Food poisoning is something that most people encounter at some point in their lives. Maybe it was a slice of pizza from a shady place you've never been before. Maybe it was that funny tasting chicken from your favorite restaurant. Regardless of where it originates, it can leave you relegated to the restroom for the rest of the night, or worse - the hospital.
Serious Illness from Improperly Prepared Food
Food that has been improperly cooked or stored can lead to very serious illnesses in people who consume it. Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria, Staphylococcus, Shigellosis, and Campylobacter enteritis are a few examples of potentially serious causes of food poisoning. Any of these could lead to hospital treatment.
Implied Warranty of Merchantability
Generally speaking, restaurants and grocery stores have a duty to serve and sell food to customers that is fit to be eaten. Negligence in the preparation or storage of food can be difficult to prove and will likely rely on circumstantial evidence. However, North Carolina recognizes the Implied Warranty of Merchantability in the sale of food by restaurants or grocery stores. This means that regardless of how the food was prepared or stored, the seller is impliedly warranting that the food is fit for consumption. By selling tainted food, the seller breaches that warranty and the consumer is entitled to damages.
Damages for Food Poisoning
If you've suffered from food poisoning from prepared food at a restaurant or grocery store, you may be entitled to:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses
- Pain and Suffering, or
- Emotional Distress
In extremely severe cases where someone dies from food poisoning, their family may be entitled to a substantial recovery.