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Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning or Food Born Illness

Food poisoning can be one of the easiest illnesses to contract and can grow to be an extremely serious or life-threatening problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximate that there are 76 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year. Of these cases, approximately 300,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000 people die. Infants and the elderly have the greatest risk.

Depending on the specific details of your illness, a legal suit may be filed against those at fault for the food poisoning. Often, time delays between eating the food and onset of illness may make it difficult to identify the food that caused the illness. However, if a government health agency has connected a particular food to an outbreak of food poisoning, your claim may be less complicated. Food poisoning lawsuits usually claim that the victim has been sold a defective product (food) that injured (poisoned) them (also known as defective product liability). The most common legal theories in these cases include:

  • Strict product liability: There exist strict product liability laws, which remove the red tape in proving a supplier’s negligence or fault in the case. Legally, the victim of food poisoning needs to prove that the eaten food product caused their illness.

  • Negligence: In addition to a claim that is based on strict products liability, one may be able to argue that the defendants in the case acted negligently in manufacturing or supplying the contaminated food product that caused the sickness. In order to prove negligence, it is necessary to show that the defendants were not reasonably careful ("failing to exercise reasonable care") in making or distributing the contaminated food.

  • Breach of warranties: There exist certain minimum standards on products, and the contamination of the food product involved in your particular case may constitute a violation of the implied warranties. In addition, the food contamination may also constitute a violation of any guarantees provided by the food processor (e.g. "triple-washed" label on a prepared salad pack).

In order to prove negligence in a food poisoning case, it is crucial to have personal injury attorneys that are both knowledgeable and have real trial experience. The law firm of Benson and Bingham is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been the victim of food poisoning, please contact us for a free consultation.

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