Legal Options If You Get Sick From Fast Food 

 July 22, 2016

By  LMW Attorneys

You might dine somewhere regularly, but if you get sick after eating there, at the very least, you may never want to go back. However, some may want legal action taken against that restaurant. Food poisoning can be serious and can lead to missed time at work or even hospitalization. But what are your legal rights if fast food made you sick?

There are many factors that determine whether you have a legal case after obtaining a sickness from fast food. When you file a food poisoning lawsuit, you are essentially opening a defective product liability case. The restaurant sold you a faulty item that harmed you by making you sick. There are a few different theories of liability that come into play with food poisoning lawsuits.


If a restaurant does not utilize reasonable care when preparing, handling, and serving food, then negligence may be claimed if you get sick from food poisoning as a result of eating there. One Florida food poisoning case involved a consumer who found what looked like a rat’s body in a soft drink. The consumer became sick and vomited. That individual won the lawsuit against the bottling company. The court claimed that because there was evidence that the negligence caused a physical symptom in the plaintiff, he would be compensated for the damages.

Strict Products Liability

If you ate contaminated food, you may have a case if an can prove that the food was somehow defective and therefore dangerous. If a restaurant sold tainted food, the restaurant may be liable. The wholesaler and distributor of the food may also be sued in these cases.

Breach of Warranty

The restaurant that served food that made you ill can also be sued based on a breach of warranty theory. Food purchased from a restaurant has an implied warranty that guarantees a basic quality standard. If you can prove that the food was contaminated, you can show that the warranty was violated. Food poisoning lawsuits can be tricky, however. One food poisoning case involved a Florida man who came down with a bacterial infection after eating raw oysters. He filed a lawsuit claiming that the establishment that served the oysters should have warned the public about the dangers of possible bacteria in the raw oysters. However, because it is common knowledge that raw seafood may contain certain types of bacteria and the bacteria only affects people with underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to it, the restaurant won the case.

Establishing Fault

In food poisoning cases, the plaintiff must be able to reasonably prove that the food in question is what caused the illness. However, Florida law does not require exact proof. In other words, if you think a hamburger from a fast food joint made you ill, you don’t have to have the hamburger tested for bacteria.

As long as you can show with reasonable certainty that your illness was connected with ingesting the particular food, you have a case. However, it can help your claim if you hold onto the food in question and have it analyzed. Make sure that you save all of the medical records associated with the illness. Doctors will be able to go into detail about the complications caused by the illness, including mental anguish and suffering.

Contact Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins for Professional Legal Help

If you decide to file a personal injury case, you may be able to recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other expenses. The experts at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins can help you determine if you have a case and guide you through the process. If you have experienced food poisoning from a restaurant, contact us as soon as possible.