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Colorado Food Poisoning Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Suppose you’re thinking about pursuing a lawsuit for food poisoning in Colorado. In that case, you should know that a Colorado food poisoning lawyer can assist you in filing a claim to hold negligent parties responsible.

This article will outline the crucial roles of an attorney, the process of establishing liability, and the potential compensation you might receive.

If you or someone close to you has suffered from food poisoning, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to assist. Renowned for our expertise in representing plaintiffs, our foremost priority is to ensure that you obtain the justice and rightful compensation you deserve.

Food Poisoning Lawsuit Overview

Food poisoning lawsuits in Colorado involve victims seeking compensation for damages caused by contaminated food or beverages. When you fall ill due to foodborne pathogens, it’s more than just an unpleasant experience. It’s a violation of consumer trust, and the laws in Colorado often work in favor of the victims in such situations.

You don’t necessarily have to prove that the food distributor was negligent, but identifying the source of contamination is key. From restaurants and grocery stores to food manufacturers, any entity along the food supply chain can be held accountable if they sell or serve you contaminated food.

Determining Liability

Should a food poisoning incident occur, establishing the responsible party is a significant step towards seeking justice. Liability can fall on anyone in the food supply chain – restaurant, food service company, or grocery store.

A restaurant might be held accountable because it can serve contaminated food or improperly cooked foods, while a grocer could face consequences for selling expired food.

In essence, they could be liable if they provided food containing harmful pathogens. Food service companies can play a significant role in ensuring the safety and quality of the food they distribute.

However, proving liability in a food poisoning lawsuit is not a walk in the park. It’s necessary to illustrate that the defendant failed to adhere to their duty of care, resulting in your illness.

Furthermore, in Colorado, the legal doctrine of respondeat superior allows employers to be held liable for their employees’ actions. So, if an employee’s negligence results in food poisoning while they’re on the job, the business could be held liable.

What Laws Apply to Food Poisoning Cases?

Laws that apply to food poisoning cases include negligence and product liability laws [1]. These laws serve as a shield, protecting consumers from harm caused by contaminated food products.

Negligence in food poisoning cases typically means the defendant failed to take proper care in handling, preparing, or storing food, which led to contamination and falling ill. An example could be a restaurant serving raw ground beef contaminated with E. coli or undercooked or raw shellfish.

On the other hand, product liability holds that a company can be responsible for injuries caused by a faulty product they made or sold, even without a mistake on their part. This includes cases of foodborne illness caused by contaminated food products.

Notable Food Poisoning Cases in Colorado

Food poisoning cases in Colorado are more common than you might think, and most food poisoning cases have even made headlines. These cases highlight the importance of food safety and the potential legal consequences for businesses that neglect it.

For example, there was a case where one of the food poisoning victims was awarded a $4.5 million settlement after contracting E. coli from contaminated food.

Such cases have also contributed to shaping public health policies and practices in the food service industry, emphasizing the importance of preventing sick food workers from contaminating food.

These incidents underscore the seriousness of outbreaks and the potential repercussions for businesses, including the cost of future medical bills for affected individuals, as well as the involvement of the local health department in addressing these issues.

Understanding Food Poisoning and Its Impact in Colorado

For effective management of food poisoning illness, comprehending its causes and symptoms is significant. Food poisoning occurs when you consume food or beverages contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins.

The usual culprits behind food poisoning in Colorado are bacteria like Listeria and Clostridium botulinum, often due to improper food handling or cooking at incorrect temperatures, such as undercooked or raw turkey.

If left untreated, illnesses like Botulism and Listeriosis can lead to serious health issues like appetite weakness, dehydration, and more. Hence, acknowledging the symptoms and promptly seeking medical attention is of utmost importance.

Common Causes of Food Poisoning in Colorado

Food poisoning in Colorado is often caused by harmful pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, Norovirus, Campylobacter, and Cyclospora [2].

These pathogens can be present in various foods like sprouts, raw milk, eggs, flour, bagged lettuce, chicken, pre-cut melon, oysters, meat products, leafy greens, and rice. Consuming these foods, especially when they’re not prepared or stored properly, can lead to foodborne illnesses.

