Food Poisoning Lawyers

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While food poisoning is unfortunately all too common, it doesn’t mean that nothing can be done to push for greater food safety measures. If a restaurant, food and beverage manufacturer, or other relevant food supplier fails to take reasonable safety measures to prevent food contamination, they may be held accountable for any harm you may have suffered as a result.

If you or a loved one were recently diagnosed with food poisoning caused by food that was prepared and/or sold in a restaurant or grocery store, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Whitfield Coleman Montoya for a free legal consultation to learn what your rights may be.

Common Sources of Food Contamination

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans suffer from food poisoning every year. While some of these cases resolve within a day or two, others can be severe and even fatal.

Food may be contaminated at the source or through unsafe food preparation. When food is contaminated at the source, it may be caused by the water or soil used to grow the crops or unsafe practices in a food manufacturing facility.

Restaurants, delis, and similar food service establishments may also contaminate food by failing to properly clean kitchen utensils and equipment or by preparing food with unwashed hands.

Below are some of the most common types of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.


Most likely to be found in raw meat, raw shellfish, uncooked eggs, and fruits and vegetables. E.coli may cause severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with norovirus in the fields where they are grown. However, most cases of norovirus are caused by unhygienic food preparation. Norovirus is often incorrectly referred to as the stomach flu. Common symptoms include stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Listeria is most commonly found in deli meats, hot dogs, smoked fish, raw fruits and vegetables (particularly sprouts), and soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk. Symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Listeria can be particularly harmful to unborn babies, and result in miscarriages or early labor.


Salmonella may be found in meat, poultry, dairy products, products with raw eggs, raw fruits and vegetables, as well as some pre-packaged nut butters and dog food. In addition to raw foods that are contaminated at the source, salmonella can also spread easily from animals to food if the handler does not wash their hands. Whenever preparing raw poultry and meat or handling raw eggs, it is important to wash kitchen tools and cutting boards immediately to avoid cross-contamination.


Botulism is caused by toxins found in canned vegetables and fish, home-canned foods, as well as raw honey. Symptoms may include muscle weakness, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If left untreated, botulism may cause paralysis and long-term breathing complications.

Who May Be Held Responsible for Your Food Poisoning?

If you ever become sick due to tainted food, the potentially liable party will depend on what you ate and where.

Examples of parties who may be held responsible for your food poisoning include:

  • Restaurant owners
  • Restaurant suppliers
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Food service providers
  • Grocery stores

Recent Food Contamination Recalls and Lawsuits

Foods are frequently recalled over contamination concerns.

Romaine lettuce made headlines in recent years for e.coli contamination. An e.coli outbreak in 2018 stemming from lettuce grown in Yuma County, Arizona caused 210 people to fall ill and five people to die. The outbreak prompted the FDA in 2021 to launch a study of samples from Yuma County in order to prevent a similar outbreak. Multiple lawsuits that were filed against different parties in the romaine lettuce supply chain have since reached confidential settlements.

Chipotle has also been the subject of multiple lawsuits over food safety violations. In 2016, they privately settled lawsuits filed by more than 100 customers who became sick after eating food contaminated with e.coli at their restaurants in 2015. In 2020, the restaurant chain also agreed to pay $25 million to settle criminal charges for serving tainted food between 2015 and 2018.

Why File a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?

Lawsuits serve multiple purposes. In addition to helping you recover compensation for the losses you may have suffered as a result of your food poisoning, litigation can also help shine greater light on food safety violations. Lawsuits can help pressure companies to make changes in their food preparation processes to prevent future outbreaks.

A food contamination lawsuit can help recover compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages for any time that you had to miss work
  • Pain and suffering

Whitfield Coleman Montoya offers each of our clients a no-fee promise: If you hire us and we don’t recover compensation for you, you won’t owe us anything.

How Can a Food Poisoning Lawyer Help You?

Food poisoning cases can be incredibly complex, requiring a thorough investigation in order to identify where in the food supply chain contamination occurred. That is why you need a law firm, like Whitfield Coleman Montoya, that has the resources to unravel the circumstances of your illness and help you hold the responsible parties accountable.

Specifically, our personal injury law firm can help with the following:

  • Investigating the source of your food contamination: Our food poisoning lawyers will gather evidence that shows how and when you were exposed to contaminated food.
  • Filing a lawsuit against the potentially liable parties: This includes preparing and filing all relevant paperwork on your behalf.
  • Helping you secure fair compensation: We’ll help you reject unreasonably low settlement offers and negotiate for a settlement that covers the full extent of your suffering. If an insurance company refuses to settle, we can represent you in trial.

Why Hire Whitfield Coleman Montoya?

Anyone who is involved in the food supply chain has a responsibility to consumers to provide safe food that is free from harmful bacteria.That is why food poisoning cases should never be taken lightly. At Whitfield Coleman Montoya, our lawyers know this. We care because your health matters, and no food and beverage business should put you at unreasonable risk of developing a dangerous illness.

If you became sick after eating food supplied or prepared by a restaurant or grocery store, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our food contamination lawyers for a free legal consultation to learn more. Our team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.

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