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Food poisoning: Who is responsible?

Food poisoning is no joke, as anyone who has suffered from it can attest. According to the federal government's food safety page, millions of people in the United States get sick from food that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, mold, toxins, or other contaminants. Furthermore, many people can be brought low by eating food to which they are allergic. Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress of various kinds such as vomiting and diarrhea, can be mild to severe. Some allergens, such as those that reside in peanuts, can result in death. 128,000 people are hospitalized in the United States each year due to complications arising from foodborne illnesses.

Legal Action After Food Poisoning

Getting food poisoning can be the cause of a lawsuit, depending on whether or not you can identify the party responsible for serving or selling you the tainted food, according to the Find Law page on food poisoning. A restaurant, a grocery store, or some other food company can be the responsible party. But since you can develop food poisoning days after eating the contaminated food, identifying the responsible party can be difficult. Many foodborne illnesses are not severe enough to make a lawsuit worthwhile.

However, if it can be proven that a restaurant or another food service company has habitually sold contaminated food, making a number of people sick, you might have success suing them for damages. If the food poisoning is severe enough to send you to the hospital, then a lawsuit would be a financially worthwhile action to undertake.

Damages that can be won as a result of food poisoning include medical bills, lost wages, and other damages including pain and suffering. If a family member dies because of food poisoning, then you can file a wrongful death lawsuit on that person's behalf.

Talk To An Attorney

If you have suffered from a case of food poisoning severe enough to force you to seek medical treatment, or if a loved one has died as a result of a foodborne illness, find a personal injury attorney who has experience litigating such cases. A lawyer will be able to advise you whether you have a case or not and can advise you how to proceed.

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