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Can You Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

You might not have known this but it is the responsibility of restaurants to ensure that they are serving healthy and contamination-free foods to their customers.

If they serve you food that gives you food poisoning or makes you sick in any way, you can sue a restaurant. 

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) says that every year an estimated 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne illnesses.

Let’s read on to see how and why you should sue a restaurant for negligence if you get food poisoning from eating their foods. 

Restaurant Negligence Is a Real Thing To Watch Out for

Some cases of food poisoning are mild enough that they might not even be noticed, or they might be severe enough to result in diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach aches.

But the most severe of cases can result in hospitalization, and even in the worst cases, death.

That’s the real issue here, that you could get extremely ill, lose out on work and pay, have emotional trauma, and more merely from eating a restaurant.

The main reason why you might end up with food poisoning after eating at a restaurant is because of negligent behavior on the part of the restaurant.

There are 5 main ways they could have been negligent:

  • They might not have stored the food item at the right temperature to prevent the growth of bacteria 
  • They might have used food that was spoiled because it had gone past its expiration date
  • They might have not followed proper handwashing procedures, or an employee who was sick might have handled the food (either knowing they were sick, or unintentionally not knowing they were sick)
  • There might have been cross-contamination between raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs and ready-to-eat foods
  • They might not have cooked the item to the right temperature to kill harmful bacteria

The gist of it is that the restaurant has a real duty to serve you healthy and safe food. You are paying them for the pleasure of eating in a nice atmosphere, but also for the hope of eating safe food. 

Get Compensation for Eating Tainted Food

If you can prove that the restaurant was negligent and served you tainted food that caused illness, you can sue the restaurant to get fair compensation. 

The types of damages that you could potentially recover are:

  • Medical care – both for the present and for the future
  • Lost wages, if that is applicable in your case
  • Actual expenses, related to the meal that you paid for 
  • Emotional distress or trauma that you might have experienced
  • Punitive damages, but only in certain instances

Remember that some of the symptoms of food poisoning to watch out for are stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and also sometimes fever and a general sense of feeling unwell. 

How To File a Lawsuit Against a Restaurant

The most important thing to do when you get food poisoning after eating at a restaurant is to go to a doctor right away and get a stool sample done. This way you will be able to see which bacteria caused your illness

This can help you build an even stronger case against the restaurant and its negligent behavior. 

Also, create a detailed log of all the food ingested that day, how it was prepared, and where it was prepared. The more detailed your records can be, the better it is for when you sue a restaurant. 

Contact a Food Safety Lawyer ASAP if You Get Food Poisoning

If you think you have a real situation at hand, then make sure you speak to a food safety lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to help you sue for food poisoning. 

This is especially important because an experienced food safety attorney will be invaluable in helping you fight your case against the negligent restaurant. They will be able to do things that you might not be able to, on your own.

For example, they would be able to help preserve evidence of the restaurant’s negligence, like the food ingested, the ingredients used, and more.

They would be able to direct the best course of action in the particular situation and help navigate the confusing legalities, whilst also building a strong case against the restaurant. 

They will also be able to guide you with regards to your legal rights, and whether there is a real case at hand or not. 

Also, they would be able to focus on fighting the case against the restaurant, while you can focus on resting and recuperating. You’ve been through enough with the food poisoning.

It’s time for you to let someone else take on the burden of the fight. 

Who Is Liable in a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?

If you decide to sue a restaurant for food poisoning negligence and are successful, then who would be liable in such a case?

Well, it would be the restaurant in almost all cases. Sometimes, the employee who was responsible for preparing the food would be at fault as well, but it’s hard to pinpoint the exact person in most situations. 

Additionally, there are strict penalties issued by agencies (like the CDC, FDA, USDA) responsible for ensuring food safety, handling, and preparation.

This is to ensure that the restaurant at fault will be deterred from repeating their mistakes and putting other future customers at risk with their tainted food.

Sue a Restaurant if You Think You Might Have Food Poisoning

Don’t hesitate to sue a restaurant if you think you suffered food poisoning due to their negligence. 

If you are unsure of the next steps or the recourse, then a food safety attorney will be able to guide you. 

This way you can rest assured knowing that you did everything possible when suffering from restaurant negligence. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!