Phoenix Foodborne Illness Attorneys
Just about everyone has experienced food poisoning at some point in time. To say it is a terrible experience is an understatement. There are few things as painful as becoming ill from tainted food. But while many of have suffered through such pain, there are those who have needed more than just rest and plenty of fluids. Depending on the type of microbes ingested, some victims of food poisoning can face life-threatening conditions, or even death.
If you suffered injury due to a foodborne illness, you may deserve compensation. But in order to secure a positive outcome on any claim, you’ll need strong representation. With The Husband & Wife Law Team, you can expect just that and more. Since 1996, our team of Phoenix personal injury attorneys has been providing legal counsel to those who need it most. Under the leadership of Mark and Alexis Breyer, we have helped many clients just like you obtain the recovery they deserve. To schedule your free consultation, dial (602) 457-6222 or use the form found on this page to submit your information.
Food poisoning isn’t a new concept. The issue of contaminated food has long been one that humanity has dealt with. But in our modern age, many people in the United States are under the impression that foodborne illnesses are not something they need to be concerned with. That could not be further from the truth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 230,000 people are hospitalized each year due to food poisoning. Of those, roughly 3,000 people die from their illness. That means that every day, upward of 8 people die of a foodborne illness.
Foodborne illnesses come from bacteria, viruses, and parasites that have contaminated food. For example, meat that has not been cooked properly can carry diseases from the animal. Or if a dairy product, such as cheese or milk, has not been pasteurized, then bacteria may be allowed to grow and contaminate the food.
As reported by the CDC, there are well over 250 different types of foodborne diseases. Aggressive bacteria strains are the cause for a majority of these diseases. Others are the result of viruses or parasites finding their way into unprepared meats and others are the result of toxic chemicals leaking into the supply chain. However, some germs tend to find their way into the spotlight more than others. The following list is just some of the usual suspects in foodborne illness claims:
- E. Coli – a bacteria found in uncooked foods such as poultry and dairy
- Listeria – another bacteria fond of raw foods such as cheese and certain meats
- Shigella – a bacterium spread through person-to-person contact and unsanitary conditions
- Norovirus – virus found in human stool and is passed via person-to-person contact
- Salmonella – very common bacterium that is found in uncooked or raw foods like chicken or dairy
The exact symptoms and type of illness you suffer from will depend on the bacteria, virus, or even parasite that has contaminated your food. However, all foodborne illnesses are incredibly dangerous. First and foremost, most foodborne illnesses will trigger vomiting and diarrhea. Severe cases can lead to dehydration, and even death, if the issue is not treated quickly. This is particularly a problem for at-risk groups, such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women. In truly awful cases, a foodborne illness can cause a pregnant woman to lose the baby.
On top of the dehydration, foodborne illnesses can also cause fever. When the fever is low, this is not much of an issue, as most illnesses lead to some level of fever. However, with particularly bad foodborne illnesses, fevers can get into the danger area of 104 degrees or higher. At that point, your life is in danger, as the human body cannot withstand such a high core temperature. This is especially true for the elderly, who need emergency care if their fever gets that high.
Ultimately, no matter the kind of illness you develop as a result of contaminated food, your life could be at risk. That is why finding the liable party and holding them responsible is so important.
After suffering from a foodborne illness, you will likely have some medical bills, as well as a few missing paychecks from your time taken away from work. The best way to recover compensation is by filing a claim against the party responsible for your illness in the first place. The first step of the process is determining who is liable for your damages. When it comes to foodborne illnesses, there are a few parties that may be considered liable:
The farming company: Most food in America is grown or processed by large farming companies. During the process of growing, collecting, cleaning, and shipping food, contaminants can get on the food, and thus lead to a foodborne illness. If the bacteria that caused the illness originated when the food was first harvested, then the company in charge of producing the food may be liable.
The manufacturer: As in, the company that put the food you ate together. For example, there was a recent issue with bagged salads that contained E. coli bacteria. In such a case, the company that cut up the lettuce and other ingredients for the salad and had them bagged could be considered at fault for your illness.
The distributer: Once food has been packaged, it must be sent to restaurants and grocery stores. These businesses must then properly store the food and throw out any food that is past its expiration date. If they neglect to do this, then it could lead to customers becoming ill. That would mean the business responsible for distributing the food would be considered liable.
Determining who is responsible for your illness requires figuring out where on the line of production the food first became contaminated. Whether the contamination started when the food was harvested, when it was packaged, or when it was sold will determine which party should pay for your damages. Unfortunately, the answer will rely on an investigation, which can be difficult to run when you are recovering from a serious illness. Thankfully, you don’t have to work on this claim alone.
Unfortunately, probably not as long as you would like. In the state of Arizona, all claims are subject to a statute of limitations. This means that you have a limited amount of time in which to file. Failing to do so can mean a complete forfeiture of your right to compensation. The sooner you are able to contact our Phoenix foodborne illness lawyers at The Husband & Wife Law Team at (602) 457-6222, the better your odds will be at securing a positive outcome.
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