Food safety is not something many of us like to think about. As consumers, we expect the food we buy at grocery stores and enjoy at our favorite restaurants to be free of harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause disease. But the reality of food safety is quite alarming. Though the general public rarely hears about them, food recalls happen often. In fact, in 2014, more than 8000 food products were recalled, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If you or a loved acquired a food-borne illness, disease or infection because of a food product you purchased at a store or consumed in a restaurant, you might be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we focus solely on personal injury law, which includes product liability (the law governing food-borne illnesses). Our New York food-borne illness lawyers have successfully settled many cases against food manufacturers and retailers who failed in their duty to keep consumers safe. We want to help you. Call us today at 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule a free consultation.
What are the most common food-borne illnesses?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 people in the U.S. (or 48 million Americans) will develop a food-borne illness each year. Further, 128,000 of these people will be hospitalized and 3000 will die as a result of their food-borne illnesses. Young children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems are at most risk of developing serious consequences.
Even if a food-borne illness does not result in hospitalization or death, a serious bout of food poisoning can cause you to miss 1-10 days of work and acquire some decent-size medical bills along the way. Our firm can help you seek financial recovery for these losses.
The following lists from the CDC provide the top five pathogens contributing to food-borne-related hospitalizations and death each year in the U.S.:
Yearly Food-borne-related Hospitalizations
|E.coli (STEC) O157||2,138|
Yearly Food-borne-related Deaths
Who is responsible for my food-borne illness?
To hold a party responsible for your food-borne illness, you must first identify who was negligent in the safe handling of the food product. If you acquired a food-borne illness from a pre-packaged food product like a bag of salad or frozen chicken breasts, the manufacturer, distributor or retailer might be held liable. If your illness occurred after eating food that was prepared by someone else, the restaurant or food preparer could be held liable.
Some common types of negligence include:
- Sick individuals handling food without proper protection.
- Unclean food preparation areas.
- Food stored in unsafe conditions.
- Foreign objects left in food during the manufacturing or preparation process.
How do I prove my food-borne illness case?
The more you can recall about your eating habits including where you obtained the food product and who prepared it, the better it will be for your case.
If a packaged food item caused your illness, you should preserve any unused food along with the original packaging and receipt of purchase. The remaining food or packaging might contain evidence of contamination. Additionally, if a foreign object came from that package, the manufacturer can use the lot or batch number to track down other affected packages.
Product liability law is difficult to navigate, making cases tough to prove. Notwithstanding the immense financial and political backing most food producers and retailers have. Injured parties must go up against these giant corporations with evidence that clearly demonstrates they failed to exercise reasonable care when handling or selling the food products in question. An experienced product liability attorney can level the playing field and ensure you receive justice and maximum compensation for your damages.
One of the most significant defenses in food-borne illness cases is that the negligence occurred in some other item you consumed that day. We combat this defense by demonstrating through medical evidence when your symptoms began, identifying the pathogen that caused your illness, and tying it back to the food product and its negligent handling.
I missed a lot of work and have a ton of medical bills because of my food-borne illness. Can I get reimbursed for these expenses?
If you can prove the negligence of another party caused your food-borne illness or injury, you can collect damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
Speak with a Food-borne Illness Attorney in New York for Free
Buttafuoco & Associates can ease your legal burden in a time when you should be focusing on your physical and emotional well-being. Your initial consultation is free, and you are under no obligation to hire us if you feel we are not well-suited to handle your case. Moreover, you pay no upfront fees and only pay us for our service if we win your case. Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT to get started.