For the last five or six years my friend Bill Marler, food poisoning lawyer extraordinaire, and I have worked together on food poisoning cases. Bill knows this area like the back of his hand and is widely understood to be the lawyer with the greatest expertise in this field.
One thing I really respect about Bill is that he still practices law at what I call the "retail" level. I contrast that with what I call lawyers who function as "wholesalers;" that is, lawyers who race to file personal injury cases as class actions (medical monitoring is different) and treat cases as "inventory." Bill actually cares about the people he represents, and despite the fact that he files cases across America (unfortunately there is a real food safety problem in America) and spends a lot of time in Washington DC speaking out for food safety he still is hands-on with clients and gives them the attention that they deserve.
Earlier today our firms filed a case on behalf of two people in Memphis who contracted salmonella poisoning after eating food served by A & R Barbecue in Memphis. Both plaintiffs, a father and his son, suffered acute kidney failure as a result of their Salmonella infections, and needed extensive medical treatment, including dialysis. Apparently twenty people were poisoned at this event. Read more about the litigation here.
From Bill’s blog:
Salmonella is one of the most common entering (intestinal) infections in the United States. Salmonella’s (the disease caused by Salmonella) is the second most common food borne illness after Complicate infection. It is estimated that 1.4 million cases of salmonella’s occur each year in the U.S.; 95% of those cases are food borne-related. Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight of every 1000 cases result in death. About 500 to 1,000 or 31% of all food-related deaths are caused by Salmonella infections each year. Salmonella’s is more common in the warmer months of the year.
Salmonella infection occurs when the bacteria are ingested, typically from food derived from infected food-animals, but it can also occur by ingesting the feces of an infected animal or person. Food sources include raw or undercooked eggs/egg products, raw milk or raw milk products, contaminated water, meat and meat products, and poultry. Raw fruits and vegetables contaminated during slicing have been implicated in several food borne outbreaks.
The acute symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include the sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea with mucous. Fever is almost always present. Vomiting is less common than diarrhea. Headaches, Malagasy (muscle pain), and arthritics (joint pain) are often reported as well. The onset of symptoms usually occurs within 6 to 72 hours after the ingestion of the bacteria. The infectious dose is small, probably from 15 to 20 cells.
To learn everything you need to know about food poisoning cases consult Bill’s Marler Bog, one of the most highly-viewed legal blogs in the Nation. And, to get a feel for the extent of the problem with food safety, read Bill’s speech before the House of Lords dinner.