Environmental factors that can contribute to foodborne illnesses include:

  • Water pollution from current and past land use
  • Improper hot and cold holding temperatures
  • Improper cooking temperatures
  • Dirty and contaminated utensils and equipment
  • Poor health and personal hygiene
  • Cross-contamination through unsanitary surfaces

Moreover, certain foodborne illnesses show seasonal patterns, with increased cases during specific times of the year.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Recognizing the symptoms of food poisoning is the first step toward seeking appropriate medical attention. The typical signs of food poisoning include [3]:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Chills

These symptoms can appear within just a few hours of consuming contaminated food and can persist for a few days, depending on the severity of the poisoning. If symptoms are severe or last more than a day, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. The treatment could range from:

  • rest and hydration
  • medication to relieve symptoms
  • intravenous fluids for severe cases
  • hospitalization for severe cases

“While the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.”- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Food Poisoning Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Colorado

In terms of food poisoning lawsuits in Colorado, the settlement amount varies considerably. It’s determined by factors like:

  • the severity of the illness
  • medical expenses incurred
  • lost wages due to the illness
  • the overall impact of the illness on your life.

The settlement amount in food poisoning lawsuits can range anywhere from $370,000 to $50 million, depending on the specifics of the case. Factors that can influence compensation include:

  • the severity of the illness
  • the strength of the claim
  • the number of people affected
  • the degree of fault of the responsible party

Potential Compensation for Victims of Food Poisoning in Colorado

Should you have suffered from food poisoning in Colorado, you might qualify for compensation that covers your medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. The compensation can help you recover from the financial impact of the illness and hold the responsible parties accountable.

The value of non-economic damages in food poisoning cases can include:

  • pain
  • emotional distress
  • embarrassment
  • damage to reputation
  • loss of enjoyment of activities

These damages are awarded to compensate for the intangible losses that can’t be quantified in monetary terms.

Filing a Colorado Food Poisoning Lawsuit

If you’re contemplating filing a food poisoning lawsuit in Colorado, the process involves multiple steps. The first step is to identify where the contamination originated and prove that the food you consumed from a particular source led to your illness. This can be challenging due to the incubation period of some infections, making it difficult to trace back to the exact source of contamination.

At this juncture, reaching out to a Colorado personal injury attorney is recommended. They can guide you through the legal process, helping you gather evidence, understand the statute of limitations, and navigate the complexities of the lawsuit.

Types of Evidence Presented in Food Poisoning Lawsuits

Evidence forms an integral part of any lawsuit, and food poisoning cases are not an exception. The type of evidence you present can significantly influence the outcome of your case. This can include medical records, receipts for the food you believe caused your illness, and witness statements.

Medical records provide evidence of the diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing medical care related to the foodborne illness. They serve as a testament to the damages suffered and establish a direct link between the food poisoning and your illness.

Witness statements can corroborate your claim, especially when multiple people fall ill after consuming the same contaminated food. Such evidence can strengthen your case against the defendant and support your compensation claim.

Colorado Statute of Limitation

In Colorado, the statute of limitations for food poisoning cases is two years from the date of the injury. This means that you have a two-year window to file a lawsuit after falling ill from food poisoning.

Missing this deadline can have serious consequences, including the dismissal of your case and loss of the right to seek compensation. However, there may be exceptions to this rule, depending on the specifics of your situation.

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Have you or a loved one suffered food poisoning from consuming contaminated food or beverages?

Get Your Free Consultation From Colorado Food Poisoning Lawyers

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries due to food poisoning, reach out to Schmidt & Clark, LLP. Our team is well-versed in handling such cases and will assist you at every step.

It’s crucial to comprehend your legal rights and determine if you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. We offer complimentary consultations, and you won’t incur any fees unless we secure a favorable resolution in your case. We are committed to providing the same level of care and dedication that we would extend to our own families.

Get in touch with Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive review of your food poisoning case. Allow us to be your trusted partner in navigating this complex situation.

Reference:

  1. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/41289/19024_aer799ap.pdf?v=0
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/foodborne-germs.html
  3. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/food-poisoning/

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