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Food Poisoning Claims and Victims’ Rights Under Virginia Law

The idea of bacteria, viruses, and parasites at favorite Virginia restaurants makes many people queasy. Unfortunately, your chances of contracting food poisoning may be greater than you expect. Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified more than 250 foodborne toxins that can lead a victim to experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excruciating stomach cramps, and related symptoms.

If you suffered food poisoning, you would sustain significant losses. Medical treatment can be expensive, especially when it comes to fluid replacement, hospitalization, and other care. Plus, you could be out of work and suffer long-term medical consequences. You should discuss your rights with a Virginia personal injury lawyer, and read on for some background information on food-related injury claims.

Ways Food May Become Contaminated

The CDC data indicates the specific chemical nature of food-related contaminants, but the point in a food poisoning claim is how they caused your injuries. For example, you could get seriously sick because of:

  • Employees who do not properly wash hands during food preparation;
  • The presence of unsanitary utensils or surfaces in food prep areas;
  • Undercooked meats and poultry;
  • Unwashed greens, vegetables, and fruit;
  • Bad seafood, especially in Virginia where fish and shellfish are popular;
  • Improper cooling and handling of food by shippers and distributors;
  • Storing food at an improper temperature;
  • Serving food that’s beyond its posted expiration date; and,
  • Many more.

Legal Basis for Food Poisoning Claims

Virginia law protects victims of food poisoning through multiple theories of personal injury liability. Common strategies include:

  • Negligence: Based on the above examples, you can see that many involve misconduct in storing, preparing, and serving food. You may be able to recover monetary damages if you can prove that these careless or reckless actions led to the contamination that caused your ailment.
  • Strict Products Liability: There may be challenges in proving fault on the basis of negligence, but you could still have legal remedies through strict liability. It is not necessary to show fault on behalf of the food service provider. Almost any organization within the supply chain can be held accountable, including a distributor, retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer.
  • Breach of Warranty: Virginia law mandates certain standards on food products, so a manufacturer, restaurant, or other party may be liable under an implied warranty that something is safe to eat. Some distributors and producers make express warranties on their packaging, such as promising “triple-washed” lettuce greens. The failure to comply with warranties – whether expressed or implied – could give rise to a claim if you got sick.

Set Up a Free Consultation with a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

It is disturbing to learn that negligent misconduct might be behind a food poisoning incident. However, you may find it a relief to know that you could be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain, suffering, and other losses. For more information on claims based upon foodborne illnesses, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to schedule a case evaluation. A Virginia personal injury lawyer can explain your legal rights and remedies.

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