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Norovirus Lawsuit

If you or someone you love has suffered due to a norovirus infection, contact The Lange Law Firm, PLLC. Our food safety lawyers offer free consultations for Norovirus lawsuits and can advise you of your legal options for recovering compensation.

Norovirus is not as well known, but it is the most common cause of foodborne illness in the U.S. It strikes quickly and spreads easily through contaminated food, drink, objects, or close contact with people who are infected. Most people recover within a few days, but in some cases, norovirus food poisoning can cause severe complications.  

Why Choose Our Firm?

  • Our Norovirus lawyer treats our clients like family, and have extensive experience handling food poisoning cases.
  • We have successfully secured millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
  • We have the resources to help you rebuild your life, and will ensure you recover the compensation that you or your loved one deserves.

Understanding Norovirus

Norovirus is a virus that causes acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). It is commonly called other names such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning. Anyone can contract norovirus, and can have it multiple times in their lifetime. Symptoms often include: 

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Some people also experience headaches, body aches, and fever. The primary symptoms typically appear within 12 to 48 hours after exposure and disappear within one to two days. In some cases, however, the infection can lead to severe dehydration and cause further complications, and is occasionally fatal. Those who are particularly at risk of serious side effects are children, the elderly, and people who already have compromised immune systems. 

How Does Norovirus Spread Through Food?

Norovirus can spread when people unknowingly consume food or liquids that have been mishandled and are contaminated with an infected person’s vomit or feces. This commonly occurs when: 

  • An infected individual prepares food with unwashed hands or insufficiently washed their hands
  • Food is placed on a contaminated surface
  • Tainted water contaminates food, such as fruit, leafy greens, or shellfish

Approximately half of all food poisoning outbreaks are caused by norovirus, and most occur in food service settings, such as restaurants. Schools, childcare centers, colleges, and universities are also common settings. Additionally, norovirus outbreaks are commonly associated with cruise ships and have been a focal point for media attention. Norovirus is actually responsible for over 90 percent of diarrheal disease outbreaks on cruise ships. It is why some refer to the infection as the “cruise ship virus.”

What Can I Expect From a Norovirus Lawsuit?

It can be both confusing and nerve-racking when you begin legal action for a Norovirus infection. Understanding the process can help you know what to expect.

  1. Preliminary Interview with a Lawyer: Take advantage of a free consultation, in which an attorney will ask you questions to determine if you have a norovirus case. Those often include specifics about your illness, the circumstances you believe caused it (how, when, and where exposure occurred), as well as the effect it has had on you and your family (physically, financially, and emotionally). 
  2. Filing the Norovirus Lawsuit: Once you hire an attorney, a decision will be made on where it is best to file your case. The location will be decided based on where you were exposed to the virus, where the responsible party is located, and which location will offer the best chance for a positive outcome. Alternatively, you may have the option to join a class action lawsuit if one has been filed following an outbreak. 
  3. Discovery: This phase begins once the lawsuit is filed. It is the formal process for collecting evidence. Your attorney will gather proof of the contamination and the link to your illness, your medical records, evidence of lost income, pain and suffering, witness testimony, and design a legal strategy for negotiating a fair settlement. At the same time, your case will be prepared for trial, in case an agreement on compensation cannot be reached. 
  4. Settlement or Trial: Most cases settle prior to trial. However, it is your decision, whether to accept a settlement offer or not. If your case does make it to trial, the process can take anywhere from months to years to complete. Although it can be lengthy, trying your case may be the best option for recovering the compensation you deserve. 

What Damages Can I Claim in a Norovirus Lawsuit?

Norovirus victims have the right to recover compensation from business owners or companies that fail to prevent consumers from being infected. When a norovirus lawsuit is successful, the following damages can be obtained: 

Medical Expenses

A norovirus infection can cause severe dehydration, even in a matter of hours. When victims have difficulty retaining fluids, they must go to the hospital to receive intravenous fluids (IV), which may involve an extended stay. Compensation can be recovered for those bills and any other related expenses, such as transportation, emergency room visits, and prescription medications. 

Lost Wages

Your illness may keep you away from work for days, weeks, or even months depending on its severity and resulting complications. 

Pain and Suffering

Symptoms of norovirus may not only be physically painful, but victims can suffer emotional distress, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. These damages are difficult to calculate because they are subjective. Meaning, there is no clear dollar value. 

Punitive Damages

In certain cases that involve gross negligence, victims may be awarded punitive damages as a punishment for the at-fault party. For example, a restaurant putting profits over their customers by covering up or failing to warn patrons after infections were first reported. 

How Much Is My Norovirus Lawsuit Worth?

The amount your case is worth depends on a variety of unique factors, but will heavily rely on how severe your illness is or was. Norovirus food poisoning is distressing for anyone who is diagnosed, but if your symptoms clear up within one to two days, then a lawsuit may not be worth the time or expense. On the other hand, if the infection resulted in hospitalization and extensive financial losses, a norovirus lawsuit may be worthwhile and an attorney can give you an estimate of your claim’s value. 

An additional factor impacting how much your case is worth, is the amount of and how strong your evidence is against the responsible party. Norovirus food poisoning can be difficult to prove, especially if time has passed since the exposure and if no one else has become ill. On the other hand, strong evidence for example, would be if you have leftovers that can test positive for the virus or if multiple people contracted norovirus and a healthy agency is investigating and traced the source. 

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Norovirus Lawsuit?

Any company, restaurant, cruise ship or similar venue can be held liable in a norovirus lawsuit when negligence can be proven. Companies or businesses that prepare, and serve food owe a duty to customers to maintain sanitary conditions and serve food that is safe. Serving contaminated food is considered a breach of that duty, and when it results in harm (norovirus), victims have the right to sue if they have suffered damages (financial losses). 

Speak to an Experienced Lawyer About Your Norovirus Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Norovirus, discuss your case with an attorney at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC. Our highly experienced team can help you, and your family recover financial compensation for your pain and to cover your losses. Reach us through our online contact form, or by calling (833) 330-3663 to schedule a free consultation today.