Being able to eat good food at a restaurant is one of the best pleasures in life. But instead of actually reminiscing and recommending the sumptuous meal you had to others, it made you sick for a number of days. You went to the doctor and found out that you were food poisoned. All you wanted was to eat good food, but it resulted in an unfortunate event that may have fatally caused your life. On this note, can you sue for food poisoning?
Filing a Lawsuit for Food Poisoning
E. Coli, Botulism, Hepatitis, Listeria, Norovirus, and Shigella are some viruses and bacteria that can cause food poisoning to people. They are usually present when the food is not cooked well. Since restaurants prepare and serve food to the customers, they are among the most common places where anyone can get sick due to food poisoning.
Yes, generally speaking, suing a restaurant for bad food is a viable option in claiming damages for food poisoning, but only if you are able to prove with evidence that the restaurant is really the one to be blamed for such personal injury. Meanwhile, if the victims believe that a restaurant, food distributor, supplier, or a grocery store is the cause of their food poisoning, then they have the right to file a lawsuit against the business establishment under common legal theories, such as a product liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.
Strict Product Liability – This legal theory is present in almost all states. It holds food manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers liable for the injuries caused by their food products made available on the market. To use this liability in a food poisoning case, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the food eaten at a restaurant or bought from a store was contaminated, defective, and reasonably dangerous for consumption. At the same time, it must also show that the contaminated food caused the food poisoning.
Negligence – Every business is expected to exercise reasonable care at all times. In a restaurant setting, the concept of reasonable care refers to a well-maintained and safe environment, production of food that is safe for consumption, and the elimination of entities that may cause harm. In suing a restaurant for bad food due to negligence, the complainant must prove that the food establishment caused the incident of food poisoning. In simplest terms, you should be able to show that the restaurant served a particular food item that allegedly caused the illness.
However, there is difficulty in proving such case because you need to show that the food poisoning was caused by the restaurant’s bad food and not other food items. The problem here is the possibility that you may have eaten something else, which could be the actual cause of the illness. With the help of a doctor, the illness and the source of the illness must be identified first before you should be suing a restaurant for bad food.
The question now here is; can you sue for food poisoning under negligence? Yes, you can, but the more important question is; will be able to prove it?
Breach of Warranty – Generally, every product has an implied warranty that is imposed by most states. The warranties ensure that the products have followed minimum quality standards and have conformed to the expectations of an ordinary consumer. If for instance, a contaminated food product causes food poisoning, then the injured person can say that the product did not comply (breach) to the expectations of a buyer when it comes to providing safe food.
Damages in a Food Poisoning Case
What can you sue for food poisoning? If you are able to prove that the defendant (restaurant) was responsible for your illness, then you can recover damages such as:
– Hospital bills and other medical expenses
– Lost income
– Out-of-pocket expenses
– Emotional distress, pain, and suffering
And in extremely rare cases, food poisoning may cause the death of the person. If this happens, then the deceased’s family members can file a legal action for wrongful death against the liable business establishment.