Can a Restaurant Be Sued for Food Poisoning?
Unfortunately, food poisoning is a fairly common occurrence, but just because you get sick after eating out does not necessarily mean that you have a case against the restaurant. However, if you have been stuck with medical bills, time off work, and other physical and monetary losses because of this food poisoning, then you may be able to seek compensation from a negligence or strict product liability claim.
Whether food poisoning was caused by E. coli, Hepatitis, Botulism, Norovirus, Listeria, Shigella, or some other virus or bacteria, food poisoning may have ultimately been the result of a restaurant failing to follow safe practices.
Restaurants have the duty to provide patrons with a reasonably safe environment, and this includes offering safe products (that would be the food). This duty of care would be violated if a restaurant maintained a filthy kitchen and kept food in contaminated containers, for example. But the tricky part is proving that the restaurant’s negligence is what caused your illness.
After all, you may have had breakfast before you ate out for lunch, and perhaps you had a snack after that as well. You would have to prove that no other food source was responsible for your illness, that it was what you ate for lunch that sickened you. This is where going to a doctor is invaluable for your case.
Or perhaps instead of proving that a restaurant violated their duty of care to you, you can prove that they serve a defective product. If you were sickened by contaminated food, you may be able to prove this danger in the product they served, and that this defective product is the source of your injuries. Not only the restaurant, but even the food distributor, retailer, wholesaler, and manufacturer, etc. could be held liable for your injuries.
But again, filing a claim will only be worthwhile if you suffered substantial damages. This could be if you had to be hospitalized or if you face other medical bills, if you had to take time off work and missed pay, and/or if you suffered physical and mental distress. You could also be compensated for other expenses you paid related to the illness. Very rarely, food poisoning can lead to death, in which case the surviving family can file a wrongful death claim.
If you think you may have a basis for filing a suit against a restaurant, contact the Whitley Law Firm to learn just how strong your case is. You can also learn how much your case is worth, and an experienced Raleigh personal injury lawyer may be able to help you obtain that full compensation. You can get started on your case today by filling out a free case evaluation form.