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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.
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:
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.
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.
This type of damages refers to any tangible expenses related to being ill. Those typically include:
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:
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.
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:
Typically, any entities in the chain of distribution of contaminated food can be held liable in an E.coli lawsuit. Those parties can include:
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.
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.