Food Poisoning Attorneys in San Jose
Am I Able to Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?
If the law and evidence support a personal injury or wrongful death claim, it is possible to sue a restaurant for food poisoning. There may also be others that are liable such as growers, food processors, and distributors. Food poisoning attorneys in San Jose, such as Needham Kepner & Fish, will evaluate your case and provide you with reliable legal advice pertaining to a potential food poisoning lawsuit.
Contact our firm today to learn more about how we can assist you with your claim.
How to Pursue a Claim for Food Poisoning
Keep the following things in mind if you want to pursue a food poisoning claim:
Know what pathogen made you ill. To have a valid claim, you must be diagnosed with an illness caused by a specific pathogen: Botulism, Campylobacteriosis, Cyclosporiasis, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Listeriosis, Norovirus, Salmonella, Shigella, or Vibriosis. If your doctor tells you that you have food poisoning, ask if further testing can be conducted to determine if one of the above-mentioned pathogens is to blame.
- PFGE testing can be used as evidence to help prove your claim. A process called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) can determine what bacteria caused the food poisoning and its exact genetic make-up. This is compelling because people that become ill from bacteria with matching PFGE patterns were contaminated by the same source.
- You may still have a claim even if you do not know which food item you consumed was contaminated. Even if the particular food responsible for your sickness is never determined, you may still have a case, depending on laboratory testing and epidemiological evidence.
- A restaurant is liable if your illness is caused by a sick employee. In many food poisoning outbreaks, a sick food service worker transmits the illness directly to food or onto surfaces that come into contact with food. As a result, there is a possibility of many different foods served by the restaurant getting contaminated rather than just one food item. Whether you get food poisoning from the restaurant’s environment or contaminated food served by the restaurant, the restaurant is liable and you may have a case.
- Keep leftover food, it may be used as evidence. If you get food poisoning after eating at a restaurant and you still have leftovers, don’t throw them away. Lab tests can be conducted on the food to determine whether your illness was caused by it.
Food Poisoning Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year approximately 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses. Most people recover from food poisoning within a few days however, it can be life-threatening or fatal for the young, old, and those with compromised immune systems. If you were harmed by food poisoning in San Jose, we may be able to file a food poisoning lawsuit on your behalf.
Food Poisoning Information
Food poisoning causes more than 125,000 hospitalizations and approximately 3,000 deaths nationwide each year, according to the CDC. Whether it is Shigella, Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria, or another type of bacteria, the effects can be severe and even deadly.
Often, the contamination occurs long before the food reaches the consumer. Recent food recalls of produce, black pepper, beef, peanut butter, salami, and others are examples of cases where the food was contaminated before it was offered for sale to retailers and consumers. In other cases, food may be stored improperly, whether in a warehouse, supermarket, or restaurant.
Recognizing a need for consumer awareness, the United States Department of Agriculture recently released a publication entitled, “Food Safety and Security: What Consumers Need to Know.” The consumer guide discusses what consumers need to know about handling food safely, foodborne illness, product recalls, keeping food safe during emergencies, how long foods can be kept safely, keeping the food supply secure, risks of internal contamination, and information on reporting possible food tampering. The goal is to educate consumers in hopes of reducing the number of food poisoning cases in the United States.
Food Poisoning in the News
Recently, restaurant food contamination in San Jose, California has made headlines. Nearly 200 people became ill after eating at a seafood restaurant in San Jose. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department reports that nearly all of these people became ill after eating at Mariscos San Juan #3 Restaurant on Friday, October 16th, or Saturday, October 17th. Lab tests confirm Shigella in 102 of the nearly 200 cases. The health department reported, in a recent interview with the media, that an employee of the restaurant is suspected to be the source of the Shigella contamination.
What Is Shigella?
Shigella is a bacteria. Eating food contaminated with Shigella can cause the diarrheal disease, shigellosis. Symptoms usually begin one to two days after eating food contaminated with Shigella. The symptoms of Shigellosis include diarrhea ( bloody in some cases), fever, and abdominal pain. Symptoms typically last about 5 to 7 days. Those who develop Shigellosis, usually recover completely, although it may be months before bowel habits return to normal.
Can I Die from Shigella?
Shigella is a disease that moves very fast. Some who eat food contaminated with Shigella may need medical attention within hours of the start of symptoms. In rare cases, Shigella can be fatal. Those most at risk for severe illness are small children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
How Do I File a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
Needham Kepner & Fish is currently accepting food poisoning lawsuit claims in San Jose, California. If you or somebody you know has become severely ill or died, you should contact our food poisoning lawsuit lawyers immediately.
Our attorneys can be reached at (408) 716-1668 to discuss your food poisoning case.