As lawyers we see the worse case scenarios. I’ve watched the wreckage for more years than I’d like to admit to. Not counting the clinic work in law school this is my 28th year of practicing personal injury, workers’ compensation, malpractice and other kinds of civil trial work having to do with all types of personal injury. Being a trial lawyer is a little like being an educator. You have to be able to teach people about what will be necessary to prove a case. Most cases take at least two years or more from the date of the accident before they will be settled or heard in court. What I’d like you to know about today is that thing called proof. Evidence is what proves a case. Evidence is what either proves or fails to prove food poisoning. Without the necessary proof you can be sick as a dog but the Courts will not find in your favor nor will you be able to recover for the damages or injuries you’ve suffered. Without proof of what you ate and who manufactured it, processed it or prepared it you’ve got no case.
Lately there is much angst concerning food poisoning from peanut butter. So what should you do in the case of suspecting food poisoning?
The symptoms of food poisoning have been covered in other posts. If you’re in need of knowing the symptoms look at the InjuryBoard National News Desk, Food Poisoning, why me? By Megan Roth, E. Coli from Michigan, Food Poisoning: Get over it (Literally) again by Megan Roth and Jalapeño Peppers Suspected in Salmonella Poisoning Outbreak by Chrissie Cole and the IB National News Desk. There are others just conduct a search on the InjuryBoard main page.
If you have the symptoms of food poisoning you first need to obtain proper medical care. The doctor will need to diagnose food poisoning by a blood and stool test. Those tests are very important later to proving a case. Without blood and stool test that show the presence of Salmonella it is only your testimony describing symptoms; and that won’t be enough to carry the case of liability.
Also, you will need to retain possession of the product and product container. Let’s say its peanut butter crackers that you ate. When you suspect food poisoning retrieve the peanut butter cracker packaging from the garbage can and place it in a plastic bag. If you haven’t completely eaten the entire contents, there are a few crackers remaining, save them in a plastic bag. If the food you ate came in a can; save the can and the label. Whatever the packing is save it. The lot numbers and other identifying numbers on the can or package are very important to proving what company manufactured, processed or packaged the food product.
Now let’s go back to the doctor’s office. Let’s say the doctor isn’t inclined to order a blood or stool sample test. Then ask him to order one. And ask for a copy of the results, even if you have to make a special trip to the doctor’s office to pick up the results.
Salmonellosis is diagnosed based on a medical history and physical exam. Your health professional will ask you questions about your symptoms, foods you have recently eaten, and your work and home environments. A stool culture and blood tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis.”
Many injured people having been exposed to media criticism of people that file lawsuits have a sense of embarrassment about possibly having to deal with proving a claim. Don’t be stupid and not do what they hope. The criticism is meant to stop as many people as possible from doing what is necessary to prove a claim. If you can’t prove your claim it’s no ones fault but your own. Proving salmonella is the poison is what the law requires you to do. So get over it and save the proof, even if you’re not entirely sure. And get proper medical attention along with the right tests, quickly. Remember, blood and stool sample tests for Salmonella.
Know your rights, act promptly and protect yourself and your family.
The look of Salmonella
What does E. Coli look like?