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Kentucky E. coli Poisoning Lawsuits: How to Determine If I Have a Case?


An E. coli infection can wreak havoc on your health.

If you are unlucky enough to encounter a strain of E. coli and get infected, you will likely suffer from severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, stomach pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. You may also experience low fever, but not everyone who suffers from an E. coli infection exhibits this symptom.

Severe cases can involve bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and even kidney failure. Recent data states that “Each year in the United States, E. coli infections cause approximately 265,000 illnesses and about 100 deaths.”

Some people are at higher risk than others. If you have a weakened immune system or are pregnant, you may be more likely to experience severe complications from exposure to E. coli. The same is true for both young children and older adults.

Because E. coli infections are often the result of exposure to contaminated food or drink, many people try to identify the culprit. Was it a restaurant? A food packaging plant? A grocery store?

How do you know if you are eligible to sue for damages related to an E. coli infection? We are here to answer your questions about suing after an experience with E. coli poisoning.

How Does E. Coli Poisoning Occur?

Understanding how E. coli spreads is an important part of the answer to the question, “Can I sue?”

E. coli is found in the digestive tract. Usually, it is harmless, but some strains can cause illness. It can be spread through contaminated food, drinks, dishes, and silverware, as well as from person to person.

The most common ways that people encounter E. coli bacteria include:

  • Consuming raw (or undercooked) meat
  • Consuming contaminated food, including fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking unpasteurized milk
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Swimming in contaminated water
  • Interacting with an infected animal
  • Having direct contact with someone who doesn’t wash their hands or practice good hygiene
  • Caring for or spending time with someone who is currently suffering from an E. coli infection

Restaurants are an unfortunate culprit in many E. coli poisoning cases. In 2015, 55 patrons who had eaten at Chipotle were sickened by E. coli. Back in 1993, E. coli from Jack in the Box restaurants didn’t just make people sick; four people died.

The CDC provides information about any reported E. coli outbreaks, which can help consumers know whether or not they have been sickened by E. coli or some other foodborne or viral illness.

Can a Consumer Sue After an E. Coli Infection?

The short answer is yes. You may be able to file a lawsuit if you (or your child) were sickened by an E. coli outbreak.

Was there negligence where your food was prepared? Did the company fail to properly train its workers on food handling safety? Or did they fail to enforce their policies on handling food safely? Were there warnings that the company’s management ignored regarding possible outbreaks?

These are the kinds of circumstances that may qualify you for damages. An attorney familiar with E. coli related lawsuits can explore every angle of your case to identify who should be held accountable for failing to keep you or your loved ones safe from exposure to this dangerous bacterial.

Why Should You Sue?

We recommend pursuing litigation for the following reasons:

  • A lawsuit can force companies and health departments to share information that they otherwise aren’t willing to share. Your attorney can use the legal power associated with litigation to gather information and force relevant parties to share details.

  • If you were sickened in a major outbreak, there may be many other people who are eligible for payouts from the company’s insurance. Some companies have had to provide so many payouts that they have gone bankrupt! Filing a lawsuit early in the process increases your chances of getting a payout before bankruptcy is filed.

  • Speeding up the settlement process is also important if you are dealing with ongoing medical bills related to your infection. If you take the risk of waiting to be included in a class settlement, a settlement may never happen, or it may come years too late.

What Should You Do Next?

If you or your child has been diagnosed with an E. coli infection in Kentucky, reach out to McCoy and Sparks today. Our experienced team of attorneys understands the ins and outs of lawsuits related to bacteria contamination, including E. coli.

If you have suffered from your illness, lost wages due to time off work, or need to pay medical bills associated with your illness, we are here to help.

Contact McCoy & Sparks today to ask questions, get information, and find out how we can help you get the reimbursement you deserve for your illness.