Can I sue for food poisoning?

Food poisoning is an uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes even dangerous experience; when it is severe, it can lead to serious dehydration, which may result in health complications or death. If you think that it was due to a store or restaurant’s negligence, and are deciding whether you want to sue for food poisoning, here are some important things to know and to consider:

The Biggest Challenge: Proving It

If you believe that your illness was the result of food poisoning from food provided by another party (e.g. grocery store, restaurant), you will need to be able to prove it if you want to sue.

This can be very difficult to do, as pinpointing the exact cause of any illness is challenging. This is even truer if a significant amount of time has passed between the time that you ate at the restaurant, the time that you got sick, and the time when you decided to file a case.

If you are filing a negligence-based lawsuit, you will have to prove that a preponderance of the evidence shows that the defendant (provider of the food) had a duty to you – to provide you harmful bacteria-free food – and that it violated that duty, resulting in food poisoning.

Examples of negligence that might lead to food poisoning include failure to store food at the proper temperature, serving food that the defendant knew to be contaminated, failure of employees to properly sanitize hands or food preparation areas, using a single utensil or knife on multiple foods, etc.

Is filing a lawsuit worth it?

Because proving food poisoning can be extremely difficult, many food poisoning victims wonder whether filing a claim is worth it. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances. Filing a lawsuit – or at least meeting with a personal injury attorney to discuss the potential of a lawsuit – may be worth it if any of the following apply.

  • You suffered serious losses/damages because of the food poisoning (e.g., high hospital bills).
  • There is proof of other cases of food poisoning or a food-borne illness outbreak. (You can find out about food safety recalls at
  • You are the surviving family member of an individual who died as a result of food poisoning.

Talk to an Attorney to Learn More

If you suffered from food poisoning and think that you may have a claim, you should speak with a lawyer about your options. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our personal injury attorneys are ready to meet with you for a free case consultation.

Contact us today at 215-791-8911.