Foodborne Illness

A Cook County Product Liability Lawyer Can Determine Liability for Foodborne Illness

Foodborne illnesses can strike suddenly and cause serious – even fatal – injuries. Other times, tainted tobacco products can injure consumers. When this happens, a Cook County product liability lawyer can bring injury claims on behalf of those who consumed the product and determine tobacco product liability. Moreover, liability for foodborne illness can lie with one of the following:

  • Restaurants and their workers who prepared or served contaminated food
  • Food suppliers and distributors that sold or distributed tainted or expired food
  • Food processors or manufacturers

Common food injuries can include:

  • Food poisoning as a result of contaminated or toxic substances in foods
  • Swallowing a foreign object in food
  • Viruses or other illnesses as a result of dirty work areas, the presence of communicable disease in the food preparation area, or workers not observing proper hygiene
  • Food allergy injuries such as in a hospital, nursing home or restaurant, where a patient’s special diet (or dietary request) is not properly observed.

Though most food infection injury symptoms will appear within a short period of time after exposure, some of them might appear later (and involve longer-term illness) such as hepatitis from a food worker who may not be symptomatic but still could infect patrons.

Food poisoning lawsuits fall under the category of defective product liability claims, the idea being that you have been sold a defective product (food) that injured (or poisoned) you. Defendant liability is determined in one of two ways.

Negligence: Your Cook County product liability lawyer must prove that the defendants acted negligently in manufacturing, supplying, selling or serving you contaminated food. Negligence in product liability lawsuits means the defendants were not reasonably careful (failed to exercise “reasonable care”) in making, distributing, selling or preparing/serving the contaminated food that made you sick.

Strict product liability: Your attorney will have to prove only that the food product you ate was contaminated and caused your injuries or illness.

Generally, you will have to prove two things to win your lawsuit:

  • The food you ate was contaminated.
  • The contamination made you sick.

Proving a link between the food you ate and contamination is easiest in cases where a government health agency links an outbreak of food poisoning or contamination to a specific defendant. But if it’s an individual case against – for example – a restaurant, it’s good to have an experienced injury lawyer with the experience and resources to investigate your allegations properly.

Damages in Food Injury Cases

If successful in your injury claim or case, damages that may be awarded to you can include:

  • All medical and hospital bills
  • Lost wages, including future lost income if you are disabled
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other related expenses if wrongful death or long-term disability occurred

Foodborne and tainted tobacco injuries can affect many people when products are distributed to large areas of the country, such as meat tainted with e. Coli, peanut butter infected with Salmonella and dairy products contaminated with Listeria. Sometimes these many injured victims participate in class action or multi-district litigation in which they collectively bring suit against the defendant. This can lead to a product recall, as well as extensive damages awarded to injured plaintiffs. Both are very complicated, and you should speak with your attorney about the benefits and shortcomings of each option.

If tainted or dangerous food or tobacco products have harmed you, Buttafuoco & Associates offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT.