Lawsuits that derive from tainted food have many layers of legalities to clear before the plaintiff can find out if their claim is valid or not. Some states have made it easy to bring a claim against a food manufacturer, while other states put a tremendous burden of proof on the plaintiff. If you intend on bringing a claim against a food company for a tainted product, you are going to need an experienced attorney by your side.
Product Liability Laws
It can be a relief to plaintiffs to know that most states have extremely rigid product liability laws that allow you to claim that you were the victim of contaminated food without having to show that the food manufacturer was specifically negligent in your case. If you can tie your food distress directly to a manufacturer, then it is the responsibility of that manufacturer to prove that your food had been treated properly throughout the entire process.
Of course, there is a certain burden of proof the plaintiff has to prove that the contamination came from the food manufacturer and was not a hoax. For example, a mouse found in an order of chili that does not show any signs of being cooked in any way was added by the plaintiff and is not considered contaminated. The manufacturers are liable based on laws, but fraud could still be an issue for a plaintiff who is lying.
Implied Food Warranties
The food industry is different in that most states have implied warranties for food products that cover all food products produced and sold. Many food manufacturers add their own quality guarantees that can backfire if the contamination is proven to be a violation of those additional guarantees.
If the contamination in your case violates the very basic implied food warranties for your state, then you have a very strong case against the food manufacturer. If the contamination violates the implied warranties and also violates the additional guarantees added by the company, then you are able to bring a claim against the manufacturer under both violations.
How To Prove Your Claim
Despite the majority of your state’s laws being on your side in a food contamination case, you still have to prove your case to win your claim. It is important that you identify all potentially liable parties in your claim from the food manufacturer, to the food distributor or retail sales organization, or the restaurant that served the food. You have to prove that the food you ate was contaminated and that the contaminated food is what made you ill. You have to prove that your suffering and any other consequences were the result of the contaminated food.
Proving that you were injured by contaminated food is a difficult process. Once you can prove you were harmed by contaminated food, then the law is generally on your side. But you are going to need an experienced attorney to help you prove that you consumed contaminated food and that the food is what ultimately made you ill.