Florida Product Liability Lawyers for Victims of Food Poisoning
If you get sick from contaminated food, you have the right to seek just compensation from the company that is to blame. Most food poisoning cases are governed by the law of product liability, and this means that proof of negligence may not be required in order to secure a financial recovery. However, food poisoning cases are far from straightforward, and winning your case will require experienced legal representation.
There are many aspects that make food poisoning cases unique. For one, the product that caused your illness is likely no longer available. In cases involving widespread contamination, it may be possible to show that an entire batch or crop was unsafe for consumption, but you must still be able to demonstrate that you personally consumed contaminated food. Identifying the responsible party can be difficult as well. Who is to blame for the contamination, the farmer? The packaging facility? The grocer? The restaurant that served you?
Experienced Representation for Food Poisoning Liability Claims
At Searcy Denney, we have significant experience representing clients in cases involving food poisoning and other illnesses caused by dangerous products. We have represented individual plaintiffs as well as classes of victims who have all fallen ill as a result of similar contaminated food items. For more than 40 years, we have been fighting for clients who deserve just compensation, and we can use our significant experience to maximize your financial recovery.
Common Sources of Food Poisoning
Virtually all foods have the potential for contamination that can cause food poisoning. Some of those most-commonly linked to cases of severe food poisoning include:
- Frozen foods
- Peanut butter
Dangerous food-borne pathogens can result from:
- Contamination from animal waste, polluted water and other environmental hazards
- Contamination from toxic chemicals
- Improper food handling practices
- Improper food storage
- Unsanitary conditions
Illnesses Linked to Food-Borne Contaminants
Although we commonly think of food poisoning as a specific type of illness, “food poisoning” is actually a general term for the various illnesses resulting from food contamination. Contaminated food products can be linked to medical conditions including:
- E. coli
- Hepatitis A
If you believe that you may be suffering from a form of food poisoning, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. While many cases of food poisoning go away within a few days, serious illnesses can have lasting consequences. You should also try to collect as much information as possible. Where did you buy the food? If you purchased it at a supermarket or grocery store, do you still have the packaging? What are your symptoms? When did they start? These are all key pieces of information you will want to share with your attorney.
Cryptosporidia Food Poisoning
Cryptosporidia are microscopic foodborne parasites that can live in food and water. “Crypto” food poisoning can result from consuming food or water than has been contaminated, and the effects can range from nausea and vomiting to potentially-fatal illnesses among individuals with weakened immune systems.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our attorneys have significant experience in food poisoning litigation, and we can represent you in a claim against the food manufacturer, distributor, restaurant or other corporation that is responsible for your losses. Acting quickly is the best way to protect your rights, so contact us now to schedule your free consultation.
How Can You Get Cryptosporidiosis?
Cryptosporidiosis can result from drinking water or eating meat, shellfish, fruit or vegetables that have been contaminated by feces infected with cryptosporidia parasites. Unpasteurized milk can contain cryptosporidia parasites as well. Foods may be infected prior to processing; or, if a supermarket, restaurant or other facility is using contaminated water, the process of cleaning uncontaminated food products can lead to contamination. Cryptosporidia parasites can also be transmitted by human contact – for example, if a grocery store or restaurant employee fails to wash his or her hands after touching contaminated food.
What Are the Symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis?
The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea. Other symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased urine output
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps
- Weight loss
Symptoms typically begin within 48 hours, and can last one to two weeks. However, a person who has been infected with cryptosporidia can remain contagious for weeks after his or her symptoms have subsided.
What Are the Potential Long-Term Effects of Cryptosporidiosis?
While most people who are diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis will fully recover, there exists the potential for long-term complications. Many of these complications result from dehydration, including a decrease in blood pressure and the potential for kidney failure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that individuals who have weakened immune systems are the most likely to experience complications, including the potential for “serious, chronic, and sometimes fatal illness.” Anyone experiencing symptoms of cryptosporidiosis should seek medical attention promptly, and those who have been diagnosed with AIDS and certain cancers and hereditary diseases may need to treat the onset of symptoms as a potential medical emergency.
Can I Seek Financial Compensation for a Cryptosporidiosis Diagnosis?
If you have been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Food processing facilities, grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses have a legal duty to avoid spreading dangerous parasites; and, when they fail to meet this duty, they can be held legally responsible. The best way to learn about your rights is to speak with an experienced attorney, and acting quickly will help ensure that you preserve your claim to maximum compensation.
Cyclospora Food Poisoning
Cyclosporiasis is a form of food poisoning that results from a parasitic infection. While cyclospora infections have long been a known risk of overseas travel to certain areas, in recent years we have seen a significant number of outbreaks across the United States.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a cyclospora infection, it is important that you seek medical attention promptly. While most people will see their symptoms subside within a few weeks, if left untreated, cyclosporiasis has the potential to lead to long-term complications.
What Types of Foods Are Known to Carry Cyclospora?
The most common cause of cyclosporiasis is actually the consumption of contaminated water. However, various foods can carry the cyclospora parasite as well, including:
- Snap peas
- Snow peas
- Other fruits and vegetables
While washing fresh produce can help reduce the risk of cyclosporiasis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that this will not always be sufficient to prevent a cyclospora infection.
What Are the Symptoms of a Cyclospora Infection?
The symptoms of cyclosporiasis are similar to those of many other types of food poisoning. Within a week of consuming contaminated food or water, a person who has been infected with cyclospora may experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Body and muscle aches
- Flu-like symptoms
- Frequent bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps
- Watery diarrhea
- Weight loss
What Is the Prognosis for a Person Who Has Been Diagnosed With Cyclosporiasis?
