The following information is provided by Pritzker Hageman, a national food safety law firm. You can contact the firm to talk to a lawyer about your case: 1-888-377-8900 (toll free).
How do I know if I have a Salmonella lawsuit?
You have a lawsuit and can sue for compensation if you can prove that:
- You have salmonellosis. This is usually confirmed by testing a stool sample. Many different kinds of illnesses can cause diarrhea (bloody diarrhea in the case of S. Wandsworth and a few other serotypes.), fever, or abdominal cramps. Determining that Salmonella bacteria is the cause of the illness depends on laboratory tests that identify it in the stools or urine of an infected person. These tests are sometimes not performed unless the laboratory is instructed specifically to look for the organism.
- Your infection was caused by food eaten by other outbreak victims. This is important because there are many different ways you can become infected. Thus, we have to prove that your infection (salmonellosis) came from a particular outbreak. To do that, the culture of Salmonella from your stool or urine sample needs to undergo additional testing to see if its genetic fingerprint matches the genetic fingerprint of the other people who are part of an outbreak. This advanced testing called PFGE is usually conducted by your state’s health department if your stool or urine sample tested positive.
- You suffered injuries and damages. It is not hard to prove that there was harm, but it takes experience to know how much a case is worth. Our law firm hires medical and financial experts to help our attorneys determine an amount that will fully and adequately compensate you for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income and other damages. These amounts should reflect expected future expenses, losses and pain.
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
The short answer is yes. As you can see, these cases are complicated. Only a few law firms in the United States have the experience and resources to successfully pursue these kinds of cases. You can click here now to contact our lawyers for a free consultation.
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What should I do with leftover food that may have caused my illness?
Keep it. It may be useful to test the leftover food for the presence of the outbreak strain of bacteria. If it does, it can be used as evidence in a lawsuit against the food manufacturer or restaurant.
How is PFGE used to find the source of a food poisoning outbreak?
Every Salmonella outbreak involves a serotype of the bacteria with a unique genetic fingerprint (PFGE pattern). Someone is part of an outbreak if he or she was sickened by the serotype with the same genetic fingerprint as the other outbreak victims.
When food that many of the outbreak victims ate is contaminated with this outbreak-strain the bacteria, that food product is considered the source of the outbreak. However, even in cases where the source of the outbreak is not found, outbreak victims have the right to sue the responsible companies (usually a food manufacturer or restaurant) for compensation.