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Hawaii Food Poisoning Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

Battling food poisoning in Hawaii can be harrowing, but you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. A Hawaii food poisoning lawyer is your advocate for claiming compensation and achieving justice.

In this article, we’ll provide clear insights into how these legal professionals can help you hold negligent parties accountable and ensure your rights are fully represented.

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, although often dismissed as a minor inconvenience, can have severe implications, especially when it’s due to someone else’s negligence. When you fall ill after consuming contaminated food, you could file a food poisoning lawsuit to seek compensation for the harm caused.

This legal process involves determining liability, understanding the applicable laws, and citing notable food poisoning cases in Hawaii.

Determining Liability

In food poisoning cases, liability is often not straightforward. Several legal theories could come into play.

One of these is strict product liability, where you, as the plaintiff, have to show that the food you ate was contaminated and this contamination directly caused your medical injury. Proving this doesn’t require showing the food provider’s intent or negligence.

Another theory is negligence, where you have to show that the food provider failed to meet the duty of care to the consumer. This could mean:

  • Not taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their product
  • Failing to store or handle the food properly
  • Using expired or contaminated ingredients

These actions can lead to your illness, emphasizing the importance of disease control.

Finally, there’s a breach of warranty, where a food product doesn’t meet the minimum standards or any promises made by the food processor, causing you to get sick.

What Laws Apply to Food Poisoning Cases?

Laws that apply to food poisoning cases include the FOODHAR Chapter 11-50, which aims to prevent food poisoning cases by ensuring that food served in different establishments meets safety standards [1]. These laws align with federal laws, providing a robust legal framework for tackling food poisoning cases.

Beyond state laws, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a significant role in food poisoning cases by ensuring food safety across the U.S.

Additionally, Hawaii’s health codes ensure food is protected from contamination and require the identification of animal-derived foods that can be served raw or undercooked, which is crucial in preventing food poisoning.

Notable Food Poisoning Cases in Hawaii

Hawaii has witnessed numerous food poisoning incidents, with some prompting major alterations in food safety rules. For instance, there were:

  • a salmonella outbreak in 2007 and 2008
  • recurring cases in 2009 and 2010
  • a hepatitis A outbreak linked to Genki Sushi restaurants, which caused 86 cases and one death

These incidents underscore the severity of foodborne illnesses and the need for stringent food safety measures in preventing food poisoning cases.

Even big restaurant chains aren’t immune to food poisoning outbreaks. A norovirus outbreak at the Waikiki restaurant Herringbone and nearly 200 cases of food poisoning from salmonella at Pasha Mediterranean Grill, both caused by the same food handling issues, are testaments to this.

These cases highlight the importance of vigilance in food handling and the need for swift legal action to seek justice and compensation.

Understanding Food Poisoning and Its Impact in Hawaii

Food poisoning, or foodborne illness, is inflammation of your gut, particularly your stomach and intestines, caused by harmful pathogens in your food.

In Hawaii’s bacteria-friendly climate, it’s essential to comprehend the nature of food poisoning and its ramifications. With varied causes and potentially severe outcomes, food poisoning can significantly impact the residents of Hawaii.

Certain types of food poisoning, such as botulism food poisoning and campylobacteriosis, can have severe consequences, leading to chronic arthritis, kidney failure, and even brain and nerve damage.

The elderly, young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible. Diseases like Hepatitis A, though not as common in the U.S., remind us of the need for vigilance about food safety.

Common Causes of Food Poisoning in Hawaii

In Hawaii, food poisoning is often caused by bacteria such as:

These bacteria can be linked to undercooked meat, eggs, and contaminated fruits and vegetables. Clostridium botulinum, for example, is found in soil and untreated water and produces a toxin that causes botulism [2].

“Foodborne illness occurs when a pathogen is ingested with food and establishes itself (and usually multiplies) in the human host, or when a toxigenic pathogens establishes itself in a food product and produces a toxin, which is then ingested by the human host.”- National Library of Medicine

Parasitic infections also contribute to food poisoning in Hawaii. Cyclosporiasis, caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, can be a factor in food poisoning cases.

