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Legal Questions about Food Poisoning

When you go out to enjoy a meal, you expect a good place with great ambience and quality food. Instead if you get food poisoning and become ill, it can be a very unpleasant experience to overcome. You may have to be hospitalized or take leave from work in order to recuperate. This can result in pointless costs and can disrupt your life temporarily. Food poisoning law is useful to tackle such cases and help you get compensated for your loss. Below are a few common questions answered by lawyers about food poisoning.

I used a particular product to diet but fell ill the next day. The doctors requested samples to prove what caused the problem but I did not have it at that point. Can I still sue for food poisoning?

In a case of food poisoning, it is imperative that you have medical proof of what caused the illness and a doctor’s finding verifying it. If you were unable to provide the required samples for testing in order to prove food poisoning, then the chances are the court will not entertain this case. If you can obtain the samples and prove what caused the food poisoning, you can claim damages and file a suit.

My daughter ate a cheeseburger at a fast food joint and fell ill, leading to hospitalization and bed rest. Can I sue this fast food chain? Do I have a case?

This is a clear case in which you should be able to sue for damages and demand a fitting claim as well from the fast food chain. Since your young child had to be hospitalized this means the food poisoning caused physical suffering as well as mental anguish to him/her and the family. A medical report from the treating doctor clearly confirming your child suffered from food poisoning is necessary. The doctor could elaborate on the complications resulting from this food poisoning such as need for hospitalization, treatment, and absence from school.

Twenty four hours after a long haul flight I was hospitalized for four days due to food poisoning. Since I had not eaten anything apart from the food served on the plane, can I sue the airline?

The main issue is that you will need to prove to the court/jury that you ate nothing else apart from the food on the flight after you landed. This is difficult to do since only you will be able to prove that. This stance is self-serving and could be prosecuted by the defense. There is a possibility you could sue the airline for a case of negligence. An attorney can be hired to represent your case. A demand letter can be sent to them threatening to sue unless they make a settlement offer.

I got food poisoned after eating deli food purchased from a grocery store. What are my legal options?

Usually in such a scenario, you can report the store to the health department. Through this complaint you would be entitled to a refund of money and any medical expenses incurred due to food poisoning. In the absence of medical bills or wages lost from being unable to work, you may be able to receive an approximate amount of $1000 for pain and suffering.

I think that my food has been intentionally tampered with at a restaurant. How can I prove this and can I sue them?

The key way you can prove that the food was tampered with is if you have taken a sample of that food and sent it to the laboratory to have it tested for anything suspicious. If the food is found unsuitable to be eaten the restaurant could defend itself based on the premise that the food was in your possession, hence they are not responsible for it. Unless there is an eye witness to this tampering, even with positive lab results, it could be difficult to incriminate the restaurant. If you are able to prove it and you have fallen sick as a result of eating it (hospitalization or absence from work due to illness), then you can sue the restaurant for damages.

How much can I claim as a settlement offer for a food poisoning case against a major grocery store for myself and my child ?

In most cases, the settlement is usually worth three times the related medical bills and wages lost due to absence from work. Similarly your child’s case would be equivalent to three times his/her related medical bills. Usually while requesting for a settlement, it is wise to ask for nine times yours and your child’s related medical bills and nine times your lost wages. After this you would negotiate with the grocery store till they meet your demand or cover your expenditure and make up for your losses.

Food poisoning law is straightforward. If you are able to medically prove that your condition is because of eating sub-standard food then you should be able to make a claim and sue for damages. But before taking any concrete steps, legal counsel will be useful in order to proceed in the right manner and be compensated sufficiently.
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