Under cooked eggs sent me to the emergency room...

by Sergio
(Ogden, Utah)

I purchased a meal along with other guests at a local restaurant. The meal took an unreasonable length of time to be prepared. My meal included eggs, which I always eat fully cooked. When my meal arrived, the eggs were not fully cooked. The center was raw.

I began to feel a small discomfort in my stomach that night. The next day it was worse. I went to work and by eleven o'clock I finally vomited profusely and felt a high amount of dizziness, which caused me to involuntarily leave work.

On my way home, I could not continue to drive so my wife had to meet me half way to drive me to the hospital emergency room. I must have been in the emergency room for about two hours. I was diagnosed with food poisoning.

Does the restaurant have any liability for this? Are they responsible for paying my hospital bill, and for my missed work? What about the severe discomfort I suffered? Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Under cooked eggs sent me to the emergency room...":

Sergio (Ogden, Utah):

If it can be proved the restaurant was negligent in the preparation of your meal, and that negligence was the direct and proximate cause of your food poisoning, then yes, the restaurant should be liable for your damages.

In your case, damages should include your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, hospital parking fees, bandages, etc.), your lost wages (if applicable), and for your pain and suffering.

However, inasmuch as there was a substantial time gap between eating at the restaurant and your being treated at the emergency room, the restaurant (and likely the restaurant's insurance company) will contend your food poisoning was not from the restaurant's food, but from a separate source occurring after the ingestion of food at their restaurant.

Because of the limited and transient nature of your illness, it will be difficult, if not impossible to find an attorney who will agree to represent you. Any experienced personal injury attorney will tell you that without medical proof showing the eggs in your stomach were the exclusive cause of your illness, your claim will not survive.

While you know better than anyone it was very likely the eggs which caused your illness, convincing the restaurant and its insurance company of the same will be extremely difficult.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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