Most food poisoning cases are relatively mild, but some can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, and even death. All over the world, food poisoning is a threat, impacting millions of people each day. Each year, an estimated 600 million people, or one in 10 across the globe, become ill and 420,000 people die from contaminated food, according to estimates from the World Health Organization.
The deadliest germs linked to the most severe cases of food poisoning include norovirus, and bacteria such as salmonella, E coli, listeria, and campylobacter. Although they may take days to appear, the most common symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Blood in stools
- Muscle weakness
Foodborne illness can impact its victims in a variety of ways, forcing them to miss work, receive treatment in a hospital and potentially impact their health in the long term. It’s important to identify the source of the food poisoning and to hold accountable the business responsible to obtain the compensation deserved.
Those most vulnerable to exposure to food poisoning can suffer the greatest complications. Those high-risk people include:
- Adults over age 64
- Children younger than 5
- Pregnant women
- People who suffer from a weak immune system due to other complications
Long-term complications linked to food poisoning
Beyond the immediate symptoms of the illness, food poisoning can lead to long-term, serious conditions, such as
- Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS): A serious condition linked to E coli bacteria infection that can lead to kidney failure
- Brain, nerve damage: Victims infected by listeria can contract meningitis, or inflamed membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome: Campylobacter infections can trigger this condition where the immune system attacks the nerves.
- Chronic arthritis: Infections from shigella, salmonella, or campylobacter can result in reactive arthritis, with symptoms of pain in the joints, eye irritation, and painful urination.
Settlements in food poisoning cases
With such severe impacts of food poisoning, it’s important to recover the compensation you deserve from the responsible parties. A lawyer experienced in these cases can help develop the strongest case possible. With effective counsel from experienced lawyers, some examples of food poisoning lawsuit settlement amounts include:
- $370,000: A dozen Connecticut workers infected during a catered lunch became seriously ill, forcing the caterer to settle for about $30,000 for each victim.
- $625,000: An elderly woman’s family after she became ill from food poisoning
- $695,000: A man who became seriously ill with kidney failure from food poisoning
- $800,000: A man who developed gastrointestinal problems from Salmonella
- $1,093,500: Victims who contracted food poisoning from restaurant produce
- $50 million: A fast-food restaurant settlement in a class-action lawsuit over E. coli outbreak.
What factors affect a food poisoning lawsuit’s compensation?
A number of factors can determine the value of a food poisoning case, either increasing or decreasing the potential compensation that your lawyer can recover on your behalf, including:
- Illness severity: Longer-term complications beyond the typical extent of symptoms for a few days can increase a case’s value.
- Life impact: Any chronic or long-term complications caused by the illness can increase value.
- Lost income: When the illness affects the ability to work, either temporarily or permanently, this can increase the value.
- Ongoing medical care: The need for continued medical treatment, therapy or medication can increase the value.
- Negligence: The degree of a responsible party’s negligence can also increase the value.
- Evidence: If there is significant evidence against the defendant, that can increase the case’s value.
- Other factors: Evidence that a victim’s actions may have contributed to the illness can decrease a case’s value.