These infections usually come from eating contaminated foods like undercooked or raw meat, unpasteurized dairy products, and contaminated fruits and vegetables. Therefore, upholding stringent food safety standards is paramount.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Recognizing the symptoms of food poisoning, including severe food poisoning, is the first step towards seeking treatment and potentially filing a lawsuit. Typical symptoms like [3]:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

Usually, it appears shortly after eating contaminated food and may last for several days or even weeks. If symptoms persist or intensify, seeking immediate medical attention becomes vital.

Different types of food poisoning present different symptoms. For example:

  • E. coli can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and bloody diarrhea.
  • A Salmonella infection might cause stomach pains and fever.
  • Cyclosporiasis can lead to weight loss, bloating, and fatigue.

Recognizing these symptoms can help you seek timely medical attention and establish a link to a specific source of contamination.

Food Poisoning Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Hawaii

Upon confirming food poisoning, you might question the possible settlement figures in a lawsuit. While the amount can vary widely, settlements may range from $370,000 to $50 million, depending on factors like the strength of the claim, the severity of the injuries and damages, and the number of people affected.

The severity of your symptoms plays a significant role in determining your settlement amount. The worse the impact on your health, the higher the potential compensation.

Recent settlements in Hawaii include a lawsuit against a caterer on Hawaii flights and a food poisoning case involving nearly 200 cases of food poisoning from salmonella at a Mediterranean Grill.

However, it’s important to note that the state of Hawaii has a cap of $375,000 for compensation in food poisoning cases.

Potential Compensation for Victims of Food Poisoning in Hawaii

After grasping the possible settlement figures, it’s vital to understand the different compensation types you may qualify for.

In Hawaii, victims of food poisoning can typically seek compensation for medical bills and other expenses, along with damages for pain and suffering. Punitive damages, which are awarded in cases of extreme negligence, might also be an option.

The amount of compensation for food poisoning is determined by several factors, including:

  • The severity of the illness
  • Medical expenses incurred
  • Any lost wages due to illness
  • The overall impact on the victim’s quality of life

An experienced food poisoning lawyer can help assess these factors and fight for full and fair compensation. If you’re seeking assistance, it’s important to consider hiring food poisoning lawyers with a proven track record in this field.

Filing a Hawaii Food Poisoning Lawsuit

If you’ve ascertained that your case is valid, the subsequent step involves launching a food poisoning lawsuit in Hawaii. The first step in this process is to gather evidence, such as medical records and photos, that show the results of any tests related to your illness. This evidence will be crucial in establishing a link between your illness and the food you consume.

Evidence required for a food poisoning lawsuit in Hawaii encompasses medical records with test results, photographs of tainted food, and hospital bills and records.

Types of Evidence Presented in Food Poisoning Lawsuits

Evidence holds supreme importance in food poisoning lawsuits. The following types of evidence can be used to prove causation and contamination:

  • Results of genetic tests on bacteria found in the victim and the suspected food source
  • Medical records showing a diagnosis of food poisoning
  • Testimony from expert medical witnesses

Expert witnesses play a crucial role in food poisoning lawsuits. They provide:

  • Expert opinions on how the infection happened.
  • The source of food contamination.
  • The overall impact of the food poisoning on the victim’s health.

An experienced food poisoning lawyer can help gather this evidence and present a strong case proving food poisoning.

Hawaii Statute of Limitation

Timeliness is crucial when lodging a food poisoning lawsuit in Hawaii. The statute of limitations is two years, meaning you have two years from the date of the injury or its discovery to file a lawsuit. There are no specific exceptions to this 2-year timeline.

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See all related product liability lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.

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

Get Your Free Consultation From Hawaii Food Poisoning Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been affected by food poisoning, Schmidt & Clark, LLP is ready to lend a helping hand. Our team specializes in handling such cases and will guide you through each step of the process.

It’s crucial to know your legal rights and determine your eligibility for a lawsuit. We offer free consultations, and you won’t incur any fees unless we secure a favorable outcome for your case.

Reach out to Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive assessment of your food poisoning case. Allow us to be your dependable partner in navigating this difficult situation.

Reference:

  1. https://health.hawaii.gov/san/files/2017/09/HAR-11-50-amended-9.1.2017.pdf
  2. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/foodborne-illness-and-disease/pathogens/clostridium-botulinum
  3. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/food-poisoning/

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