When residents of New Orleans think about products liability claims, they typically consider claims of defective toys, vehicles and drugs, among other tangible items. However, what many people don't consider within the realm of products liability is injuries or illnesses caused by dangerous food products. Although food poisoning is a fairly common occurrence that most people have experienced at least once in their life, such an incident may constitute a legal action on behalf of the victim depending on the circumstances.
Food poisoning occurs when food items containing bacteria or viruses are ingested by an individual or group of people that are unaware of the disposition of the item. Food products can become contaminated through various means including serving undercooked or raw items, improper storage or the preparation of an item through unsanitary methods. Food poisoning has a relatively short duration, typically less than two days, with symptoms including headaches, nausea and fever.
As stated above, legal claims arising from food poisoning are typically based on products liability. The improperly prepared food is considered the defective product, and the victim is injured as a result of the use of the product. Depending on the circumstances giving rise to the food poisoning incident, the victim may be able to bring their products liability claim based on strict liability, warranty or negligence theories. Food poisoning claims can often be difficult to prove, as there may be a lapse between ingesting the food and exhibiting symptoms, in addition to difficulty ascertaining exactly what food item caused the illness.
Due to the difficulties associated with bringing a successful food poisoning claim, it may be helpful for those injured to seek the help of a professional. They can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the symptoms and the appropriate theory to pursue for the claim.
Source: FindLaw, "Food Poisoning and the Law," accessed Jan. 25, 2015