People like to eat out a lot at restaurants, especially around the holidays. If you eat somewhere and it makes you sick with food poisoning, you may wonder if you can sue because of it. The answer to that is yes.
Many cases of food poisoning fall under product liability laws, but that doesn’t mean these types of cases are simple to bring. Here’s what you need to know about holding a restaurant responsible for your illness if their food makes you sick. We’ll talk about how you can get compensation for your illness.
Questions in Suing a Restaurant for Food Poisoning
The truth is that anyone can file a lawsuit if they get food poisoning at a restaurant, but they should ask some really important questions before deciding how to proceed. These questions include:
- Can you show the restaurant was responsible for the food poisoning?
- Is it worth the expense and the time to sue for damages?
An experienced attorney can help you to answer these questions and decide if bringing a lawsuit is what you should do in your particular case.
Showing a Restaurant is Responsible
Cases involving food poisoning must be able to show that a restaurant was responsible for the food poisoning. In civil court, this means that you must be able to show how it’s more likely than not that the restaurant caused your symptoms and illness. This can be quite difficult to prove.
Why is it so difficult? In food poisoning cases, the symptoms that arise also happen to be symptoms that are experienced due to the flu or stomach viruses.
You must be able to prove that the symptoms and illness suffered were, in fact, due to food poisoning and not another illness altogether.
The best way to show that a restaurant is responsible for food poisoning is to find other people that suffered the same symptoms from eating the same food. The more people become ill at a particular restaurant, the easier it is to show that food was the source of the illness.
What Kind of Damages Are Suitable for Lawsuits in FL?
In cases of food poisoning, there are a number of damages that can be recovered. You can sue for medical expenses as well as lost income and wages.
Emotional distress, like pain and suffering, can also come into play. If someone died as a result of food poisoning, then it is possible for the family to come forward and file a wrongful death action, too.
Common Sources of Food Poisoning
Almost everything you eat has the potential to lead to food poisoning, but some foods are more likely to candidate sources than others. The most common foods linked to food poisoning include:
- Meat such as beef, chicken, and fish
- Frozen food
- Peanut butter
These foods and others often become contaminated due to:
- Contact with toxic chemicals
- Animal waste
- Water that has been polluted
- Other hazards in the environment
Also, food that is handled improperly or stored improperly can make a person sick, as well as food that is prepared or stored in unsanitary conditions.
Food poisoning can cause some serious misery, and it may be life-threatening if you become too dehydrated. So make sure that you get medical assistance first and foremost if you’ve picked up food poisoning from a Florida restaurant.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.