Food poisoning and food-borne diseases affect approximately 48 million Americans annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among the infected individuals, an average of 128,000 need hospitalization, and 3,000 die from their illnesses, according to the CDC. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer or diabetes, are most at risk. If you or a loved one developed food poisoning in Las Vegas, consult the experienced Las Vegas Food Poisoning Lawyers at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. Casinos, hotels, and other tourist attractions must serve safe food to their patrons, as must other establishments open to the public. If they don’t, they may bear responsibility for a patron’s food poisoning. If you reach out to Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we can investigate your incident and help you seek compensation for your suffering.
Food poisoning and food-borne disease incidents and outbreaks occur because of food contaminated with germs, including some well-known ones, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella.
Recently, for example, onions infected with Salmonella sickened more than 900 people across the country, including Nevada. More than 100 people required hospitalization due to this outbreak.
Germs can enter the food supply at multiple points. In the recent Salmonella outbreak, it appears to have occurred before the onions entered grocery stores. However, preparation and storage methods can also cause food poisoning. Food left out for too long can become infected with germs. If food isn’t stored or cooked properly, it may also become infected.
The most common symptoms of food poisoning are:
Severe cases can cause additional symptoms, such as blood poisoning and brain damage.
Establishments open to the public owe a duty of care to provide safe environments to the public, which includes ensuring the safety of the products offered. This includes food in businesses, such as hotels and casinos, that provide food for sale.
Violating this duty of care constitutes negligence. Negligent is linked to liability, or financial responsibility, for the damage and harm caused. In other words, if you become ill from food or beverage served to you in a casino, the casino or its suppliers may face responsibility for your illness.
Determining negligence in cases of food poisoning often involves several complex issues. First, if you ate in several different restaurants or places of business while in Las Vegas, determining which food caused the incident may pose difficulties.
Second, any time lag between eating the contaminated food and the onset of symptoms may complicate identifying the responsible food. At times, food poisoning symptoms occur quickly, but they may also take longer. In addition, victims may not initially realize that the symptoms they experience are those of food poisoning.
Working with an experienced lawyer can help. We can investigate using several avenues. First, we can track down any similar cases in Las Vegas and see if the victims ate at certain places. Second, government health agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), often issue warnings when significant outbreaks of food poisoning occur. Public warnings can help victims identify which food caused their symptoms.
In legal terms, food poisoning cases contracted from public places of businesses are the result of defective products (food, both raw or prepared). The businesses that served or offered these defective products are negligent in terms of strict product liability, as long as the victim’s illness resulted from consuming the food.
Legally, the provision of contaminated food to the public may also constitute a breach of implied warranties or violation of guarantees given by the food processor (such as a “triple-washed” label on a package of prepared salad).
For all food poisoning and food-borne illness cases, the legal remedy is to seek compensation for the harm done.
Victims can seek damage compensation by approaching the negligent party’s insurance company or by filing a product liability lawsuit in civil court.
In Nevada, victims can seek damages in the following areas:
In insurance claims and lawsuits, the at-fault parties can, unfortunately, claim that they don’t bear responsibility. There’s no mystery about why they do this! For insurance companies, a just payout of a claim affects their profits. They will, frankly, go to great lengths to avoid paying out the full value of claims.
If the case goes to court, companies who are the defendants in the case will often try to deny or deflect responsibility, as well. The motive is the same: they don’t want to pay you, regardless of fairness.
Common defenses that at-fault parties mount include the following:
An experienced lawyer can counter all of these defensive tactics, especially if similar cases of food poisoning cases arose at the same time.
If you suffer serious food poisoning, keep all of your medical records, including dates and places of treatment and diagnosis. It’s also wise to keep records, such as credit card bills, from places you eat.
If food poisoning or the effects of another food-borne illness landed you in a Las Vegas hospital, or required medical treatment elsewhere in Nevada, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, at (702) 382-9797. Our first consultation is always free.
“Michelle and Lina are spectacular and they are great to work with. The office is very professional and you will not be disappointed with the service. Benson & Bingham will fight for every penny and they will do everything possible to make sure you are satisfied. It is without hesitation or reservation that I recommend them for your case.” -Hearly S.