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Shigella Lawsuit

Can You Sue If You Get Shigella Food Poisoning?

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

Shigella Lawyer Answers FAQs on Shigella Lawsuits


Why Our Firm?

The law firm that you choose to represent you in a food safety lawsuit can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. At The Lange Law Firm, we have significant experience handling lawsuits involving Shigella poisoning.  Clients choose us for many reasons, including:

  • Because this is what we do.  We have won millions of dollars for our clients in Shigella cases.
  • 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.

7 Reasons You Should File a Shigella Lawsuit

  1. The food you eat shouldn’t make you sick.
  2. You likely have medical bills. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else making you sick.
  3. You lost work, and likely wages. You deserve to get compensated, so you can pay your bills.
  4. You likely have other harms and losses. You deserve to be compensation for those, too.
  5. Everyone wants to know what happened – what food product was involved, how you got sick, etc. A lawsuit can help uncover those mysteries.
  6. Filing a lawsuit tells a company that it is not ok that they have bad food safety practices.
  7. Make Food Safer. You can help prevent Shigella outbreaks from happening in the future.

What is Shigella?

Shigella bacteria cause an infection called shigellosis. Shigella cause an estimated 450,000 infections in the United States each year and an estimated $93 million in direct medical costs.

What is a Shigella Lawsuit?

A Shigella lawsuit is a way for victims of Shigella 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 Shigella lawsuit may be a way to recover compensation for future medical bills as well.

Lawsuits can also effect change to substandard food safety processes and procedures and potentially prevent other people from becoming ill from the same or similar sources.  Often, the only thing that can compel businesses or corporations to make changes is the threat of financial penalties from lawsuits.

How Do I Know If I Can File a Shigella 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 Shigella claim for compensation.

In general, to have a valid claim you must:

  • Have been diagnosed with Shigellosis
  • Have sufficient evidence that connects your illness to a product or location, such as a restaurant.

It can be difficult for a single person to identify where they may have contract Shigella poisoning.  Therefore, if you are diagnosed with Shigellosis, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  A food safety lawyer can investigate the facts surrounding your illness and help identify and legally responsible parties.

What Do I Need to Do Before Filing a Shigella 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 Shigella 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 Shigella food poisoning.  When you see your doctor, be sure to ask for a stool test to determine if your illness is caused by Shigella (or some other foodborne pathogen).  A stool test can also help determine what food caused your Shigella (call us and we can explain).

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

There are a few things we will need to pursue a Shigella 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 Shigella Lawsuit?

There are three legal theories that nearly every Shigella food poisoning and Shigella lawsuit are based on.  The first is strict liability or 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 Shigella, 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 Shigella, 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.

The second is negligence.  The manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of food must use reasonable care to ensure that it is safe for consumers to eat.  If they fail to do so and those who eat it get sick, they may be legally responsible for the losses those consumers incur.

The third is breach of warranty. Consumers have a reasonable expectation that the food they purchase is not contaminated and will not make them sick.   This is known as an implied warranty.  An implied warranty is a merchant’s promise that the goods sold will do what they are supposed to do and that there is nothing significantly wrong with them.  If a merchant sells you food that is unsafe to eat, they have breached this implied warranty and the law may require them to provide a remedy in the form of financial compensation.

Who Can You Sue in a Shigella Lawsuit?

In a Shigella 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 multiple different companies in the chain of distribution, such as the supplier, distributor, packager, etc.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Shigella Lawsuit?

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

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the most common type of compensation awarded and are available in all successful Shigella 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 Shigella 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, Shigella 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 Shigella enters the bloodstream.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: if your Shigellosis 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 Shigella Food Poisoning Claim Worth?

How much a Shigella 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 Shigellosis.
  • 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 Shigella?

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

  • Oral to fecal route. This means food or water has become contaminated with Shigella laden feces
  • Cross-contamination. Raw meats can cross-contaminate the food around them. This is why, when storing or preparing 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 Shigella. Without meats reaching the optimum cooking temperature, the Shigella 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 Shigella and possibly even cause an outbreak.
  • Poor Hygiene. Simply not washing hands while handling food spread Shigella.
  • Animals. Pets, petting zoos and livestock can spread Shigella in their droppings.

How Long Does It Take to Get Symptoms of Shigella?

Symptoms of a Shigella infection usually show between 1-3 days after ingesting food or water contaminated with Shigella.

What Are the Symptoms of Shigella poisoning?

Most people with Shigella infection (shigellosis) experience:

  • Diarrhea that can be bloody or prolonged (lasting more than 3 days)
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling the need to pass stool (poop) even when the bowels are empty

Symptoms usually start 1-2 days after infection and last 7 days. In some cases, bowel habits (frequency and consistency of stool) do not return to normal for several months.

Symptoms of Shigella poisoning can be range from relatively mild to severe, requiring hospitalization in some cases.  Certain groups of people—especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems—are more likely to experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.

Additionally, Shigella can cause long-term problems for some people.  In some cases, those who have had a Shigella infection develop pain in their joints, a condition that is called reactive arthritis, after the infection has ended. Reactive arthritis can last for months or years and can be difficult to treat.  In some cases, people with reactive arthritis develop pain when urinating and irritation of the eyes.

How Long Do I Have to File a Shigella Lawsuit?

In any legal action, there are time limits on the length of time that you have from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit.  These time limits are known as the statute of limitations.  In cases involving Shigella poisoning, the time limits may depend on the state where the poisoning occurred and the type of legal claim that is involved.  For this reason, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney as soon as you or a loved one are diagnosed with Shigellosis.  Additionally, the evidence required to build a strong case can disappear quickly and often requires immediate investigation to preserve.  The longer you wait to file a lawsuit, the more likely it may be to miss the statutory window or lose crucial evidence to prove your case.

What You Need to Know About Shigella Outbreaks

When a Shigella outbreak occurs, it is typically three to four weeks until public health officials can report on and accurately tie the illness to a source.  This time frame is known as a lag window or reporting lag.  During this window, public health officials take a series of steps to identify the source of the outbreak and link illness to it.

  1. First, samples of ill patients are sent to clinical laboratories where tests are run to identify the germ that made them sick.
  2. The clinical lab then sends a sample to a public health laboratory for more testing.
  3. The public health lab performs whole genome sequencing analysis and other tests to gather more information about the germ.
  4. This information is then sent to the CDC, where scientists determine if the bacteria causing the illness is closely related genetically to any other recent results.
  5. If it is, the CDC may begin an outbreak investigation or add the case to an ongoing investigation.

Interested in a Shigella Lawsuit?

Have you or a loved one suffered from Shigella poisoning? Thinking about pursuing a Shigella lawsuit? If so, our experienced food safety lawyer can help.  We can investigate the source of your Shigella poisoning, identify liable parties, and file a lawsuit on your behalf.  We offer a free and confidential case evaluation and never charge a fee unless we win.