Listeria bacteria are known to cause food poisoning resulting in tens of thousands of serious illnesses and approximately 300 deaths every year in the United States. The illness is caused by listeriosis produced by the contamination of listeria bacteria found in many raw foods including uncooked meats (especially poultry meats), cheeses and vegetables.
Elderly individuals and young children are at greatest risk of becoming seriously ill when eating foods contaminated with listeria. However, other individuals that have an increased risk of developing the debilitating illness include:
- Individuals with a weakened immune system
- Pregnant women
- Individuals suffering a variety of medical conditions including diabetes, cancer and kidney disease
- Individuals suffering from HIV or AIDS
- Individuals taking prescription medications, especially those on glucocorticosteroids
Common Symptoms Associated With Listeria
The most common symptoms of this foodborne illness will occur after three days and up to 70 days after consuming foods contaminated with listeria. Most commonly, individual suffering symptoms will endure the illness for approximately three weeks. Common symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
If the infection is allowed to spread throughout the body, additional symptoms can involve:
- Loss of balance
- Stiff neck
In some cases, individual suffering a severely weakened immune system can experience brain infection or meningitis when listeria invades the body’s central nervous system. Diagnosis of listeriosis usually requires a request for spinal fluid or blood sample. Common treatment often involves heavy antibiotics. Some severe conditions can lead to long-lasting medical conditions or death.
Food Poisoning and the Law
Individuals who suffer food poisoning through the negligence of others often file a claim or lawsuit against any companies manufacturing, preparing, distributing or selling food that was contaminated. Many of these cases seek financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages including medical expenses, lost time away from work, anxiety, stress, pain and suffering. Cases for compensation are often argued using various legal theories that include:
- Negligence – The legal theory of negligence requires the attorney to prove how food preparers or manufacturers failed to exercise due care in processing the food. This could include a failure to separate uncooked meats from precooked meats or a failure to clean cutting or preparation equipment.
- Strict Liability – The legal theory of strict liability requires the victim to prove they became sick after consuming contaminated food. Proving the defendant did anything wrong is not required under strict liability tort law.
- Violation of Implied or Expressed Warranty – Any listeria-laden food product or other contaminants is obviously unsafe to consume. The contamination violates the implicit promise made by the food producer, preparer or manufacturer that ensures the public is consuming suitable food.
Many individuals suffering foodborne illnesses, including listeria, file a lawsuit seeking compensation and justice. However, these types of personal injury cases are complex. The amount of compensation received often depends on the severity of injuries, the location of the company and the number of individuals harmed by the product. Because of that, victims often hire a listeria food poisoning attorney to handle the claim.
Hiring a Lawyer to Pursue a Listeria Case
You have the legal right to be protected when consuming any commercially made food product. If you have suffered injuries, or a loved one has died from a foodborne illness, you likely have mounting medical bills and have lost wages from time away from work while you heal. A listeria food poisoning attorney can protect your rights and take immediate action on your behalf to hold those negligent accountable for their actions.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing victims harmed by listeria and other foodborne bacteria including E. coli. We accept Illinois food poisoning cases on a contingency fee basis. Hiring our attorneys on contingency provide you instant legal representation without the need to pay us any upfront fees. Any payment for our legal services will come from a successful jury award or through a negotiated out-of-court settlement.
Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free legal consultation. We will evaluate your claim and provide you every legal option for seeking the financial compensation you deserve. We handle personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits for victims of foodborne illnesses caused by the neglect of others.