Schedule your free consultation today.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All fields are required

LET'S TALK

CALL TODAY

(833) 330-3663

Ecoli Lawyer

Our Ecoli lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve. An estimated 265,000 people are afflicted by various strains of Ecoli each year within the United States. Ecoli is a foodborne illness that inflicts violent physical side effects upon its victims. If you or a loved one has suffered from contracting Ecoli, contact us. Discuss your case and find out your rights by speaking to our qualified Ecoli lawyer at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC  today.

Our Ecoli Lawyer Can Help You

  • We know what we are doing. Our Ecoli lawyer has significant experience handling Ecoli cases.  We have won millions of dollars for our clients.
  • Our team of dedicated food poisoning lawyers are committed to getting clients the help they need, so that they can rebuild their lives.
  • We believe that when companies sell food for a profit, that food should be safe to eat.
  • We are warm. Our Ecoli lawyer at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC care about our clients. Our clients feel like family to us.

What is Ecoli?

Escherichia coli (Ecoli) is a bacteria found naturally in the intestines of humans and animals. Out of the many strains of Ecoli there are some that are dangerous if ingested and the rest are harmless. The dangerous strains are labeled as pathogenic, which means they cause illness by way of diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. Ecoli that can be ingested through infected food and water or through contact with animals or other people is the kind that causes diarrhea.

Types of Strains

The pathogenic strains, meaning the ones that give you diarrhea, are broken into six different species and called diarrheagenic Ecoli as a group. The six different species are listed here, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Shiga toxin-producing Ecoli (STEC)—STEC may also be referred to as Verocytotoxin-producing Ecoli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic Ecoli (EHEC). This pathotype is the one most commonly heard about in the news in association with foodborne outbreaks.
  • Enterotoxigenic Ecoli (ETEC)
  • Enteropathogenic Ecoli (EPEC)
  • Enteroaggregative Ecoli (EAEC)
  • Enteroinvasive Ecoli (EIEC)
  • Diffusely adherent Ecoli (DAEC)

The Shiga toxin producing strains STEC, VTEC, or EHEC all refer to the same group of bacteria that cause disease. The most commonly heard of STEC in North America is Ecoli O157:H7 (also known as Ecoli O157 or just “O157”). This is the strain that is typically being reported on as being the cause of outbreaks.

How Does it Cause Food Poisoning?

When consumed, even in small amounts, Ecoli O157:H7 will result in an intestinal infection. The toxin called Shiga that it produces will cause damage to the lining of the small intestine.

Symptoms

They can include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Severe diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Gas
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (usually not high, less than 101˚F)
  • Vomiting (uncommon)

Symptoms usually improve within 5-7 days.

Severe Ecoli infection symptoms may include:

  • Dehydration
  • Decreased urine output
  • Bloody urine
  • Pale skin
  • Easily bruised

A serious and possibly life-threatening complication of a STEC infection is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which kills red blood cells. This occurs to around 5-10% of people infected and can lead to kidney failure; children under the age of 10 are highly susceptible. Symptoms begin around 7-10 days after the initial onset of diarrhea and can include feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, and loss of color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. If symptoms are present seek medical care immediately, as hospitalization is necessary due to the high risk of kidney failure.

How is it spread?

Unsafe food practices

  • Raw or undercooked meat (most commonly beef)
  • Eating raw dairy products
  • Not washing hands
  • Eating food that’s been stored at unsafe temperatures
  • Failing to wash cutting boards, knives, utensils, or dishes leading to cross-contamination
  • Eating produce that hasn’t been thoroughly washed
  • Drinking unpasteurized apple cider
  • Eating raw seafood products

Unsafe food processing

  • Bacteria from animal intestines contaminate meat while it was slaughtered
  • Food processor or manufacturer breaking safety rules by not providing safe and sanitary conditions for food to be produced in
  • Unhygienic practices (not washing hands after working with animals)

Contaminated water

  • Drinking water that hasn’t been disinfected
  • Swallowing water you’re swimming in (infection has occurred from person swallowing lake water)

Person to person

  • Not washing hands after a bowel movement then preparing food
  • Not washing hands after changing a baby’s diaper then touching any item that may end up in a person’s mouth

Animals

  • Contact with animals such as cattle, sheep, or goats then not washing hands
  • Touching animals or other things in the environment at a petting zoo then not washing hands

What Compensation Can I Recover?

