Food Poisoning Lawsuit Lawyer:  Proving Food Poisoning

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Food Poisoning Lawsuit Lawyer:  Proving Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning Lawsuit Lawyer - proving food poisoning
  • Tony Coveny | Sep 5, 2019

Food Poisoning Lawsuit Lawyer:  Proving Food Poisoning

There are many thousands of personal injury attorneys in the United States, but only a very small handful solely, or exclusively, practice food poisoning litigation.  Because of that, many, many of the law firms that advertise widely on the internet(a very common practice in the law) refer food poisoning cases to Ron Simon & Associates once they sign them up – or even without signing them up – knowing that our food poisoning law firm is equipped to handle them right.  Our food poisoning law firm handles cases, if you will pardon the analogy, “farm to table.”  We have spent much of the last two decades working on both small and large outbreaks linked to E. coli (often with many of the victims of hemolytic uremic syndrome), salmonella (including many post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome cases, or IBS), norovirus, cyclospora (including recent outbreaks linked to McDonald’s cyclospora salads, Del Monte cyclospora vegetables, shigella, and Mexican cyclospora Basil), and many , many more.

Food poisoning is a unique animal, so to speak, because it comes from handling and ingesting a pathogen that originates in the feces of another animal in most cases (this could be an agricultural animal, another human, or a pet).  These pathogens can infect food intended for direct human consumption, such as a the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Platinum Pizza, salmonella linked to the Grille at the Gold Dust West, or such as in the recent Sun View Produce salmonella outbreak. These pathogens can infect products intended for pet consumption that are handled by consumers, such as the massive Pig Ear Salmonella outbreak, or even be zoonotic in origin (“Zoonosis” – infection transferred from animals directly to humans) an E. coli outbreak linked to a petting zoo – such as the deadly e. coli San Diego petting zoo outbreak.

Food Poisoning Lawsuit LawyerAfter a person consumes the feces infected product, the incubation period can be a couple of minutes or hours to over a month, depending on the pathogen.  A serious case of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) bacteria can bring on massive vomiting and other symptoms in minutes, while other infections, like Hepatitis A, do not become symptomatic for 15 to 50 days.

The most difficult element of a food poisoning case, therefore, is determining where the infection came from.  Most people suspect the food they have in their system when they first become sick – which seems reasonable. However, in many, many cases that is not the food that caused the infection.  By way of example, many people acquired salmonella form eating Honey Smacks Cereal from Kellogg’s in 2018.  But it took health workers many months to find the implicated product (the Honey Smacks Cereal) because the onset of the salmonellosis did not occur immediately after eating the cereal, but rather day slater.

So, how do health investigators and food poisoning lawsuit lawyers like us find the source?  That takes culturing, trace-back, testing of products, and use of statistical distributions.  For victims, it often entails using questionnaires and interviews to identify all foods eaten in the weeks preceding the  onset of illness and cross referencing that with the victims who are similarly situated.  A similarly situated victim would be a person with the same general onset of illness who was sickened by the same pathogen.  For example, a person with Salmonella Heidelberg who got sick in June in California may be compared to a person who became sick with Salmonella Heidelberg with a matching genetic strain, in Florida in July. The genetic similarity indicates single source and it is up to health investigators and food poisoning lawsuit lawyers to identify the common element.

The science of food poisoning is what makes our practice, as food poisoning lawsuit lawyers, unique.  Each law firm knows a lot about what they do.  Some do tax law, estates, divorces, or even general personal injury.  But even in general personal injury, many focus on “types of injuries” such as 18 Wheeler accidents, brain injuries, or construction accidents.  Each comes with its own set of rules, laws, and the science behind “making the case.”  Some of these include levels of proof, such as strict liability or negligence, or deal with statute of limitations for food poisoning. For example – an experienced  food poisoning lawsuit lawyer will consider the long-term impacts of some illnesses, such as post-infectious IBS, Reactive arthritis, or understand the implications of hemolytic uremic syndrome, or Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

In a food poisoning lawsuit you get one bite at the apple – so to speak.  All your injuries need to be assessed and determined prior to settlement.

As food poisoning lawsuit lawyers, we do nothing but food poisoning, and have handled all sorts of cases across the board, from botulism to Listeria to norovirus, Cyclospora to campylobacter, E. coli to Shigella to Salmonella, and Vibrio to Ciguatera to Scombroid.   Give the food poisoning lawsuit lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates a call at 1-888-335-4901.