Attorney Ryan Osterholm is representing a client who contracted Salmonella food poisoning after eating at Best BBQ on 1648 West 115th Street in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood. This client was one of at least 14 people who became ill in August after eating at the barbeque restaurant; 6 of these customers were so severely sickened that they had to be hospitalized. Best BBQ closed temporarily on September 1 after Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials alerted its management that the restaurant was the common link between the Salmonella cases.
Ryan’s practice is focused primarily upon food poisoning litigation; he has successfully and consistently handled hundreds of foodborne illness cases for people across the United States. Using evidence acquired through sophisticated pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) test results to secure compensation for his clients, he ensures that providers of adulterated food are held accountable for their negligence:
“This is about more than just money. Any company that sells contaminated food should be held accountable, particularly when the contaminant is a potentially deadly bacteria.”Attorney Ryan Osterholm
Salmonella food poisoning can have life-altering consequences. Its initial symptoms present as diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, normally between 12 and 72 hours after someone has ingested contaminated food. The initial phase of the illness lasts between 4 and 7 days. However, in severe cases the disease can lead to chronic health complications including reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and high blood pressure. A recent Cornell University study has also shown that salmonellosis may also permanently damage a victim’s cellular DNA.
This particular Salmonella outbreak seems to have been particularly virulent, since almost half of the 14 known victims had to be hospitalized. The hospitalization rate for a typical outbreak is around 22%; the rate in the Best BBQ outbreak, however, stands at 43%. Many minor instances of food poisoning contracted at the restaurant may have gone unreported, however.
What Happens During a Salmonella Lawsuit Investigation?
As Ryan works on this case, he will consult with experts to gather the medical, microbiologic, and statistical evidence required to demonstrate the extent of the harm that has been done by Best BBQ’s sale of contaminated food to his client. The three primary legal claims that are made in a Salmonella poisoning lawsuit are strict liability (products sold are not supposed to cause harm), negligence (food sellers are responsible for taking reasonable care to ensure the safety of the food they sell), and breach of warranty (restaurants warrant that the food they sell is fit for consumption).
Ryan will also ensure that there is sufficient evidence to show that his client was sickened by eating the food served at Best BBQ. Salmonella is a reportable disease – when a significant number of new cases of a single Salmonella serotype suddenly appear in local hospitals, public health officials initiate an investigation into the source of the outbreak. The one common factor that the 14 known victims of this outbreak shared was that they had all eaten at Best BBQ.
As a victim of restaurant-linked Salmonella food poisoning, Ryan’s client is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain, emotional suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Should Salmonella Outbreak Victims Seek Individual or Class Action Compensation?
Salmonella and other disease outbreaks (like Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks) do not typically provide a good basis for class action lawsuits. In order for a class action lawsuit to be successful, the victims must all have suffered very similar harm. In disease outbreaks, though, victims often can sustain very different degrees of injury. Some people who contract Salmonella food poisoning experience only minor stomach discomfort; others, however, can experience devastating and lifelong illness because of the highly preventable infection. For this reason, we believe that each victim is unique and each client deserves compensation commensurate with their individual damage and suffering.
Can I Still Sue Best BBQ for Damages?
If you ate at Best BBQ during the summer and were subsequently diagnosed with food poisoning, you may have the right to sue the restaurant for compensation. Your best strategy, in this case, is to engage a Salmonella lawyer who has won or settled cases against restaurants. Call our law firm at 1-888-377-8900 (toll free).