Restaurant Owner Liability

Grilling ChickenGoing out to a restaurant means you’re going to pay a little more than you normally would if you were dining at home, but that you’ll be treated with great service and possibly be introduced to a new dish. While you should rightfully expect the best, sometimes that’s not the case. Under certain circumstances, a restaurant owner may be liable to you for injuries you endure while dining out.

Improperly Cooked Food

Food can be cooked improperly if it is undercooked, scalding hot, or previously contaminated. Undercooked food can cause severe illnesses, especially to young children and the elderly. Food and beverages that are too hot can cause burns that lead to hospitalization. Contaminated foods can risk potentially deadly illnesses such as E. coli or Salmonella.

It is normal to expect chefs to know what they are doing and put your trust in them when you’re at a restaurant. Unfortunately, sometimes food is not handled properly. Restaurant inspections are not taken lightly and nevertheless, inspectors consistently find food violations at even the top-rated restaurants. Food violations have included:

  • Poor employee and/or kitchen sanitation
  • Food contamination
  • Improperly storing foods that are meant to be cooked at different temperatures together
  • Not cleaning built up grease, dust, and dirt on walls and countertops
  • Water not heating up to the required temperatures
  • Improperly storing silverware and drinking glasses
  • Not throwing out expired food
  • Storing food items at the wrong temperatures

Premise Liability

Restaurant owners are held responsible if they fail to maintain their restaurants’ premises. If you are injured because of a spill that should have been cleaned up or another hazard that shouldn’t have been there, you might be able to receive compensation. In tort liability, if you are lawfully at an owner’s place of business, you are considered to be benefiting the property owner and therefore will be considered an “invitee.” Invitee status means that property owners owe you a duty to reasonably inspect and maintain their premises to make sure that you are not harmed.

You could have a successful claim if an owner and/or his or her employees failed to clean up a spill on the floor causing you to slip, fall, and injure yourself. Owners and their employees need to keep an eye out for foreseeable accidents. It does not only stop there, as owners may be liable for poorly maintained parking lots, lighted areas, and furniture.

For Restaurant Owners

As a restaurant owner, you are responsible for your guests dining at your establishment. To avoid any potential lawsuits, you should not only check for potential violations, but also require your employees to inspect the premises while they are working. Furthermore, it will pay off to have someone at your restaurant dedicated to cleaning and inspections so that your kitchen, eating area, and restrooms are spotless. Not only will this reduce your chances of a lawsuit or violation, but you will also keep your guests happy, coming back, and you’ll receive great reviews in return.

Contact Us

If you were injured at a restaurant and you believe the restaurant owner was at fault, you may be able to receive compensation. The first step is to contact an attorney to discuss what happened as every case is different. Contact The O’Brien Law Firm today at (716) 907-7777 for a free initial consultation.

Should You Sue For Food Poisoning?

Woman suffering from food poisoning with doctor next to herFood poisoning is a common ailment caused by contaminated, old, or poorly-stored foods. Bacteria and viruses including E. Coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Norovirus can be found in produce, meat, fish, dairy, or prepared meals.

This year, the FDA has issued recalls for certain brands of romaine lettuce, eggs, cut melon, along with several snack foods (only to name a few) for potentially being laced with such bacteria and viruses. Without refreshing the FDA’s recall list every day, it can be easy to overlook a new food recall. 

Symptoms are usually simply an inconvenience but can also be severe leading to hospitalization and in rare cases, death. Symptoms can be more severe for younger children and the elderly due to their weak immune systems. While you should always see a doctor if you believe that you have been food poisoned, there are certain considerations to take into account before filing suit. 

Extent Of Damages 

Minor food poisoning can entail multiple trips to the restroom and discomfort. With food poisoning being so common, these minor symptoms may not merit the time and expenses of a costly lawsuit. If you only feel minor discomfort, you should probably wait for the symptoms to pass with time. 

On the other hand, severe food poisoning can require professional medical care, overnight stays at the hospital, pain, and loss of income from not being able to work. Serious symptoms can include excessive vomiting, blood, extreme cramps, fever, cold sweats, dehydration, weakness, and blurry vision.

If you experience the more serious symptoms, that’s when you should see a doctor immediately and furthermore consider suing for the damages that you endured. In the case your family member passes away due to food poisoning, you can also file a wrongful death suit on behalf of them. 

Proof 

Likely the biggest obstacle that you will have to overcome is proving where the food poisoning originated from. You may not start feeling any symptoms until several hours or a few days have passed. Within that time, you will likely have eaten something else as well as eaten food before the meal you believe poisoned you.

Therefore, the food-provider will argue that the other food could have caused you to be poisoned, rather than the food you ate from him or her. 

Even if you have the food in your possession with the possibility of it being tested at a laboratory, a defendant can contend that you were the one negligent in storing the food or contaminating it with other food.

Typically, it will be several days that have gone by since the food was sold to you, so within that time, there can be multiple opportunities for food to be contaminated at home. The best ways you can prove the food poisoning was caused by a food-provider is if there was a product recall from the FDA or multiple other people were food poisoned after consuming the same food as you. 

Contact Us 

If you have been severely food poisoned and can prove that someone else is to blame for it, you should contact our team of experienced attorneys at The O’Brien Law Firm. The more time that passes without taking action will lessen your chances of receiving compensation, so contact us at (716) 907-7777 today so we can evaluate your case immediately. 

Contacting A Personal Injury Attorney After Sexual Abuse

Scared woman with hands over her ears and mouthBeing a victim of sexual and domestic abuse can naturally be traumatizing and can result in physical injuries as well as emotional distress.

Although you may be scared, feel violated, or embarrassed following sexual abuse, you should still speak to medical and legal professionals to protect yourself and receive compensation.

Each professional will most likely be understanding and help you fight back for your rights. 

Criminal V. Civil

Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases are prosecuted by the state and may include jail or prison time, fines, and probation. On the other hand, civil cases are initiated from private individuals for actions such as assault and battery, breach of contract, or defamation (to name a few) so that a plaintiff can be compensated for expenses, reliance, and/or other damages. 

Specifically, sexual assault is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted. However, whether or not the defendant was found guilty or not, you can still file your own civil suit for your pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and future medical expenses.

There have been civil sexual abuse cases regarding medical professionals acting beyond the scope of the reason for the visit, domestic family-related abuse, and assault from random strangers. Whichever the situation, personal injury attorneys are capable to handle your sexual abuse case and will be there for you every step of the way. 

In a criminal case, the prosecution will have to prove a high burden that the defendant was guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt). This is because criminal cases entail incarceration among heightened fines.

However, civil cases have a lessened burden and victims will be more likely to prevail. An attorney will be able to discuss the different burdens to you and provide you with the support and counseling that you need to prevail. 

Moving Forward

As difficult as it seems, if you are a victim of sexual abuse, you need to stand up for yourself and receive the help necessary to achieve your goal. It is normal to be afraid or want to move past and forget the conflict so you can try to live your life free from abuse.

However, no one should feel ashamed for something that they did not bring about. As a victim, you are not at fault. On the contrary, the person who is guilty of causing you harm needs to be held responsible for your injuries. Pursuing your lawsuit will not only compensate you but may also prevent future harm to other victims. 

An attorney that you hire will be on your side and do everything in his or her power to make sure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the harm that was caused to you.

Additionally, you may want to file a restraining order or need monetary help to relocate away from the person who abused you. Attorneys can provide all that help and support and advise you on how to move forward. 

Contact Us

The O’Brien Law Firm understands that this is a difficult time for you and will be compassionate to help you overcome this situation. Our team will also be strong and fight for you because we believe you need to be compensated. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation.