Washington DC Food Poisoning Lawyer Explains These Complex Claims
Food poisoning may not sound serious, but more than 3,000 people die each year after eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hundreds of different kinds of bacteria may contaminate foods; while some are benign, you can contract serious infections like hepatitis A and E. coli from food. In some cases, there are no treatments for these foodborne illnesses. Worse, it is often difficult to identify the source of food poisoning without extensive testing. An item may pass through the hands of many different companies on the supply chain, including those based overseas. Consequently, a product liability lawsuit for food contamination is often incredibly complex and requires a lawyer with experience in this area of law.
The attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have a reputation for success with food poisoning claims. We have represented clients who contracted hepatitis A, listeria, salmonella and other illnesses. In some of these cases, we tracked the source of the contamination to countries in Europe and Africa, and brought claims under the Geneva Convention. If you became seriously ill or lost a loved one due to contaminated products, then contact a food poisoning lawyer from our law firm today. We have the resources and experience necessary to resolve these kinds of product liability lawsuits.
What Are Common Food Poisoning Symptoms and Illnesses?
A wide variety of viruses, bacteria, and parasites may contaminate food and cause illness. Thus, the type and duration of your food poisoning symptoms can vary greatly. In some cases, signs of food poisoning may take weeks to develop. According to the CDC, common foodborne illnesses include:
- Norovirus. Symptoms usually develop between 12 and 48 hours after exposure, and include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. As a result, norovirus may cause severe dehydration.
- Salmonella. A common food poisoning illness, salmonella causes severe diarrhea, fever, and cramps. Sometimes, hospitalization is necessary and wrongful death may result.
- Campylobacteria. These bacteria typically cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. However, if the infection spreads into the bloodstream, then life-threatening conditions may develop.
- Staphylococcal infection. A staph infection may present symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in as little as 30 minutes after exposure.
- Toxoplasmosis. Usually undiagnosed, toxoplasmosis (caused by parasites) can have severe complications for those with weakened immune systems. Per the CDC, this is a leading cause of food poisoning deaths.
- E. coli. A common and highly contagious food poisoning illness, E. coli symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Sometimes, an infection may cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which affects the kidneys and can be fatal.
- Botulism. This serious illness may cause permanent damage to the nerves, muscles and brain. Early symptoms include muscle weakness in the face, eyes, mouth, and throat.
- Listeria. This kind of bacteria can cause widespread infection with symptoms that may include headache and fever as well as coordination problems and convulsions. Listeriosis is fatal in approximately 20 percent of cases.
- Hepatitis A. This virus affects the liver and can possibly cause acute liver failure. In some cases, a liver transplant is necessary.
- Shigella. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and cramps that begin one to two days after exposure.
Can I Sue for Food Poisoning?
If you develop a serious illness from food poisoning, then you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit. However, these kinds are complex claims. In most severe food poisoning cases, the CDC will track an outbreak of a particular illness. This involves testing each affected person to determine whether the strain of virus or bacteria is similar to others. Then, after studying enough cases, the CDC will issue a conclusion on the source of the contamination. This may be a particular batch of a certain product or a food served at a specific restaurant.
Once the CDC concludes its investigation, it may issue a recall or a warning to the public. However, the CDC takes no action on behalf of victims and their families; you must file a civil claim to recover compensation. A food poisoning lawyer can use the information from the CDC’s inquiries to find the party or parties responsible for the contamination. Often, these investigations are extensive, since several companies may be involved in the supply chain of any given item.
Usually, negligence and/or unsanitary conditions during the production, packaging, or preservation process is the cause of food contamination. Once your attorney determines where the contaminated food originated and how it reached you, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against multiple parties. Depending on the circumstances, claims may be brought against the manufacturer, distributor, supplier, and/or dealer. Due to the level of complexity involved in food poisoning claims, you should consult with an experienced lawyer about your rights if you were diagnosed with a foodborne illness.
Need a Lawyer for Food Poisoning? Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you were diagnosed with a foodborne illness or lost a loved one due to food poisoning, then contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC today. We have years of experience with complex, international food contamination claims. Therefore, we can answer your questions and explain your legal options concerning foodborne viruses and infections.
To speak to a food poisoning lawyer free of charge call (202) 463-3030 or contact us online today. We represent clients in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, as well as many other states nationwide.