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