Earlier this year, multiple people became seriously ill after consuming
nacho cheese sauce at a California gas station. All ten people were hospitalized
and two died after consuming the nachos. An investigation revealed these
individuals were sickened by a botulinum toxin, resulting in botulism
poisoning. There are typically several dozen similar cases of botulism
poisoning that occur nationwide each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), botulism
is a rare but life-threatening illness caused by botulinum, a neurotoxin
byproduct produced by bacteria such as
Clostridium botulinum. Although these bacteria can occur naturally in several places, people
most often associate botulism with food poisoning.
Clostridium botulinum and its neurotoxic byproduct can grow inside of improperly preserved foods,
when they may be ingested by consumers. According to Foodsafety.gov, these
products may include home-canned foods with low acid content, improperly
canned foods, cheese sauce, certain baby foods and bottled garlic. Low
acid foods include green beans, asparagus, beets, corn and potatoes. After
ingesting botulinum, illness can occur at 12 to 72 hours for adults and
3 to 30 days for infants.
According to the CDC, adults who are sickened with botulism may develop
blurred vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness
and trouble speaking. In the case that occurred earlier this year in California,
one of the people sickened called a family member and could barely formulate
a sentence. With infants, they might experience lethargy, constipation
and problems feeding.
Can I File a Lawsuit for Botulism Poisoning?
Those who survive botulism may have a difficult road to recovery. One of
the people sickened by botulism earlier this year has spent more than
two months in the intensive care unit (ICU) undergoing rehabilitation
for her illness.
In cases where severe illness or wrongful death occurs, it is important
to contact an attorney to discuss possible legal options. Botulism food
poisoning is often preventable and may not occur unless food has been
improperly preserved or prepared.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against
the business that sold the product or manufacturer that produced the food
responsible for the illness. The
Washington DC personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can help you if any legal options are available
for holding these parties accountable.