Recently, we discussed the string of food illness outbreaks that have affected a number of U.S. restaurants, including Chipotle. This week, the first lawsuit has been filed against Chipotle alleging severe injuries as a result of consuming contaminated food from the restaurant associated with one of the recent outbreaks.
The plaintiff filed the lawsuit on behalf of her son, who had to be hospitalized after exhibiting severe symptoms. The child’s treating physicians determined that he was fighting a Norovirus infection and that the infection came from a Chipotle burrito in Brighton, Massachusetts. The child ate the burrito on December 4 and started to exhibit symptoms a few days later on December 6, including extreme vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
On December 11, Massachusetts health department personnel provided a report documenting the rapidly growing number of Norovirus outbreaks in the region. The officials linked the outbreak to a specific Chipotle restaurant in Brighton, Massachusetts, documenting a total of 153 cases associated with the outbreak. A total of 146 of these victims attend nearby Boston College. Some reports indicate that 12 students caught a highly infectious disease from students who ate Chipotle’s food and later became ill as a result.
The rapid number of outbreaks associated with Chipotle food products is unprecedented, with the restaurant being linked to at least five foodborne illness incidents this year alone.
If you or someone you know has become ill after consuming contaminated food, you may be entitled to compensation. A foodborne illness outbreak lawsuit involves showing that the restaurant owed you a duty to employ reasonable safe food handling measures and to ensure that its food was safe to consume.
In most cases, states and local health departments set strict standards that restaurants and other providers of food must follow when handling food ingredients and cleaning up a kitchen space. Failing to follow any of these procedures will likely constitute a breach of the standard of care. These standards also provide requirements regarding how food must be cooked and stored, including heating meat to an appropriate internal temperature and discarding spoiled food.
After establishing that a restaurant breached the duty of care, the plaintiff must show that his or her illness was associated with this breach. In the case of a foodborne illness outbreak, public health department reports documenting the outbreak of a disease like Norovirus can help establish this element, along with medical treatment records verifying the plaintiff’s illness. Finally, the plaintiff must submit evidence supporting the damages that he or she has incurred as a result of the injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of a foodborne illness or another type of food contamination, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our skilled team of personal injury lawyers have provided compassionate and dedicated legal representation to victims throughout the United States, including in New York, Texas, and Illinois. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.