Posts tagged with "food contamination"

These are the three elements of a personal injury lawsuit

If you don’t have these three things, you don’t have a case

Personal injury litigation is a complex subject and we never expect clients to come in knowing what all of their rights are. We’re always ready to listen to someone about their experience and let them know if they have a case or not.

Every case needs to have the following chain of three things: Liability, causation and damages. If it misses one, a lawsuit is not possible. For an example, imagine a person became violently ill after eating food at an expensive vacation resort.

The three elements of a personal injury case

Liability is the first step. Did the the defendant, or defendants, act carelessly that allowed the accident to occur. For this example, did the resort staff serve undercooked or spoiled food? Can we prove that they did?

If we can prove liability, we move on to the next step: Causation. Did the negligent behavior from the defendant cause the accident or injury? It’s not enough that the plaintiff was staying at the resort and ate the food, can we show that it was the resort’s food that made them sick, and not something else? If not, the lawsuit won’t happen.

Once we have causality established, we then have to show that the plaintiff suffered real damages. Did the victim require expensive medical treatment, miss work, or suffer excruciating pain? Did the foodborne illness cause a permanent injury or disfigurement?

It’s not enough to say the patient was in danger, they must have had real damages to be compensated through the lawsuit. You can’t sue for what could have happened, it needs to have caused them to directly suffer harm.. Without liability, causation and damages, no personal injury case can proceed.

Farm Rich food products sold in Massachusetts may contain E. coli

Manufactured food products must be meticulously prepared with consumer safety in mind. The failure to do so could result in recalled products, sick consumers or even a product liability lawsuit.

Massachusetts residents are being warned of yet another instance of food contamination. This most recent incident involves certain products produced by Farm Rich, including mini-pizzas, mini-quesadillas and cheese steaks. The United States Department of Agriculture has recalled these products after determining they may have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. The products were sold in Walmart stores located in several states, including Massachusetts.

One of the most common causes of food poisoning is the E. coli bacteria. This bacteria lives in the intestines of various livestock animals. Improper or unsanitary slaughtering techniques could cause the bacteria to be transferred to the meat. If the meat is not thoroughly cooked, a person could become sick. The bacteria can also be found on improperly handled leafy greens, raw milk and contaminated drinking water. It is easily spread between people if they do not take care to thoroughly wash their hands.

Symptoms of E. coli include bloody diarrhea and in some cases kidney failure. In the most severe cases, people may become blind or may need to have some of their bowel removed. Because these long-term consequences are so life-altering, those sickened by E. coli bacteria may wish to pursue a products liability lawsuit against the company that produced the food that caused the illness. These victims may be able to recover for past and future medical expenses, as well as other damages.

Safe food handling both at the manufacturing plant, at stores and at the home can all contribute to ensuring no one falls ill to E. coli. But should someone become sick due to unsafe food products, they may be able to bring a products liability suit to recover for their losses.

Source: WoonsocketPatch, “State Health Department Warns of E Coli Contamination,” Rob Borkowski, April 2, 2013