Updated on August 23, 2016
Things You Need To Know Before You Sue a Restaurant
What"s the most humiliating thing? When you take someone to dinner or you cook somebody dinner and they get food poisoning. I mean, how bad do you feel? – Wendi McLendon-Covey
Food poisoning is a dreadful experience that could affect not only your life but also those around you. As soon as you feel an extreme abdominal pain you would know right away that something"s wrong. A very terrible feeling indeed especially for the fact that you were the one who invited others to eat at a specific restaurant. (Yikes!)
If the investigation reveals that you have acquired that condition thru a specific food item, you could file a lawsuit against a grower, distributor and processor.
In this post, we"ll focus more on restaurants and what are the things that you should know if ever you sue one in the future.
Consult a Medical Professional
To determine what specific pathogen caused the food poisoning, a medical professional needs to be consulted. The following culprits might be: Campylobacter, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Listeria, Norovirus, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio and Hepatitis A. This is a necessary step in order to gather strong evidence to support your claims.
Needs PFGE Testing
Pulsed-field gel electrophoreses or PFGE testing can help investigators to find a close connection between the food and the affected people. This test determines if the bacteria that affected a group of people has the same DNA fingerprint which more likely suggests that it came from one source. For instance, if 10 people who got sick have the same match are also the ones who ate at the same restaurant.
Unknown Food is Still Equal to A Lawsuit
Even for the fact that the specific food responsible was not determined, a lawsuit can still be filed against the restaurant. It purely depends of the PFGE testing and epidemiological evidence which can give a strong connection to the said restaurant and its victims.
A Sick Employee Can Be The Cause
In some reported cases, a sick employee may transmit the illness straight on the food or any surfaces that can come in contact with the ingredients. Most menu items would undoubtedly be contaminated as a result of the handler"s poor practice of personal hygiene.
Hang On to the Leftovers
Leftovers can be a very valuable piece of evidence for it can be tested for the specific pathogens mentioned above. If you get sick after eating from a specific restaurant, you might want to keep the leftovers.
So, these are the possible things that you need to keep in mind if ever you unfortunately fall prey to food poisoning. Don"t let yourself and other people suffer just because of the negligence of a certain establishment.
The Centers for Disease Control says that there are 76 million cases of food poisoning in the United States every year, 350,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths. Is that a lot or a little? Well, it depends on how you look at it. – Marion Nestle