Have you been poisoned by a wide-spread food-borne illness? If you have, you can join the ranks of more than 48,000,000 people who experience food poisoning each year. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 48,000,000 people get sick from food poisoning annually, with 128,000 folks being hospitalized and 3,000 people dying. It is safe to say that not every person who has food poisoning alerts the source and just “toughs it out,” so the numbers are likely much higher than what is reported. With this type of illness, it is rarely a case for a lawsuit; however, there are circumstances that arise that definitely warrant a class action lawsuit, and our lawyers in New Orleans are here to serve you and the greater public in the Gulf region.
Food Poisoning Class Action Lawsuits
One of the more popular class action lawsuits regarding food poisoning is from 2015 when Chipotle Mexican Grill faced a lawsuit from hundreds of sick patrons after selling food with separate E. coli and norovirus infected foods in dozens of restaurants. 43 restaurants closed. Chipotle settled an agreement with patrons in the class action lawsuit outside of court.
Most often, class action lawsuits related to food-borne illnesses result from a large chain or supplier of the food that distributes and sells poisoned food to many, many customers. (On a smaller scale, a person may have a case to sue a restaurant/grocer or manufacturer on a personal injury product liability case).
At the time of consumption, it doesn’t particularly matter to the customer from whom the poisoned food comes; he or she is trying to ride out the illness and get healthy again. However, it is important to pay attention, at this time specifically, to what exactly was eaten and where it was purchased if you plan on following up with a complaint or legal claim.
In the legal world, fault is described as liability. In a food poisoning case, it is most commonly filed as a defective product liability case, and in Louisiana a person has up to one year to file a claim. This statue of limitations is necessary because it may take some time for the injury or illness to appear, and research about who may be responsible can take longer than the time you feel the symptoms or show the physical injuries.
Within this year, a lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your food poisoning. Technically, it could be the fault of all parties in the chain of distribution: manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler/distributor, or other related party. Both individual persons and corporations can be held liable for defective products, which is food in this case.
Ultimately, each food poisoning case is going to differ from the next, meaning the person to hold at fault is not a straightforward answer. If it appears to be a widespread incident, you can count on the class action lawyers at Andry Law Group to support you through these trials and tribulations. Connect with us online to schedule a free initial consultation; we hope you are feeling better now!