Damages is the legal term referring to the compensation that a victim can recover by filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for their Ecoli infection. The types of damages you may be entitled to are as follows.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are designed to make a victim “whole” again, meaning the state they were in prior to the illness or as close as possible. In other words, it is reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses and debts caused by Ecoli. Compensatory damages are divided into two sub-categories: economic and non-economic.

  • Economic Damages: Compensation for actual, measurable losses that are relatively easy to calculate. For example:
    • Medical Treatment: Current and future medical care you have and will require due to the illness. Medical bills, receipts for prescription medications, and any other healthcare bills can be used to calculate these losses. However, estimating future medical bills may require a medical expert to weigh in.
    • Lost Wages: Compensation for current and future income you have and will lose due to your illness.
    • Diminished Earning Capacity: If Ecoli has left you unable to return to your field of work, or you cannot earn the same level of income.
    • Legal Fees: The costs of filing the lawsuit, including lawyer fees, travel expenses, etc.
  • Non-Economic Damages: This is compensation for personal losses that cannot be proven outright or calculated with a receipt. Those can include:
    • Pain and Suffering: The physical pain you have had to endure, which can typically be established through medical records and testimony by a physician about the extent of your illness.
    • Emotional Distress: psychological conditions caused by your illness, such as stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. You must be able to demonstrate the severity and duration of these symptoms, for instance, through bills for counseling, medication receipts, or a daily journal of your symptoms and their effect on your life.
    • Physical Impairment: If Ecoli leads to long-term complications that cause physical impairments, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
    • Loss of consortium: This type of compensation is sometimes available for a spouse of an Ecoli victim to recover. A spouse can pursue compensation for a loss of companionship, services, emotional support, sexual relations, counsel, and more. If the illness leads to the victim’s death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Various factors will be considered when determining how much your non-economic damages are worth—for example, your age, pre-existing conditions, the severity of your illness, whether your illness caused permanent injuries, whether your daily routine has been impacted, restrictions on activities, your expected length of recovery, how your family has suffered, and more.

Punitive Damages

The second type of damages possibly available is punitive damages. This type of compensation is only awarded to a victim when the defendant (at-fault party) demonstrated a reckless disregard for the safety of others. The purpose of punitive damages is not to reward the plaintiff (victim) with further compensation but to punish the defendant and deter others from similar behavior. To recover punitive damages involves proving the defendant was grossly negligent, which is a high standard to meet. One example would be a restaurant that has a history of violating food safety regulations and did nothing to fix those issues.

How Much Does an E.Coli Lawyer Charge?

Ecoli lawyers often accept cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay an upfront lump sum for their representation. Additionally, they do not make you pay in advance for any case-related expenses. Your attorney will cover the costs associated with preparing, filing, and prosecuting your claim and will only get paid if you do. Their legal fees are dependent on how much you are awarded in a settlement or award. If you do not recover compensation, you will not owe your attorney anything besides court costs. This is an ideal scenario for both Ecoli lawyers and their clients. There is no risk to you, you don’t have to worry about paying legal bills while the case is ongoing, and your attorney can be more focused on winning than keeping track and billing the correct number of hours.

Once you recover compensation, an Ecoli lawyer’s fee will typically be between 33 to 40 percent. In most cases, you will owe 33% or one-third of your settlement or judgment. For example, if you are awarded $100,000, your lawyer will keep about $33,000, plus you may be responsible for certain case expenses and court costs. Some lawyers may reduce their contingency fee if your case is settled quickly or raise it if your case goes to trial. Others work on a sliding scale—for example, 33% of a settlement or award up to $100,000, 25% of a recovery between $100,000 and $300,000, 20% of any amount above $300,000, etc. Depending on the attorney, you may be able to negotiate the terms, so be sure to discuss the exact arrangements before signing your agreement.

