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Colorado Springs E. Coli Lawyer

E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a bacterium that naturally inhabits the intestinal tracts of both humans and animals. While the majority of E. coli strains are harmless and essential for a balanced gut environment, a few pathogenic strains have the potential to cause significant health issues.

How is E. coli Transmitted?

E. coli is transmitted through several common pathways, including food, water, and direct contact.

Contaminated Food

Some food items that can be contaminated with E. coli bacteria include:

  • undercooked ground beef:
  • raw fruits and vegetables
  • unpasteurized milk and dairy products
  • unpasteurized juices
  • sprouts

Contaminated Water

Water contaminated with fecal matter can spread E. coli. This can happen in areas with inadequate sanitation.

Swimming in lakes, pools, or water parks contaminated with E. coli can lead to infection if the water is swallowed.

Person-to-Person Contact

E. coli can be transmitted from an infected person to another through the fecal-oral route. This is common in settings like daycare centers, nursing homes, or households where hygiene practices may be insufficient.

What Damages Might Be Available?

In legal contexts, particularly in personal injury or product liability cases involving E. coli infections, several types of damages may be available to affected individuals. These damages are intended to compensate for various losses and impacts caused by the infection. Here are the primary categories of damages that might be available:

Compensatory Damages

Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for past, current, and future medical bills, including hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for the income lost due to the inability to work during recovery.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: If the infection causes long-term or permanent disability, compensation for the reduced ability to earn income in the future.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Reimbursement for expenses related to the illness, such as transportation to medical appointments and home care costs.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the infection.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the negative impact on the relationship between the affected person and their spouse or family members.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the diminished ability to enjoy daily activities and hobbies.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, if the defendant’s conduct is found to be particularly egregious or reckless, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. However, punitive damages are less common and typically require clear evidence of malicious intent or gross negligence.

Specific Situations

Here are some specific examples that might apply to your case.

Product Liability Cases

  • If the E. coli infection is traced to contaminated food products, manufacturers, distributors, or retailers may be held liable under product liability laws.
  • Damages might include compensation for all the aforementioned economic and non-economic losses.

Negligence Cases

  • If the infection results from negligence, such as improper food handling in restaurants or unsafe water supplies, the responsible parties can be held liable.
  • Similar compensatory and possibly punitive damages may be pursued.

Class Action Lawsuits

In cases of widespread outbreaks affecting numerous individuals, a class action lawsuit might be filed. This allows a group of affected individuals to collectively pursue compensation. Damages in class action suits typically focus on compensatory damages, with any punitive damages being distributed among the class members.

Wrongful Death Damages

If an E. coli infection results in death, the family of the deceased may be entitled to wrongful death damages, including:

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: Compensation for costs associated with the funeral and burial.
  • Loss of Financial Support: Compensation for the financial contributions the deceased would have provided.
  • Loss of Companionship: Compensation for the emotional loss experienced by family members.

Colorado Springs E. coli Statistics

In El Paso County, between 2020 and 2022, the number of E. coli cases rose each year, from 20 in 2020 to 42 by 2022. This mirrored what happened with E. coli cases statewide; in 2020, there were 294 E. coli cases in Colorado, which was 499 in 2021 and 558 in 2022.

Colorado has been impacted by several multistate E. coli outbreaks in recent years, including raw cheddar cheeseromaine lettuce, and ground beef.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Individuals affected by an E. coli infection should consult with a personal injury lawyer or a firm specializing in foodborne illnesses to evaluate their case and determine the potential for recovering damages. Legal professionals can provide guidance on the appropriate steps to take, evidence to gather, and the best strategies for pursuing compensation.

Don’t wait to take action. Contact The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or message us online today for a free consultation. Our experts will investigate your E. coli case and fight for your compensation.