Food poisoning occurs everyday in the United States. In fact, the national Center for Disease Control estimates that roughly 76 million people suffer from food poisoning every year. However, what most people are not aware of is that you can file a lawsuit against the restaurant where you contracted the foodborne illness, and potentially even the growers or distributors of the bad food. But before you can do so, you will need the evidence to prove your case.
Here are some things you need to do to be successful in your food poisoning case.
Determine What Pathogen Made You Ill
The first step in making a viable case for food poisoning is determining what made you sick. Foodborne illnesses are caused by specific pathogens on food. Some of the most common types are Cyclospora, Campylobacter, Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella, Vibrio and Shigella.
In order to discover exactly which one of these pathogens made you sick, you will need your doctor to run tests.
Get PFGE Tested
In order to match the specific bacteria that made you sick to the source of the pathogen (the food you ingested), you will need to have a pulsed-field gel electrophoreses (PFGE) test performed. Your doctor should be able to perform this test for you. This test can be extremely useful in your lawsuit. For example, if 15 people who all ate at the same restaurant come down with Listeria and all have the same PFGE patterns, this will be solid evidence that the restaurant is the source of the pathogen.
Even if the specific food item is not pinpointed, the very fact that 15 cases of Listeria from eating at the same restaurant with the same PFGE pattern will make a good case for food poisoning.
Keep Your Doggie Bag
In the event that you took leftovers home from the restaurant where you ate contaminated food, you should keep your leftovers (but obviously, do not eat more). This food can be tested to determine whether it was the source of your food poisoning.
Consider Other Sources
People can transmit foodborne pathogens as well. Often times, sick restaurant employees or employees who do not wash their hands are the culprit. If a sick employee handles your food or contaminates a surface that comes in contact with your food, then the restaurant who hired the employee could be liable. This is particularly true if the restaurant owner or manager knew that an employee was sick and failed to send the employee home. However, you must act quickly to obtain this evidence, which is why you should hire a personal injury attorney right away if you contract food poisoning after eating at a restaurant.
If you believe you or a loved one has been food poisoned, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney right away. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal have experience representing clients in all types of personal injury cases, and will fight hard to gather the evidence you need to prove your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (303) 647-4511 or visit us online.