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What to Do if You Suspect a Listeria Outbreak

Posted in Listeria on July 29, 2023

If you suspect a Listeria outbreak in your community or have reason to believe you have been exposed to contaminated food, it is critical to take immediate action to protect yourself and others.

Report the Outbreak

Notify your local health department about your suspicions. Reporting the outbreak immediately can help them investigate and contain the situation promptly. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible, such as the symptoms you or others experienced, the suspected food items, and any relevant details about where you purchased or consumed the food.

Contact Your Healthcare Provider

If you believe that you may have contracted Listeriosis, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible and inform them of your symptoms. At the appointment, let them know about any recent food you ate and that it was potentially contaminated. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the outcome for individuals affected by Listeria.

Preserve and Identify the Suspected Food

If you suspect a specific food item is the source of the outbreak, it is crucial to preserve it for potential testing. Store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator, to ensure it does not come into contact with other foods. This will help public health officials identify the source of contamination and prevent further spread.

What Compensation Can I Recover?

Here are several potential types of compensation you can recover in a Listeria claim:

Medical Expenses

This can include hospitalization, doctor visits, laboratory tests, medications, and any other necessary medical treatments.

Lost Wages

If you were unable to work or lost income due to the illness.

Diminished Earning Capacity

If you suffer from ongoing complications or permanent health issues as a result of the infection, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

If you experienced physical pain, emotional distress, or a reduced quality of life due to Listeriosis.

Punitive Damages

If it can be proven that the responsible party acted with extreme negligence or recklessness, the court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

In tragic cases where a loved one has died from Listeriosis, certain family members may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim. Compensation in these cases can include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and compensation for the emotional impact of the loss.

When Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you have been diagnosed with Listeriosis or suspect that you may have contracted it in an outbreak, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a Listeria lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can assist in investigating the outbreak’s source and potential liability, as well as help protect your rights as a victim. In addition, you will likely need to deal with insurance companies or parties potentially responsible for the contamination, and having legal representation advocate for you can protect your interests and prevent you from being taken advantage of during the claims process.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

The time limit within which you must file a Listeria claim is determined by the statute of limitations, which varies depending on where the claim is being pursued. For instance, you have two years to file a Listeria lawsuit in Texas. If you fail to take legal action within the prescribed time limit, you may lose your right to seek compensation.