Can I Sue for Campylobacter?

Attorney Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team have won millions for people sickened by food. Fred has been a speaker at Harvard Law School and Cornell University, where he discussed food safety and food poisoning risks. As an example of the dangers of contaminated food, he discussed a case involving a man who was paralyzed after drinking contaminated raw milk. This client’s infection developed into Guillain-Barrè syndrome (GBS). Fred recently won multi-millions for this client in a personal injury lawsuit against a grocery store.

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What is Campylobacter?

CampylobacterCampylobacter is the name of a genus of a spiral-shaped bacteria found primarily in the intestines of birds–especially poultry–and other animals. Many birds can carry these bacteria without becoming ill, and it is estimated that nearly half of all chicken meat in the U.S. has some of this bacteria on it. Untreated water can also be contaminated from animal or human feces.

This bacteria causes campylobacteriosis, which is characterized by diarrheal illness (gastroenteritis), usually accompanied by fever, and abdominal cramps. In rare cases, the patient can develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, a severe illness that can lead to paralysis and death.

Fortunately, this pathogen has difficulty surviving when exposed to air. Since they require low levels of oxygen to thrive, many infections are prevented by exposing contaminated surfaces to fresh air. Their fragility is not only characterized by its intolerance for oxygen. This bacteria can also be killed by drying, heating, disinfectants and acidic conditions. However, only a relatively small number of organisms–as few as 500–can cause an infection in humans. One drop of contaminated raw chicken juice would be enough to infect someone.

Campylobacter Symptoms

Symptoms occur from 1 to 10 days after infection. The first ones to appear are:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Fever

These symptoms are followed by:

  • Watery or Bloody Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea

The first symptoms usually appear two to five days after initial infection. The illness usually only lasts a week to ten days, but relapses several days later occur in up to one in four of all cases.


Risks and serious complications include, but are not limited to, the following:

Test for Infection if You Want to Sue

To protect your legal rights, it is important that you get diagnosed with Campyloacter and that further testing is done to get a genetic fingerprint of the specific bacteria that made you sick. This is done with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).

A clinical diagnosis requires laboratory testing of a stool sample. Because these bacteria only survive and proliferate under specific conditions, isolating the organism from a stool sample is difficult, but most labs are able to test for it.

Usually a working diagnosis is based on the symptoms of diarrheal illness and the time of onset, as well as the length of the illness. The symptoms most doctors look for are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and a headache lasting for about a week.

Recent Outbreak

Alejandro’s Taqueria

Cases of campylobacteriosis have been associated with eating at Alejandro’s Taqueria restaurant located on Texas Street in Fairfield, California. On June 9, KRON News said health investigators had found the association with eating at Alejandro’s Taqueria, and that there were 32 cases of campylobacteriosis reported to the Solano County in June of this year. Those sickened ate at the restaurant between May 26 and May 29, 2016. Read Read more.

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