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Salmonella Lawsuit

Can You Sue If You Get Salmonella Food Poisoning?

Yes, you can sue if you get Salmonella food poisoning.  If the food that gave you Salmonella can be identified, you can sue the store or restaurant where you bought the food.  If a food manufacturer was at fault, you can also sue the manufacturer who contaminated the food with Salmonella.  A Salmonella lawyer can help you file a claim for compensation or a Salmonella lawsuit.  Contact our experienced legal team at The Lange Law Firm for a free legal consultation today.

Salmonella Lawyer Answers FAQs on Salmonella Onions Outbreak

Why Our Firm?

  • Because this is what we do. We have significant experience handling Salmonella cases.  We have won millions of dollars for our clients.
  • We believe that when companies sell food for a profit, that food should be safe to eat.
  • We have a nationwide food safety practice and have helped victims of severe food poisoning across the United States.
  • People call us when something terrible has happened and they need our help. Our commitment is to get them the help they need so that they can begin to rebuild their lives.  Our clients feel like family to us.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a bacterium. Salmonella causes a foodborne illness called Salmonellosis. Most of the time, Salmonella lives in the intestines of animals, and does not make them sick. A chicken or a turkey infected with Salmonella will often not show any signs of illness. However, when ingested by humans, Salmonella can make us very sick.

What is a Salmonella Lawsuit?

A Salmonella lawsuit is a way for victims of Salmonella food poisoning to be compensated for their medical bills, time lost from work, and the ordeal they went through.  In very severe cases, where there are long term health consequences like reactive arthritis, a Salmonella lawsuit may be a way to recover compensation for future medical bills as well.

How Do I Know If I Can File a Salmonella Lawsuit?

Give us a call!  We offer free, no obligation legal consultations. If you became sick after eating or drinking a contaminated food item, you may qualify for a Salmonella claim for compensation.

What Do I Need to Do Before Filing a Salmonella Lawsuit?

To ensure that your rights are protected, it is always safest to get legal advice from a lawyer. There may be crucial deadlines related to your case.  So contacting a lawyer right away helps.

Your Salmonella case is important.  But, remember, your health is what is most important.  If you are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, seek medical attention first.  Early medical treatment can help prevent or reduce the long-term health consequences of Salmonella food poisoning.  When you see your doctor, be sure to ask for a stool test to determine if your illness is caused by Salmonella (or some other foodborne pathogen).  A stool test can also help determine what food caused your Salmonella (call us and we can explain).

How Can I Start Gathering Information and Documents for a Salmonella Lawsuit?

There are a few things we will need to pursue a Salmonella lawsuit for you. A copy of your receipt, for example, is good evidence for us to have for your case. If you were hospitalized, a copy of your discharge documents from your doctor is always helpful. But every case is different. So, the best way to determine what we may need for you is to give us a call.

What Kind of Case is a Salmonella Lawsuit?

Salmonella food poisoning and Salmonella lawsuits are product liability claims.  Legally, restaurants and many food companies are considered to be food manufacturers.  When a manufacturer sells a defective product (selling food contaminated with Salmonella, for example), they may be strictly liable for any harm that their defective product causes.  If a store or restaurant sold you food that was contaminated with Salmonella, then the store or restaurant may be strictly liable for the harm their defective product caused you. If the food manufacturer was at fault, then the manufacturer may also be subject to strict product liability.

Who Can You Sue In a Salmonella Lawsuit?

In a Salmonella lawsuit, you may be able to sue the store or restaurant where you bought the food.  If the company that manufactured the food was at fault, you may also be able to sue the food manufacturer.  In some cases, you can sue the multiple different companies in the chain of distribution, such as the supplier, distributer, packager, etc.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Salmonella Lawsuit?

There are several different types of damages that can be recovered in a salmonella lawsuit: 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the most common type of compensation awarded, and are available in all successful salmonella claims. They are meant to compensate for verifiable monetary losses. Those can include: 

  • Medical expenses: based on past, present, and future medical needs, the goal being to enable you to live as normal of a life as possible. 
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity: you may lose income by having to miss work because of your foodborne illness. If your resulting injuries are so severe that they prevent you from working in the future, damages may also be recovered for your lost earning capacity.
  • Burial and funeral costs: in cases of wrongful death.

If you have suffered any of these economic damages, or any other calculable losses, you have the right to recover their value in full. States do not have caps on actual losses. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are subjective, non monetary losses. Their value is much more difficult to calculate, as they are based on the individual’s extent of loss. That means it will vary on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of non-economic damages that may be secured in a salmonella lawsuit include:

  • Pain and suffering: based on the level of physical pain that you suffered or continue to endure, along with any loss of quality of life.
  • Emotional Distress: the degree of severity of emotional distress varies by each case, and can include anxiety, depression, insomnia, fear, humiliation, etc. testimony from a mental health professional will often be required. 
  • Loss of consortium: refers to the impact of your illness on your relationship with your spouse. Specifically, the loss of companionship. Some jurisdictions will also allow the impact on a parent and child relationship to be considered. 
  • Disability or Disfigurement: in some cases, Salmonella can cause joint pain and reactive arthritis that can last for months or even years. Potentially serious or life-threatening infections can also occur if Salmonella enters the bloodstream.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: if your salmonellosis has kept you from enjoying activities that you were able to engage in prior to becoming ill.  

