What is listeria and listeriosis and can I file a food poisoning lawsuit if I was diagnosed with it?

Personal Injury Lawyer Melbourne, FL

In the United States, thousands of people become ill from a type of food poisoning caused by listeria bacteria. A further 250 – 300 people lose their life. When a person consumes raw foods including undercooked meats, cheeses, vegetables, and some fruits that is contaminated with listeria bacteria, they can develop listeriosis. Elderly and young children are at most risk for developing listeriosis; however, other individuals can also develop the serious, even fatal, illness:

  • Infants
  • Anyone with a compromised, or weak, immune system
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have cancer, kidney disease, or other medical conditions
  • People who have HIV or AIDS
  • People who are taking glucocorticosteroids

Symptoms of Listeria Food Poisoning

Unlike other bacteria that causes food poisoning, listeria can exhibit symptoms between 3 and 70 days after consuming the contaminated food. Usually the illness lasts for 2-3 weeks and causes the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain and aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fever

If the listeria infection spreads throughout a person’s body, they may develop:

  • Confusion
  • Inability to balance
  • Coordination problems
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Seizures

In 2 percent of all cases, a person with listeriosis food poisoning and a compromised immune system may develop an infection of the brain, or meningitis if the bacteria enters the central nervous system.

Diagnosing listeriosis is usually done through a blood sample or spinal fluid. Strong antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed to eliminate the bacteria. In severe cases, listeriosis can cause permanent medical conditions or death.

Understanding Food Poisoning Laws

When a person suffers listeria food poisoning because of the negligence of another person, they may have the right to file a lawsuit against the:

  • Food manufacturer
  • Food distributor
  • Food preparer
  • Seller
  • Restaurant

Damages for the following may be available:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disability
  • Death

A food poisoning lawyer for listeriosis may argue a case based on theories such as:

Negligence: When the alleged negligent party failed to exercise the standard of care, such as failing to separate cooked and uncooked meats, they may be found liable for negligence.

Strict Liability: To file a lawsuit based upon strict liability, the defendant will be required to prove that it was food contamination which caused them to be ill.

A Violation of a Warranty – Whenever a food product is contaminated with the listeria bacteria, it is not safe for consumption. If the food producer, distributor, preparer, or any other products knows their food item is contaminated, but sells the product anyways, it may be a violation of an implied or expressed warranty, in addition to negligence.

It is possible to file a lawsuit for listeria food poisoning; however, these personal injury cases are often very challenging and require certain steps to be take as quickly as possible. If you’re considering filing a lawsuit after being diagnosed with listeriosis, please call a personal injury lawyer Melbourne, FL relies on at The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood now.