Attorneys Serving Victims of Contaminated Food Nationwide
E. coli (escherichia coli) bacteria are normally found inside people’s and animals' intestines. Most are harmless, but six pathotypes are pathogenic, causing diarrhea and other sickness outside the intestinal tract. Our E. coli lawyers know that these can be transmitted in contaminated food or water or through contact. Some types of E. coli make the Shiga toxin (STEC, VTEC, or EHEC), which causes disease. When E. coli causes an outbreak, it is usually from a particular STEC: E. coli O157. However, there are also other STEC infections that can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, or other serious conditions. If you suffer an illness or complications as a result of E. coli in contaminated food, you should consult an experienced product liability lawyer at Moll Law Group. We represent consumers nationwide in pursuing the compensation that they deserve.
Holding a Company Accountable for E. coli Infections
While people of any age may be infected by E. coli, very young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems populations are more at risk for severe E. coli illnesses. The first symptoms are often abdominal cramps and bloody stools. While most people recover within a week, some infections and complications (like HUS) are severe and life-threatening. Signs of HUS include fatigue, decreased urination, and losing pink color inside the lower eyelids and cheeks. People who develop HUS require hospitalization.
Between the time of consuming the STEC bacteria and the actual illness is an incubation period of about 3-4 days, although it can be shorter or longer. If HUS develops, it usually happens about seven days after the first symptoms. The length of the incubation period can affect whether you are able to determine the food that caused the problem, particularly if yours is an individual case rather than part of a larger outbreak.
For the purposes of a lawsuit, it may be helpful if the state health department is involved. Health officials can collect data to determine whether there is an outbreak and any commonality between those who developed an infection, such as that they ate at the same restaurant or consumed the same lettuce. It is easier for your E. coli lawyer to recover compensation if your infection is part of an outbreak linked to a particular entity, such as a restaurant or food processor, rather than an individual occurrence.
In most states, the presence of a pathogen indicates that food is defective. Food contamination claims proceed similarly to other types of product liability cases. There are three types of recognized defects for which a manufacturer may be held strictly liable: manufacturing, design, and marketing defects. Generally, the presence of E. coli suggests a manufacturing defect.
Manufacturing defects occur when a product deviates from the intended design, even though reasonable care was used to prepare and market it. Accordingly, it does not matter for purposes of strict liability whether a poultry food processor used reasonable care in handling the chicken. If poultry contains E. coli, it is defective. Because of the incubation period, proving that a manufacturer or retailer should be liable for food contaminated with E. coli can be challenging. Without evidence from a state agency or the CDC, it may be difficult to trace a particular plaintiff's illness to a food that was contaminated. This is one reason why consulting a knowledgeable attorney may be especially important.
Enlist an Experienced E. coli Attorney for Your Product Liability Claim
In most cases, food poisoning passes quickly. However, when E. coli causes serious harm and results in substantial medical bills, our product liability attorneys are available to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Moll Law Group represents injured consumers in states around the nation, such as California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we were involved. Call us at 312-462-1700 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with an E. coli attorney.