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E. coli Lawsuits

Approximately 265,000 people suffer from STEC infections each year, the most common pathotype of E.Coli that is often in the news in relation to foodborne outbreaks. Victims who suffer from E. Coli poisoning, whether it is contracted through contaminated food or while visiting a petting zoo, have the right to file an E.Coli lawsuit to recover damages. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with E. Coli, let us review your case and discuss your legal options in a free consultation. Call (833) 330-3663 or fill out contact form below. 

Why Hire Us to Help With Your E.Coli Lawsuit?

  • We care about our clients and are committed to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve and need.
  • Our law firm has extensive experience recovering millions of dollars from negligent corporations on behalf of clients across the nation.
  • Our E.coli lawyers offer our skilled legal representation at no cost to you, and only get paid when you do.

What Can I Expect From an E.coli Lawsuit?

If you have been diagnosed with E. coli, filing a lawsuit gives you the opportunity to recover compensation for your losses, from the parties that are liable. The first step is gathering sufficient evidence to hold the responsible party accountable. That will involve proving:

  • You ate food or visited a location then became ill from the contamination.
  • A test of your stool sample found the bacterium. If other victims are involved, the test shows the same genetic fingerprint as the strain responsible for them being diagnosed with E. coli. 
  • The food or water consumed, or the location visited, was contaminated with the same strain of E. coli. 

Figuring out the source of the E. coli bacteria can be difficult, since symptoms may take up to one week to appear after exposure. Hiring a food safety lawyer immediately after seeing your health care provider is crucial, as a prompt investigation of the suspected food or location (e.g. restaurant, petting zoo) will be conducted. If multiple people contracted E. coli, discovering how the infection occurred is much easier. Especially if a government agency is documenting the contamination and with the use of microbiological and epidemiological evidence (“disease detectives”), confirms there is an outbreak. A class action lawsuit may even be an option if there are a large number of victims. 

Working with a lawyer to build a strong case on your behalf may sound expensive, but certain lawyers will take on your case and cover any upfront costs. This arrangement is known as a contingency fee agreement. Once a fair settlement can be reached with either the liable party’s insurance company or by a jury verdict, only then will they collect legal fees. 

What Damages Can I Claim in an E. Coli Lawsuit? 

In an E. coli lawsuit, you may have the ability to recover compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate you for your losses. These include both, “economic damages” and “non-economic” damages. 

Economic Damages

This type of damages refers to any tangible expenses related to being ill. Those typically include: 

  • Medical bills (such as hospitalizations, surgeries, follow up doctor visits, prescription medications, and ongoing care)
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Lost earning capacity (if disabled or suffered a permanent injury) 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cannot be calculated, as they are subjective; though they are typically much greater than the economic losses. Examples of this type of damages are:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Physical impairment or disability (loss of a major bodily function)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages

When the liable party’s actions were extremely reckless, exemplary (punitive)  damages may be awarded as a form of punishment for the defendant. In addition to punishment, these damages are designed to prevent similar types of behavior from occurring by others in the future. The amount of exemplary damages that can be awarded in the state of Texas is capped, as stated in Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.008(b). The figure cannot exceed the larger of $200,000 or two times the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages up to a maximum of $750,000.

If a loved one died as a result of contracting E. coli, a surviving family member can bring a wrongful death suit and obtain medical expenses, lost financial support and services, funeral and burial expenses, and more.

How Much Is an E. Coli Lawsuit Worth? 

The exact worth of your case, unfortunately, cannot be calculated. This is due to the fact that each case varies in their circumstances, and the estimated value will hinge on specific factors, including the severity of your medical complications. However, a lawyer who has experience with E. coli lawsuits will be able to give you an idea of its worth. The factors that will be considered, include: 

  • The severity of the injury. What is typically considered as evidence is hospital records, medication and prescription drug costs, as well as the expense for rehabilitation care. E.coli infections can cause kidney failure, hemolytic uremic syndrome, damage to the intestinal tract, and various other serious complications.
  • Requirement for ongoing care. In some instances, victims may need long term care and may suffer permanent effects from E. coli. Considerations include the costs for future medical and rehabilitation care, including doctor appointments and medications, life care expenses, nursing home care, and the cost for transportation. 
  • Missed time from work / loss of future earning capacity. The amount of time a victim is unable to earn an income will be considered. In some cases, victims cannot return to work, or must go into a different line of work due to a permanent impairment. This is known as lost earning capacity, and the amount will depend on the economic losses a person will suffer until the end of their work life expectancy. 
  • Pain and suffering. This not only includes the physical pain experience, but also the emotional trauma. (PTSD, anxiety, depression).

Who Can Be Held Liable in an E. Coli Lawsuit?

Typically, any entities in the chain of distribution of contaminated food can be held liable in an E.coli lawsuit. Those parties can include: 

  • Processing Companies (slaughterhouses or farms)
  • Suppliers (wholesalers and distributors)
  • Retailers (restaurants or grocery stores)

Once the source of the contamination is discovered, all parties involved after the fact can be named as a defendant. The most crucial task is proving they are at fault for your foodborne illness. 

When it comes to cases involving E. coli from a petting zoo, the owner and operator may be liable for your losses. 

Free E. Coli Lawsuit Case Evaluation with an Experienced Lawyer

The Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently assisting victims sickened by E. coli contamination and we are ready to help you too. To learn more about your legal rights and options in an E.coli lawsuit, please schedule a free consultation by calling our food safety law firm at (833) 330-3663 or reach us through our online contact form