Can You Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning? | Diamond and Diamond
  • Thursday, 17 December 2020

Can You Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

Food-related illnesses may not seem like a common problem, yet the statistics are staggering. According to the Canadian government, an estimated 4 million Canadians get sick every year from food-related illnesses. Out of these cases, over 11,500 people are hospitalized, and more than 240 don’t live to tell the story. To further complicate matters, foodborne illness is particularly dangerous to infants, young children, the elderly, and people with chronic health conditions and weak immune systems.

So, should you or a loved one become a victim of food poisoning, what are your legal rights? Can you sue a restaurant for food poisoning? Before we can answer that, we first need to understand what food poisoning is.

What to Do After Food Poisoning

Speak to a Manager

You need to notify the owner of the property that an accident has happened. 

It is essential to understand what is required and expected of a restaurant owner when it comes to liability. There are several things that a restaurant owner must provide for his or her customers and if this person is found negligent in any of these duties, he or she could be held liable for damages.

Evaluate your Situation

Once you’ve had the chance to be checked out by a doctor, you might come to the realization that you need a personal injury lawyer in Canada. A slip and fall injury lawyer will help you to understand the impact of your case, potential future medical bills, and more. 

If you’re looking at a lot of bills and a long recovery time, share this information with your attorney. 

Collect Information from Witnesses

Before you meet with a slip and fall lawyer in Canada, you need to collect relevant information from witnesses. 

Further evaluation of your situation is strongly recommended. You need to identify what caused your injuries, such as negligent hiring, premises liability or something else.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Without a recognition of the underlying factors involved in your situation, your case may not be successful. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your injury and consult with a dedicated personal injury lawyer.

Causes of Restaurant Food Poisoning

Causes of Restaurant Food Poisoning

Food poisoning, also commonly referred to as foodborne illness, results from consuming spoiled, toxic, or contaminated foodstuffs typically caused by bacteria or other toxins.

Food-related illnesses are most often caused by:

  • E. coli
  • Norovirus
  • Listeria
  • Campylobacter
  • Vibrio
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella

Food industry employees not regularly washing their hands during the shift is more often than not the cause behind E. coli infections. Whereas salmonella results from placing cooked food on surfaces where raw chicken was prepared. 

Food-related illnesses from either of these two sources can cause a number of symptoms, including high fever and severe diarrhea. There’s a possibility that these symptoms may be life-threatening to vulnerable populations such as those with underlying conditions, the elderly, and children.

Proving a Restaurant Caused Your Food Poisoning

To win a lawsuit against a restaurant for potential food poisoning, you need to be able to prove that:

  • You consumed a meal at the establishment
  • The vendor served you a contaminated product
  • The incident occurred due to their negligence
  • Your illness is a direct result of the tainted food
  • Your damages are measurable

Collecting Evidence of Food Poisoning

Collecting Evidence of Food Poisoning

Identifying the type of virus or bacteria responsible for your condition through medical testing is crucial if you plan on suing a restaurant for damages. Your doctor can run tests to determine your condition’s origin and can send samples to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in case an outbreak of foodborne illness forms what’s known as a “cluster.” If your case is part of a cluster, your attorney will need to know about it.

Gathering the following evidence will help your lawyer to pursue a successful lawsuit:

  • Packaging and food samples
  • Witness testimony
  • Verification of lost wages
  • Medical bills, records, and receipts

Demand what’s fair and just when you’re a victim of food poisoning. Get your free consultation with a Diamond & Diamond lawyer today. 

Liability and Injury Compensation for Victims

If a foodborne illness results in hospitalization or death, you’ll require the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation from the implicated establishment. The defendant’s degree of negligence and the severity of your infection will determine the types of compensation you can pursue. In general, though, you’ll be eligible for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney will review your case, evaluate your chances of success, and provide you with an estimate of how much you can demand.

When it comes to large-scale foodborne illness cases, also known as clusters, a class action lawsuit is typically the form of legal action used to pursue compensation for the entire group. Yet, there are specific issues related to foodborne illnesses that can make this process extremely challenging. 

Review Your Food Poisoning Case With a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you believe that you or a loved one is the victim of a food-related illness, contact Diamond & Diamond immediately. You may be eligible for financial compensation.

Diamond & Diamond personal injury lawyers are passionate about fighting for the rights of victims of foodborne illness. The team’s experience and expert knowledge in this field will ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 

With Diamond & Diamond, your first consultation is always free, and you’re under no obligation to sign up or retain our firm. Additionally, we aim to be as transparent and upfront as possible about our fee structure.

Pro Tip:

“Wash your hands before and after eating.”

Can You Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning? FAQs

How long do I have to file my food poisoning lawsuit?

The Canadian statute of limitations on product liability claims is 24 months from the date of the injury.

What are some practical concerns with filing a food poisoning lawsuit?

There are a few practical challenges. These include:

  • It can take up to 28 days for poisoning symptoms to become visible in the human body, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of your illness and prove who is responsible. 
  • The plaintiff has to prove that the food they ate was contaminated, and that it came from the restaurant and caused their illness. 
  • Foodborne illness cases are seldom severe enough to justify investing the time and cost to fight a lawsuit, not making it worth your while to pursue the case.

In a food poisoning case, how important is it to enlist an expert?

Soliciting the help of scientific and medical experts is an essential step in food injury cases. Expert witnesses can provide testimony on a particular illness, associated injuries, viral spreading, safety regulations, and more.

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