a Christmas themed dining table setting

Who is Liable for Holiday Food Poisoning?

The holiday season means lots of meals. Sharing food and drinks with our loved ones is an important holiday tradition, but it can also lead to personal injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States every year. This statistic means that about one out of every six Americans will suffer from this condition every year. Food poisoning is a serious condition: there are approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and three thousand deaths in the United States every year related to foodborne illnesses. If you have suffered these serious personal injuries, it is important that you understand your legal right to compensation. Learn more about who is responsible for food poisoning injuries, the compensation you are owed, and how a personal injury attorney can help protect your legal rights after you suffer from food poisoning injuries.

Potential Defendants in Personal Injury Cases Involving Food Poisoning

In any personal injury case, your attorney must identify the person who is responsible for causing your injuries (“liable”). Your attorney must do this because the person who caused your injuries also has a legal obligation to compensate you for them. It could be an individual or a company, and it could involve multiple defendants who have liability apportioned between them. Liability can involve complex legal issues, so it is vital to get an experienced injury lawyer’s opinion about your specific case. Here are some of the most common defendants in food poisoning cases: 


A restaurant that does not properly prepare food for its customers can be liable for injuries related to food poisoning. If you go out to dinner with friends, order food for pickup, or have food delivered from the restaurant, it is possible to become ill from food that has not been correctly prepared. A personal injury lawyer can often strengthen your case by finding evidence of health violations or bad ratings from the health inspector. 

Catering Service 

Many families choose to ease the stress of holiday meals by hiring caterers to cook and serve. But like restaurants, catering services can make their clients ill if they do not cook food properly. And like restaurants, catering services are also required to follow health and safety guidelines for the safe preparation and handling of food. 

Grocery Store or Manufacturer 

The majority of holiday meals in America are prepared from food bought at a grocery store. Like restaurants and catering services, grocery stores must follow safety guidelines for prepared foods that they sell. In other cases, food might have been improperly prepared by the manufacturer and already be unsafe by the time it is sealed, bagged, canned, or otherwise prepared for distribution to the consumer. Grocery stores and food manufacturers can be held liable for food poisoning injuries they cause.


Private homeowners can also be held liable for causing food poisoning injuries. You might not like to consider the idea of filing a claim against a friend or family member, but it is essential to understand your legal right to do so. You might incur significant bills at the hospital, and you have the right to be compensated for them. Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover food poisoning caused by the homeowner on the property. 

The Losses That Are Covered

Personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for all the injuries and losses that were caused by the defendant’s negligence. In the case of food poisoning, this can include: 

  • Lost wages for any time off work
  • Medical bills (including hospital bills, follow up care with your primary care provider, diagnostic testing, and any consultations with specialists)
  • Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering is difficult to value. It is highly subjective and largely depends on a patient’s own reports of pain and discomfort. It is also the largest component of most personal injury awards. It is so important for food poisoning victims to work with an experienced injury lawyer who knows how to prove the value of your particular pain and suffering. 

Experienced California Injury Lawyers For Food Poisoning Cases

You don’t have to search the internet trying to find a “food poisoning lawyer near me.” The experienced accident attorneys at Maire and Deedon are here to help with any holiday accident case – including food poisoning. Call (530) 246-6050 or contact us online today to schedule your consultation. Let an experienced lawyer handle the insurance claim and legal paperwork so you can focus on enjoying the rest of the holiday season with your loved ones.