Yes, you can sue a restaurant for E. coli O157 if contaminated food is found at the restaurant or others were also sickened in an outbreak. A class action lawsuit is not used in these cases. Instead, each person sickened has their own lawsuit and seeks money damages, which can be in the millions. Our E. coli lawyers won $4.5 million from one restaurant chain.
Do You Have a Case against a Restaurant for E. coli Poisoning?
You can contact our law firm to talk with an E. coli lawyer and find out if you have a case against a company that owns a restaurant and others. It will not cost you anything, and our law firm is one of the very few in the United States that has handled hundreds of these kinds of cases. Call 1-888-377-8900.
Our lawyers have won millions of dollars, including a recent $4.5 million settlement, for our clients in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against restaurants. In these cases, the owner of the restaurant, a franchisor, a distributor, food processor, and others may all be legally responsible, meaning they can be sued for compensation.
You can get a free E. coli case review by filling out our online consultation form or by calling us at 1-888-377-8900 (toll-free). Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm are our lead lawyers for these cases.
Below are some examples of cases where you and/or your child would have the right to file an E. coli lawsuit seeking compensation from a restaurant (and possibly others):
- Your child is hospitalized with severe symptoms of E. coli and quickly develops hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Stool tests are positive for E. coli O157, and further testing determines that the DNA fingerprint (PFGE) of that bacteria is the same as the DNA fingerprint of O157 bacteria that has sickened 6 other people in your area. The local health department interviews parents and adults who are part of the outbreak and finds that 6 of the 7 people sickened ate at restaurant A. This alone is sufficient evidence to prove that the restaurant is responsible for the outbreak, even if the specific food that caused the illnesses is never determined. You and your child can sue Restaurant A.
- Your wife is hospitalized with an E. coli infection that has caused severe colitis. She has to have a colectomy to remove the damaged part of her colon. 6 days before getting sick, you and your wife ate at Restaurant B, a national chain Mexican restaurant. Your wife is one of 40 people in the U.S. who contracted E. coli infections after eating at the restaurant. Let’s say, that 80% of the people sickened ate tacos, and a traceback investigation determines that the lettuce used for all of these tacos was processed at the same location owned by Processor A. Testing at that location finds E. coli bacteria with the same DNA fingerprint as the bacteria that sickened people in the outbreak. This is “smoking gun” evidence proving that Processor A lettuce caused the illnesses and is the source of the outbreak. In this case you and your wife have the legal right to sue Restaurant B and Processor A.
Food that Has Caused Restaurant E. coli Outbreaks
Below are examples of outbreaks caused by different food products. Most of the lawsuits we have won against restaurants involve outbreaks were the food source was not found, meaning we won the cases without knowing what food item caused the illnesses.
The names of the restaurants involved in the outbreaks below are not used because our lawyers won settlements for clients and confidentiality agreements were signed. We have won money for clients sickened in many, many outbreaks. These are just a few of them.
Twenty people contracted E. coli infections after eating steak at a chain restaurant. Those sickened ate at restaurants in the following states: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
Our lawyers filed suit against a restaurant, a beef processor, and and a distributor on behalf of a woman who contracted an E. coli infection after eating contaminated ground beef that was later recalled by the processor.
Twenty people in 4 states were sickened after eating lettuce served at restaurants and cafeterias. The outbreak strain of E. coli was found in an unopened package of the lettuce, linking the outbreak to the lettuce processor.
Dozens of customers contracted E. coli infections after eating at a pizza place. The investigation found that as much as 400,000 gallons of sewage leaked into the ground from a sewer line across the road from the restaurant, contaminating the restaurant’s water. The restaurant reportedly had a shallow well. Shallow wells are more susceptible to E. coli contamination.
E. coli in Restaurant Food Can Cause Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
When a person swallows restaurant food contaminated with E. coli, the bacteria lodges in the gut and produces Shiga toxins, compounds that are poisonous to the human body. If these toxins enter the bloodstream, they destroy blood cells, which can travel to the kidneys. The shredded blood cells can clog tiny tubes in the kidneys, causing kidney (renal) injury, including kidney failure. This complication is called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and it can be fatal.