Symptoms from cyclosporiasis can last for as little as a few days, or they may last a month or longer. Relapses of symptoms are common as well. One of the most common complications of cyclosporiasis is dehydration, which can present particular concerns for young children, the elderly and individuals with certain serious illnesses. In most cases, however, individuals who receive a prompt diagnosis can fully recover with a treatment regimen of antibiotics and plenty of fluids.
Is Cyclosporiasis Contagious?
According to the CDC, it is unlikely for cyclospora infections to be passed between humans: “Cyclospora needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another.”
What Are My Rights If I Contracted Cyclospora From Contaminated Water or Produce?
If you contracted cyclospora from contaminated water or produce, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Under the law of product liability, producers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers can be held liable selling contaminated foods that cause illnesses and injuries. For more information, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation.
E. Coli Food Poisoning
E. coli is a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning. While certain E. coli bacteria live in our bodies naturally, specific forms of E. coli can cause a wide range of symptoms when introduced into the intestines through contaminated food.
If you are experiencing symptoms of E. coli food poisoning, it is important that you see your doctor promptly. Although most E. coli infections are not life-threatening, some individuals can develop a condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that can potentially lead to fatal kidney failure. Other complications are possible as well; and, from medical bills and lost wages to chronic pain and suffering, many people diagnosed with E. coli food poisoning will suffer substantial losses.
What Foods Can Carry Harmful E. Coli Bacteria?
Several different types of foods can carry harmful E. coli bacteria. It is not unusual to hear about cases of E. coli food poisoning resulting from consumption of:
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Unpasteurized milk and other dairy products
E. coli bacteria can exist in water as well, and drinking contaminated water or eating foods that have been washed or prepared using contaminated water can also lead to food poisoning.
What Are the Symptoms of E. Coli Food Poisoning?
Like many other forms of food poisoning, it can take anywhere from a day to a week (or even longer) to begin experiencing symptoms of an intestinal E. coli infection. Once the onset of symptoms begins, individuals who have consumed harmful E. coli can experience:
- Bloody stool or urine
- Loss of appetite
- Watery diarrhea
Additionally, early symptoms of HUS can include confusion, dark-colored urine, decreased urine output, and pale skin (facial pallor).
What Are Some of the Risk Factors for E. Coli Food Poisoning?
There are a variety of factors that can lead to grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses selling foods contaminated with E. coli. Some of the most common issues include:
- Employees failing to wash their hands properly before preparing food
- Using cutlery, kitchen equipment and dishes that have not been adequately cleaned
- Serving dairy products and other foods that have not been properly refrigerated or stored in sanitary conditions
- Serving undercooked meat, poultry and seafood
- Serving fruits and vegetables that have not been washed (or that have been washed with contaminated water)
Are Certain People at Greater Risk for Contracting HUS and Suffering Other Complications From E. Coli Food Poisoning?
Yes. While anyone can suffer from E. coli food poisoning, individuals in certain populations are at increased risk for potentially-dangerous complications. Those who are at greater risk for suffering HUS and other complications include:
- Individuals who are taking certain types of medications
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
- Senior citizens
- Young children
Giardia Lamblia Food Poisoning
Giardia lamblia (also known as giardia intestinalis, giardia duodenalis or simply giardia) is a parasite that is transmitted to food and water through infected feces. Eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with giardia lamblia can lead to a range of symptoms; and, for small children, giardia food poisoning can have potentially serious complications.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with giardiasis (giardia lamblia food poisoning), it is important that you seek medical attention. It is also important that you speak with an attorney. Generally speaking, giardia food poisoning can be avoided with proper food storage and handling, and companies that expose their customers to giardia lamblia deserve to be held financially accountable.
How Common Is Giardia Lamblia Food Poisoning?
Giardiasis is among the most common forms of food poisoning. In the United States, there are an estimated 20,000 cases of giardia lamblia food poisoning every year.
What Foods Can Carry Giardia Lamblia?
Since giardia is most-commonly spread through water, virtually any food can carry the giardia lamblia parasite if it has been washed or prepared using contaminated water. While cooking or boiling can kill the parasite, improper food storage and preparation techniques can lead to the consumption of contaminated raw and undercooked foods.
What Are the Symptoms of Giardiasis?
Giardiasis has several symptoms, including many that can be used to distinguish it from other forms of food poisoning. Typical symptoms of giardiasis include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Greasy stool
- Itchy skin
- Joint swelling
- Swelling of the eye
Individuals who have contracted giardiasis may also experience dehydration, weight loss, inability to absorb fat and lactose, and inability to absorb vitamins A and B12.
What Are the Potential Complications of Giardiasis for Young Children?
Giardia lamblia food poisoning is most risky for young children. While individuals of all ages can fully recover from giardiasis with prompt medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young children who contract giardia can suffer from developmental delays (both physical and mental), and they may also experience complications from malnutrition.
What Types of Compensation Are Available for Food Poisoning From Giardia Lamblia?
If you or your child has been diagnosed with food poisoning from giardia lamblia, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses resulting from the infection. This can include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future loss of income (including time missed from work to attend doctor’s appointments and lost future earning capacity if your child’s illness leads to a permanent disability)
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain, suffering and emotional trauma
- Loss of society, companionship, support and enjoyment of life
Find Out if You Have a Claim for Compensation After Getting Food Poisoning
For more information about seeking financial compensation for a food-related illness, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. To speak with one our Florida product liability lawyers in Tallahassee or West Palm Beach, please call (800) 780-8607 or submit your case online today.