of salmonella that has come from tainted ground beef.

Clostridium Perfringens

While not as well known as the other types of foodborne illness, C. perfringens is every bit as common. While the name is not well-known, this is more familiar to people as food poisoning. Over one million Americans are sickened by this on an annual basis. This can come from eating rotten food or food that was not stored at the right temperature. Due to the nature of this illness, it will most likely not come as part of an outbreak because it comes from individual food not being served and stored in a correct manner.

Campylobacter

This mostly results from eating poultry that has been undercooked. Outbreaks of this illness are rare. According to the CDC, there have been an average of 35 outbreaks of this illness each year recently. Although this foodborne illness is not as severe as the others, it is very easy for someone to become sickened with it. All it takes is one drop of juice from contaminated poultry and one can contract this illness. This illness sickens over one million Americans each year, although many cases go unreported.

Listeria

This is a common cause of fatalities among foodborne illnesses. Listeria is very rare, but is very deadly. Of the approximately 1,600 people that contract listeria every year, roughly one in every six die. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to this illness. Nearly all of the cases of listeria will require the patient to be hospitalized. Recently, there was on outbreak of listeria from pork products that sickened four people, although there were no fatalities.

E. Coli

This is one of the more well-known foodborne illnesses. According to the CDC, there are approximately 75,000 people who are sickened with this illness every year and roughly 2,000 will require hospitalization. Between 50 and 100 people die from this disease annually. Recently, one of the more publicized out breaks of this illness was the E. Coli that was connected with consumption of romaine lettuce that caused one fatality.

There are numerous other foodborne illnesses. including botulism and Vibrio. Botulism is a serious illness because its toxins attack the body’s nervous system. While botulism is rare, up to one in ten cases can be fatal.

Food Poisoning Lawsuits

Widespread cases of food poisoning can lead to large-scale litigation. For example, there have recently been a number of cases filed in the wake of the outbreak of E. coli. People in 11 states were sickened from consuming this romaine lettuce. It is believed that nearly 150 people were sickened in this outbreak. At least five lawsuits have been filed in conjunction with the tainted romaine lettuce. Many of the plaintiffs required hospitalization, including blood transfusions, due to the severity of their illness. Some of the plaintiffs were sickened by eating romaine lettuce served at Panera Bread. The lawsuits target the lettuce supplier for Panera. Further, several restaurants have been sued because the plaintiffs were sickened by food that they ate there.

Another example of widespread food contamination litigation is the lawsuits that have been filed against Chipotle. The Mexican restaurant chain was the originator of a nationwide outbreak of E. coli starting in 2015. As of August 2018, there were over 700 cases filed against Chipotle for food poisoning claims. These consist of both individual claims as well as class action lawsuits. There was another outbreak that has been traced to a Chipotle in Ohio that has led to an increase in the number of suits against Chipotle.

Food Poisoning as Product Liability Cases

When it comes to lawsuits that stem from instances of food poisoning, there are a number of different possible defendants. The company that manufactured the product may be held liable for making the food that made you sick. Further, if you purchased the food at a grocery store, that establishment can also be sued for selling you the food. Similarly, a restaurant where you ate the food can also be legally responsible for your illness. A lawyer will likely advise you to sue both the manufacturer and the seller of the food. You will receive the verdict or the settlement and it is up to the two companies to fight it out to see who has to pay what share of your award.

In most states, all you have to show is that the food was contaminated and that the contamination was the cause of your illness. It does not matter whether the manufacturer was negligent in how they prepared the food. Of course you can always show that the supplier was negligent and that may increase your jury award. However, under the products liability theory, proving negligence is not required.

Food poisoning lawsuit lawyer

If you have been sickened by any type of food, it is best to get the documentation from your doctor of the reason why you were sickened. Your medical records should contain the diagnosis of whatever foodborne illness you contracted. Then, you should seek out legal counsel to figure out whether you have a viable legal claim against anyone who may have had a role in selling that food to you. It is vital that you contact a salmonella lawsuit lawyer immediately, while the evidence that can back up your claim is still available. In addition, there is also the issue with the statute of limitations that can place a time limit on filing a claim. The E. Coli lawsuit lawyer can tell you after reviewing the facts of your case whether they believe that you have a viable legal claim.

Sources:

https://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/norovirus/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/outbreaks-active.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/01/chipotle-hit-with-new-lawsuit-over-food-contamination-in-ohio.html

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/chipotle-food-poisoning-cases-up-to-700-as-fast-food-chain-hit-with-second-lawsuit.html