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are only available in some states, but are awarded to victims when the offending party’s behavior was egregious or intentional. The purpose of this compensation is not necessarily to add to the injured party’s award, but primarily as punishment for the defendant and as a way to deter others from similar misconduct. 

How Much is My Salmonella Food Poisoning Claim Worth? 

How much a salmonella food poisoning claim is worth varies on the facts specific to each case, but can be answered when consulting with a skilled food safety lawyer. Determining your claim’s worth will hinge on the following set of factors: 

  • The amount and strength of the supporting evidence. 
  • The severity of your infection and its impact on your life. 
  • Your ability to earn an income and/or participate in activities you enjoyed prior to your salmonellosis. 
  • The amount of medical bills and expenses related to your infection. 
  • How your marriage or relationships have been affected. 

An attorney will then assess these facts and details of your case to give you an estimated value.

How Do People Become Sick with Salmonella?

Usually through contaminated food and water, which can become tainted by:

  • Oral to fecal route. This means food or water has become contaminated with Salmonella laden feces
  • Cross-contamination. Raw meats and eggs (the inside and the shell of eggs) can cross-contaminate the food around them. This is why, when storing or preparing raw eggs or meat, it is best to separate them from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Undercooked meats. Meats that have not been cooked to their optimum cooking temperature may still have Salmonella. Without meats reaching the optimum cooking temperature, the Salmonella bacteria may still be present in the product.
  • Poor food safety practices. Unhygienic food safety practices, lack of proper sanitization methods and/or use of dirty equipment while processing, during distribution, or the preparation of food can also contribute to the spread of Salmonella and possibly even cause an outbreak.
  • Poor Hygiene. Simply not washing hands while handling food spread Salmonella.

How Common is Salmonella?

Salmonella is very common. Salmonella is one of the most common type of food poisoning, after Norovirus and Campylobacter. Each year, an estimated 1.2 million Americans will be infected with Salmonella illness.  Sadly, 23,000 of these people will be hospitalized.   450 of these people will die. Unfortunately, Salmonella is much more common than most people realize.

How Long Does It Take to Get Symptoms of Salmonella?

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually show between 6 hours and 3 days after ingesting food or water contaminated with Salmonella.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)

What You Need to Know About the Onion Salmonella Outbreak

          United States

396 Americans have contracted Salmonella infections in the Onion Salmonella Outbreak.  59 Americans have been hospitalized.  CDC advises the public to not not eat, serve, or sell any onions from Thomson International Inc. or products made with these onions. Onion types include red, white, yellow, and sweet varieties.

The Onion Salmonella Outbreak is growing.  People have been affected in 34 states.  Current state case counts are: Alaska (6), Arizona (14), California (49), Colorado (10), Florida (3), Idaho (5), Illinois (10), Indiana (2), Iowa (15), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Maine (4), Maryland (1), Michigan (23), Minnesota (10), Missouri (6), Montana (33), Nebraska (5), Nevada (5), New York (4), North Carolina (3), North Dakota (5), Ohio (7), Oregon (71), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (11), Tennessee (5), Texas (1), Utah (61), Virginia (4), Washington (2), Wisconsin (5), Wyoming (11).

          Canada

114 Canadians have contracted Salmonella infections in the Onion Salmonella Outbreak.  16 Canadians have been hospitalized. 5 Canadian provinces have been affected in the most recent Salmonella case count: British Columbia (43), Alberta (55), Manitoba (13), Ontario (2), and Prince Edward Island (1).

The Public Health Agency of Canada urges individuals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are advised to not eat any red onions imported to Canada from the U.S., including any food products that contain raw red onions imported from U.S.

What Caused the Salmonella Outbreak?

You may be asking what caused the Salmonella outbreak?  There have been many Salmonella outbreaks recently. Here are some of the latest Salmonella outbreaks in just the last couple of linked to food products, include:

2020

2019

2018

2017

When was the most recent outbreak of Salmonella?

As of July 24, 2020, there is a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to onion products.

Is there an onion recall?

Yes. According to the latest news from the FDA:

“FDA’s traceback investigation is ongoing but has identified Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, CA as a likely source of potentially contaminated red onions.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc. recalled all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination. Recalled products include red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions shipped from May 1, 2020 to present.

Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.”

Can you get Salmonella from Onions?

Sadly, yes. You can get Salmonella from onions in several ways. Sometimes, Salmonella can be present on the outside skin or rind. This can contaminate the inside of the vegetable if the onion had not been washed before cutting. In precut onions, unless they are cooked, and the onion is contaminated, you can become sick with Salmonella from eating the tainted onion.

Interested in a Salmonella Lawsuit?

Have you or a loved one suffered from Salmonella poisoning? Thinking about pursuing a Salmonella lawsuit? If so, our experienced food safety lawyer can help.