The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Food Poisoning: Whom to Sue, and How?

Food poisoning generally occurs when someone consumes food that is contaminated with pathogens. Illnesses can occur as the result of viruses, parasites, toxins or chemicals.

There are many types of food poisoning, and some can lead to serious health consequences like kidney failure. Before all else, a food poisoning victim should seek immediate medical attention.

After getting medical help, a victim of food poisoning can think about filing a products liability lawsuit against the producer of the food that caused the illness.

Who Can Be Sued?

Essentially, all of the entities that are within the product's chain of distribution can be sued. As a result, several different parties can be held liable for the defective food. The manufacturer of the food, the wholesaler, and the store are all potentially liable.

For a lawsuit to be successful, the product must be shown to be defective in some way. This typically means the victim has to prove the food was contaminated.

In most food poisoning cases, the consumer will also have to show that the foodborne contamination caused the illness. The defect must also have made the food unreasonably dangerous.

Proof in a Food Poisoning Case

Proving contamination and causation can be tricky in food poisoning cases. After all, much of the evidence gets flushed down the toilet. But there are ways to gather a sufficient amount of evidence.

For example, a doctor's diagnosis, confirmed by stool samples or other tests, can help prove that foodborne contamination made you sick. Or perhaps a public health official found a link between your illness and something specific you ate. A more complicated option is to submit food scraps to a lab for testing.

If you're thinking about filing suit against a manufacturer, you should check your jurisdiction's statutes first. Laws governing products liability lawsuits and food poisoning may vary by state. It might be prudent to consult an experienced Philadelphia products liability lawyer if you have questions.

Meantime, you might want to think twice before ordering that egg and tuna salad sandwich.

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