Can I Sue a Grocery Store for Food Poisoning?

Yes, if there is evidence to support your claim, you may be able to sue a grocery store or big-box retailer (Walmart, Costco, Target) for food poisoning. This means you can file a lawsuit seeking compensation to pay your hospital bills, other medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and other damages. You also may have a claim against a food processor or other company that sold the contaminated product that made you sick.

What Do I Do If Food I Bought at a Grocery Store Made Me or a Family Member Sick?

Bad Bug Law Team

Many people contact us saying they have been sickened by food, but these are generally not cases unless tests have been done to find out what pathogen made you or your loved one sick. Our law firm is one of the few in the nation that has won numerous personal injury and wrongful death settlements and verdicts for people harmed by eating contaminated food, including a $4.5 million settlement for E. coli  and a $6.4 million settlement for listeriosis.

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What Kind of Food Poisoning do I Have?

Food poisoning can be caused by one or more of the following pathogens:

These are bacteria and viruses that can cause severe illness and wrongful death.

Listeria Bacteria Cause Listeriosis

Contact your local health department.

Counties and large cities have health departments that investigate outbreaks of illness. After you are diagnosed with a specific foodborne illness (discussed above), you should tell your local health department.  You can contact our lawyers before you do this if you need help.

The local health department officials will interview you to find out what you ate in the days before becoming symptomatic. If you and others were sickened after eating an edible product purchased from one specific grocery store, health officials will most likely inspect the store and take environmental samples for pathogen testing. The state health department or the CDC may be called in to help.

In most outbreaks, genetic testing is done on bacterial isolates found in your stools and in the environmental samples. to determine the DNA “fingerprint” of the pathogen that made you sick. In most cases, this evidence can be used to help us win your case.

PFGE Testing

A CDC microbiologist is shown here running a Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) analytical test, which is used in the typing of bacterial organisms.

Hire lawyers with experience winning lawsuits against grocery stores.

Hire our lawyers to do an independent investigation and to protect your legal rights. This sounds self serving, and it is. But you need to do this. We have an incredible amount of experience with these cases and have found evidence not uncovered by a local or federal health official. One reason for this is that we dig into corporate documents looking for evidence of what the company knew and when.

Document the illness.

It is very important that you document how the poisoning is causing harm. Pictures and videos can be used to show the jury the suffering caused by the tainted food. Medical records don’t communicate as well as images.

We will help you with all of this and handle all of the legal matters, and there are many. Legal documents will fly back and forth between us and the attorneys for the retailer. There will be negotiations, and most likely formal mediation. If there is not a settlement before the trial, we will present your case before a judge and jury.

Can I Sue a Grocery Store if My Young Child Has Food Poisoning?

Yes, if your child’s food poisoning can be linked to the grocery store, you can sue on your child’s behalf. This money can be used for pain and suffering compensation, hospital bills and other medical expenses, cost of care and other expenses. The money won in a settlement or jury verdict is generally placed in a trust for the benefit of the child until they are 18 or older.

Young children are at higher risk of a severe complication of an E. coli infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). These little ones can suffer kidney failure, seizures, coma, brain damage and other serious health problems, and HUS has long-term consequences that could require a future kidney transplant. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won a $7.5 million jury verdict in a lawsuit filed by parents on behalf of their child.

Outbreaks and Lawsuits

Vulto Creamery Raw Milk Cheese Listeria Outbreak

Vulto Creamery Ouleout Cheese RecalOur lawyers are representing a person sickened in the outbreak linked to raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery. Our client is one of 6 people sickened in the outbreak. States involved include: Connecticut (1), Florida (1), New York (3), and Vermont (1). Two people, from Connecticut and Vermont, died. Voltu Creamery issued a recall of Ouleout, Miranda, Heinennellie, and Willowemoc soft, wash-rind raw milk cheeses.

 

E. coli O121 Associated with Gold Medal Flour

General Mills, based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, issued a recall of about 10 million pounds of flour sold under the Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens brands. The recall was prompted by a multistate outbreak of E. coli O121 that has sickened at least 38 people in 20 states. The range of onset of illness was December 21, 2015 to June 26, 2016.

General Mills Gold Medal Flour - Open Bag

Lawsuit against Costco for E. coli from Chicken Salad

In 2015, our law firm filed a lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corporation and Taylor Fresh Foods, Inc. (“Taylor Farms”) for a client who got E. coli poisoning after eating “Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad” made with a celery and onion blend supplied to Costco by Taylor Farms.