If you have suffered food poisoning at a restaurant in Corpus Christi or the Rio Grande Valley, you may have a right to seek compensation from the restaurant or food producer.
Food poisoning is a common occurrence at restaurants and diners that do not pay adequate attention to safe food handling. Viruses and bacteria may be transmitted by unsanitary kitchens, by restaurants workers who fail to wash after the toilet and by improper food preparation. While many infections cause mild illnesses, some cases of food poisoning result in hospitalization and long-term health problems.
The attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. have more than 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law and help people who have been sickened by foodborne infections. Our restaurant illness attorneys are ready to fight for you if you or your loved one has developed food poisoning causing serious symptoms after eating at a restaurant or diner in Texas. We will gather evidence of the impact of the illness and demand full compensation for your medical expenses and missed work. Contact us to review the details of your foodborne illness and discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
Viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals and toxins can contaminate food and cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. The symptoms of food poisoning and foodborne illnesses range in severity depending on the type of contamination.
Texas law requires that restaurants have a certified food manager to ensure the safe preparation and handling of food by the restaurant staff. But some restaurants disregard safe food preparation and fail to train food handlers in proper sanitation practices. When restaurants cause foodborne infections and illness, they can be held legally responsible to the people who were injured by the contaminated food.
The five most frequently identified germs that cause cases of foodborne illness in Texas and the types of food associated with them are:
- Norovirus—Contaminated leafy greens, fresh fruit or shellfish.
- Salmonella—Salmonellosis is contracted by eating raw or undercooked chicken or meat, eggs, contaminated water, unpasteurized milk or cheese, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, mangoes, cantaloupes and ground turkey. Texas averages more than 5,000 cases of Salmonellosis a year.
- Clostridium perfringens—Dried or pre-cooked beef or poultry.
- Campylobacter—Raw or undercooked chicken, raw milk, contaminated water.
- Staphylococcux aureus—Foods that are handled by people and not cooked, such as sandwiches and pastries.
Four other germs that cause serious foodborne illness that may require hospitalization are:
- Listeria—Lunch meats, cold cuts, soft cheeses made from raw milk, raw sprouts, melons, smoked seafood.
- E. coli (Escherichia coli)—Undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk, raw vegetables such as lettuce and sprouts.
- Vibrio—Raw or undercooked oysters and shellfish.
- Clostridium botulinum (botulism)—Improperly canned foods. The Texas Department of Health considers outbreaks of foodborne botulism to be a public health emergency.
What Should I Do If I Have Food Poisoning in Texas?
Most people with foodborne illness improve without treatment within a couple of days. But the symptoms of food poisoning can be severe, require hospitalization or even be life-threatening.
You should seek prompt medical attention if you or your loved one shows any of the following symptoms:
- High fever of 101.5 or higher
- Blood in stools
- Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping down liquids
- Diarrhea that lasts more than three days
- Signs of dehydration such as dry mouth and reduced urination
You also should contact your local city-county health department and report your foodborne illness and the restaurant you suspect served contaminated food. Filing a report may prevent others from being exposed to contaminated food and it will provide documentation if you later need to file a legal claim.
If you have costly medical bills and you missed work due to food poisoning, you also should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss whether you can demand that the restaurant that served contaminated food compensate you for your medical expenses and lost income from missed work. You should not have to pay your medical bills if your food poisoning was caused by a restaurant’s disregard for proper food preparation.
Should I Sue a Texas Restaurant for Food Poisoning?
Having a knowledgeable contaminated restaurant food lawyer represent you sends a strong message that you are serious about being treated fairly after your ordeal. The restaurant manager or restaurant owner cannot brush off the report of your foodborne illness if you have a restaurant illness attorney standing up for you.
As part of developing a restaurant food poisoning lawsuit, our attorneys will gather evidence to show
- You were diagnosed with food poisoning
- You ate food from the restaurant or were infected by someone else who ate at the restaurant
- Your foodborne illness caused you harm such as hospital bills, missed income and other types of quantifiable losses.
If two or more people who ate at the restaurant developed food poisoning, your illness may be part of an outbreak of foodborne illness. If the local health department has informed you that you are part of an outbreak, you may have a valid lawsuit and be entitled to demand compensation.
At Herrman & Herrman, our restaurant food poisoning lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis. You do not have any upfront or out-of-pocket costs to have our experienced injury lawyer handle your restaurant foodborne injury claim. We receive payment only if we are successful in obtaining a settlement or a jury award for you.
Contact a Corpus Christi Restaurant Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you have questions about whether a restaurant meal or prepared food caused your food poisoning, call Hermann & Hermann for a free initial consultation. Let our experienced attorneys review the specific facts of your foodborne illness and explain your legal options. There is no charge for the consultation with an attorney. Having a clear understanding of your legal rights will help you make a well-informed decision about how to move forward. At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we are committed to client satisfaction. We are dedicated to helping the people of Corpus Christi, McAllen and the entire Rio Grande Valley.