Imagine enjoying dinner at a restaurant with family or friends — a very normal occurrence and not something you would normally consider worrying about something as rare as food poisoning. Now imagine someone in your dinner party falling ill after eating at the restaurant and dying as a result of food poisoning. Suffering from food poisoning is relatively common, as well as lawsuits filed against restaurants or stores where the food was obtained. Thankfully, fatal food poisoning cases in the United States are much rarer.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 48 million people get sick as a result of foodborne illnesses. Of those affected, 128,000 are admitted to hospitals and 3000 die.
Symptoms of foodborne diseases, or food poisoning, include:
- Frequent vomiting
- Diarrhea that continues past three days
- Blood in stools
- Stomach cramps
- Fever (over 101.5)
- Signs you are dehydrated with includes a decrease in urination, extreme dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing up
You should see a healthcare professional if the above symptoms are severe.
Some people are more prone than others to succumb to a foodborne illness. These include:
- Younger children
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- Those with a compromised immune system as a result of liver disease, diabetes, organ transplants, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS or while receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment
If a loved one has died as a result of food poisoning, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party you believe is responsible for their death. Contact experienced attorneys and set up a consultation to review your situation and determine the next steps to take in your case.
The surviving loved ones or family members, typically spouses and children, can file a claim for damages that the deceased person named in the wrongful death claim, including funeral expenses, lost wages, emotional trauma, to name a few.
The laws are different in each state so your attorney will need to clarify to you the specific statutes in your state. These statues will point out the specifics you need to know when filing a wrongful death suit, including who is eligible to file the limits to damages, statute of limitations, etc.
The most common foods associated with a foodborne illness are:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Beef, turkey, pork and chicken
- Raw eggs
- Raw milk, cheese and other dairy products
- Raw flour
- Raw shellfish and seafood
If contaminated, these foods can contain harmful germs that can cause you to be very sick. Salmonella poisoning is considered the most likely to be fatal than any other type of food poisoning. In addition, spinach can harbor food-borne illnesses as well as other leafy greens.
A wrongful death attorney Washington, DC relies on is available if you have lost a loved one because of food poisoning and someone else’s negligence in handling or preparing food. They can assist you in determining whether or not you have a wrongful death claim and what damages you can attempt to recover through filing a lawsuit.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for their insight into wrongful death claims.