Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health are investigating several food poisoning cases that may be linked to McDonald’s salads. About 90 cases of an intestinal illness called Cyclosporiasis caused by the Cyclospora parasite have been investigated since people started becoming ill in May. Many of the people had eaten a salad at a Chicago-area McDonald’s location.
McDonald’s is cooperating with authorities and has voluntarily pulled salads off their menu at the restaurants impacted. Cyclospora poisoning results in symptoms similar to other food poisoning types and may include diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
Food Poisoning and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Foodborne illnesses and food poisoning affect some 48 million people each year in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that nearly 1 out of every 6 Americans will get sick from a food-related illness; 128,000 are hospitalized; and 3,000 die each year. With these statistics, it’s easy to see how foodborne illnesses could quickly become linked to personal injury lawsuits. These types of claims are actually product liability claims because businesses have the responsibility to make sure they are, in the case of foodborne illnesses, serving you food that is safe. Because personal injury claims resulting from food poisoning and foodborne illnesses can be complex, it is important to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney for help recovering the compensation that you deserve.
Unsafe Food Lawsuits
To pursue a lawsuit based on food poisoning or unsafe food products, the victim must be able to prove that the defendant intentionally failed or negligently handled, stored, or prepared an unsafe food product that resulted in injury or illness to the plaintiff. This proof is often found through the testimony of highly trained experts in the fields of medicine, microbiology, and food safety. Because it often takes several hours for contaminated food to cause symptoms, it is difficult to prove what exact food caused the problem. When more than one person becomes ill, the connection is much easier to make. In addition to finding which food was contaminated, it is also necessary to determine which party was responsible for contaminating the food. In some cases, it is the distributor or subcontractor rather than the restaurant that is the responsible party.
Damages from Food Poisoning
When food poisoning or other foodborne illnesses result in injuries or illness, the person injured may be able to recover damages. These damages may include:
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
In some extreme cases where the food poisoning or illness resulted in death, the family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
When to Take Legal Action
If you or a family member has been injured or become ill due to a foodborne illness that has resulted in extensive medical bills and costs, you may be entitled to receive compensation for those expenses. Pursuing legal action may be a viable option in your case. The Chicago attorneys at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd., can review your case and determine if a lawsuit is the best option for your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.