Campylobacter Lawsuit

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Campylobacter is a bacteria that leads to campylobacteriosis, a food poisoning that can lead to diarrhea and flu-like symptoms that last for days in otherwise healthy people or potentially severe, long-lasting symptoms and other illnesses for infants and the immunocompromised. If you got sick from contaminated food or water, Keep Food Safe can connect you with an experienced attorney to help you file a Campylobacter lawsuit and pursue damages through court or a settlement.

Campylobacter is a bacteria that leads to one of the most common forms of foodborne illness in the United States, campylobacteriosis. While some people have mild symptoms, others experience long-term symptoms and the onset of more severe infections.

You expect food from manufacturers, restaurants, and others to be safe. When it isn’t, and you become ill, you have the right to pursue compensation. Keep Food Safe can connect you with an attorney experienced in Campylobacter lawsuits who understands what you are going through and the state laws that dictate how to argue your case.

Filing a Campylobacter Lawsuit

If you contract campylobacteriosis from food or water tainted with Campylobacter bacteria, you can file a lawsuit to pursue damages. You must have a medically confirmed Campylobacter infection that caused you actual damages such as loss of wages or medical bills.

Each state has personal injury laws dictating liability and negligence in Campylobacter lawsuits. An experienced attorney knows the laws of your state, has handled food poisoning cases in the past, and knows how to negotiate with insurance companies.

What Is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter is a bacteria that can lead to campylobacteriosis, a type of food poisoning. It is a widespread food illness, with about 1.5 million Americans reporting cases yearly. About 15 percent of food poisoning cases are related to international travel, and Campylobacter is the leading bacterial cause of diarrheal disease worldwide.

Campylobacter is commonly found in undercooked chicken and other foods tainted by raw chicken. It is also found in dairy products, such as unpasteurized milk and contaminated water.

Puppies, kittens, and farm animals also transfer Campylobacter to humans. In rare instances, Campylobacter infection occurs when one person ingests another person’s fecal matter.

Campylobacter Symptoms

The most common symptom of Campylobacter is diarrhea, which is often bloody. You may also experience fever, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Generally, symptoms start within a few days of eating tainted food and last about a week.

Some people experience more severe complications from campylobacteriosis, such as arthritis, temporary paralysis, and irritable bowel syndrome. People with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS or receiving chemotherapy, may experience a life-threatening infection that spreads into their bloodstream.

Most people do not need antibiotics to treat campylobacteriosis. They must drink extra fluids to make up for loss from diarrhea. People with more severe infections may require antibiotics and additional treatments if they develop other related conditions, such as arthritis.

How Is Campylobacter Spread?

Chickens that share a water source can cause the spread of Campylobacter from bird to bird. They may also come into contact with each other’s infected feces. The bacteria can spread from the intestines to the meat during slaughter. An infected cow may produce milk containing Campylobacter.

Campylobacter in humans is primarily spread through consuming contaminated food or water. Campylobacter can live on surfaces or spread from one food touching another. If food such as poultry is undercooked, Campylobacter bacteria may not be killed, and that food can make people sick. Water can be infected through poultry or cow feces containing the bacteria.

Children and young adults with weakened immune systems have the highest risk of contracting Campylobacter. A tiny amount of Campylobera organisms can cause infection, such as that found in one drop of juice from infected raw chicken.

Notable Campylobacter Outbreaks

A review of CDC Campylobacter outbreak investigations shows the variety of ways it spreads. Multiple outbreaks between 2016 and 2019 were linked to pet store puppies. A 2014 outbreak was associated with raw milk. Another 2012 outbreak was caused by undercooked chicken livers.

Even a muddy race led to a Campylobacter outbreak in 2012. Military service members raced on a cattle ranch in Nevada, frequently falling face-first into surface water containing the bacteria. In Montana in 2022, 20 cases of Campylobacter with 13 hospitalizations were linked to a contaminated drinking water source.

Who Is Liable in a Campylobacter Lawsuit?

Food and water can become contaminated with Campylobacter at several points in the food supply chain, resulting in potential liability for:

Some practices that lead to Campylobacter outbreaks include restaurants not correctly cleaning cutting boards after using them for raw poultry. If that poultry contains Campylobacter, it can then spread to vegetables chopped on the same board.

Not cooking ingredients to the proper temperature first can lead to Campylobacter in products manufacturers sell as ready-to-eat. Introducing raw milk into otherwise pasteurized products can also lead to contamination.

How Much is a Campylobacter Lawsuit Worth?

Your compensation in a Campylobacter lawsuit depends on your damages. Your attorney can ask for economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. They can also ask for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Settlements and verdicts are larger in cases involving lengthy hospitalizations, rehabilitation periods, or the onset of additional illnesses related to Campylobacter infections. Long work absences due to exposure can also lead to more compensation.

An experienced Campylobacter lawyer may introduce evidence to support additional punitive damages. Though rare, punitive damages are awarded to plaintiffs as punishment for defendants when their egregious behavior leads to personal injury.

How Can You Win a Campylobacter Lawsuit?

You will likely provide a stool sample to verify your Campylobacter infection. This also allows you to trace the origins of your illness. Campylobacter bacteria contain DNA, and officials can match the DNA in your sample to other known cases.

For example, a public health agency may determine that you and 25 other people all have the same strain of Campylobacter. They can use your additional information to determine that you all ate at the same restaurant. Tests at that restaurant can verify it as the source of the infections, exposing it to potential liability.

Your attorney must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused your illness. In other words, they must prove your claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Depending on the laws in your state, they may rely on several legal theories to show liability, including:

How Long Do You Have to File a Campylobacter Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations, or the time you have to file a Campylobacter lawsuit, varies by state. Most allow two years to file a claim, but some statutes of limitations are as short as one year, and others three years or longer.

In some cases, there may be exceptions to the statutes of limitations, such as in cases involving minors or in which a company used fraud to hide its liability. However, there is no guarantee that a judge will grant you an extension, so hire an attorney immediately.

Once your attorney files your lawsuit, you can access public health and corporate records that may be unavailable without a formal legal request.

Should You Hire a Campylobacter Lawyer?

A chance at securing fair compensation is only one reason to file a Campylobacter lawsuit. Your claim could also start an investigation that might not otherwise occur. Public health agencies depend on consumer reports. Yours could help track illnesses and monitor spread, as well as lead to potentially life-saving food recalls.

Your lawsuit also reminds defendants that consumers have a right to safe food and expect them to take proper precautions. Companies that fail to meet their obligations must be held responsible so they stop putting their profits over consumer safety. The sooner you file your lawsuit, the more quickly your attorney can investigate corporate records, correspondence, and public health records. This evidence is critical to your case, but you probably won’t have easy access without formally filing suit.

You may also miss out on compensation if you don’t act quickly. The responsible party may go bankrupt if there are lawsuits before yours. Funds that companies set aside to compensate victims of food poisoning outbreaks may become part of class actions. If you do not join that action, you may be unable to collect.

Partner with a Campylobacter lawyer who specializes in food poisoning cases. An experienced attorney will understand how to investigate these complex cases, as well as how to deal with insurers and corporations eager to shirk their responsibility to keep consumers safe. Contact Keep Food Safe for help filing a Campylobacter lawsuit. We can connect you with an experienced Campylobacter lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options.

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