Typical Defendants in Lawsuits

Anyone involved in the chain of distribution of the product can be liable for any damages in an E.coli lawsuit. This includes the processing company or manufacturer, the supplier or distributor, and the retailer (such as a restaurant or grocery store). 

Recent Outbreaks /Recalls

Date Brand Name Product Description Number of ppl Affected
11/22/19 Various Romaine Lettuce 40 infected, 28 hospitalizations, 0 deaths
09/19/18 Cargill Meat Solutions Ground beef products 18 infected, 6 hospitalizations, 1 death
04/14/18 Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo Items prepared with romaine lettuce 210 infected, 96 hospitalizations, 5 deaths

 

 How Do I Know if I Have an Ecoli Claim?

The severity of your illness as well as credible evidence linking your illness to the contaminated product or animal (petting zoo) will dictate whether or not you have a claim. If your suffering from Ecoli was severe then your case may be stronger, especially if you were harmed because food safety was not made a priority. There have been many lawsuits brought against food producers for Ecoli poisoning in the past.

If there have been numerous reported incidents of Ecoli poisoning from the same food then you may be able to take part in a class action lawsuit. The health department will have already been notified and will be investigating the outbreak in order to discover the source. Outbreak investigations are highly successful at exposing the source and the strain associated. You would only have to prove that you consumed the contaminated product, resulting in contracting that same strain.

Speak to an experienced Ecoli attorney to learn more about the legal process of obtaining compensation for your illness.

Legal Rights of Ecoli Infection Victims

If you have been diagnosed with Ecoli, negligent food preparation, manufacturing, or serving practices may be to blame for your suffering. A company that breaks safety rules and causes harm needs to be held liable for their negligent actions, not only to account for the damage they have already caused, but to also prevent future illnesses. You have the right to seek compensation from the liable party(ies) for your medical expenses, current and future lost wages, as well as for your pain and suffering. Consult with a Ecoli attorney to discuss your case and get started on your claim.

What To Do if You Think you Have a Case

Create a thoroughly written record, as soon as possible, of all of the following in the days leading up to your illness: what you ate; when you ate it; where you ate it; and how it was prepared.

If you have already seen your doctor and haven’t heard from any health officials yet, then contact them to prompt an investigation. Also inquire as to whether there have been other reports of Ecoli poisoning in the area. Finally, reach out to an experienced Ecoli lawyer so they may immediately begin investigating for you to determine the source and preserve evidence for your case.

When Should I Contact an E.Coli Lawyer?

If you have been diagnosed with a severe case of Ecoli, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Consultations are typically free, and they will evaluate your case then advise you on your legal options and whether it is worth pursuing a claim. There is no risk to you when contacting an Ecoli lawyer, but if you wait too long, critical evidence that you need to support your case can begin to disappear.

In addition, you may miss out on your window to recover compensation at all. Each state has a statute of limitations, which is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file an Ecoli lawsuit. For example, in Texas, Ecoli victims have only two years to take legal action. Depending on the state where you reside, that time limit may be longer or shorter, so it is best to get in contact with an attorney quickly.

How Do You Find the Source of an Ecoli Disease Outbreak?

Health authorities will be notified when multiple infections occur. From there, public officials will investigate to find the source for the outbreak of numerous Ecoli infections. As part of their investigation, they will locate sick individuals to get an understanding on the size of outbreak, when it may have started, the severity of it, and also to find out possible sources. They will then attempt to find the common culprit through interviews, home visits, or questionnaires. Once a hypothesis has been made, health officials will inspect and conduct biological testing. If it is discovered that the bacteria from a victim’s stool sample matches the DNA fingerprint of an unopened package of food then that would be very telling evidence of what the source of the outbreak is.

Contact an Experienced Ecoli Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Ecoli, The Lange Law Firm, PLLC can help you decide what legal action to take. Our Ecoli lawyer have access to considerable resources to help you recover compensation you are owed for your damages. We have extensive experience in defending the rights of innocent consumers. Call us at (833) 330-3663 or fill out our online contact form for a free, no obligation, case evaluation.