Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Sick After Eating Raw Oysters?

Posted Friday, July 28, 2017 by Chris Thayer

Foodborne illnesses affect one in six Americans every year, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Common causes of food poisoning include norovirus, salmonella, E. coli and vibriosis.

Seattle has seen a spike in vibriosis cases this summer, with 25 people becoming sick from the disease. Vibriosis is caused by the vibrio bacteria, which may be present in raw or undercooked shellfish like oysters, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most people sickened by vibriosis recover after a few days and suffer no lasting effects, more serious infections may require intensive care.

Recent Vibriosis Cases

Earlier this summer, a number of people (up to 12) became ill after eating raw oysters at Salted Sea, a restaurant located on Rainier Avenue South. Local government officials investigated the illnesses and reported them to the State Department of Health Shellfish Program, which is responsible for tracking the harvest locations of the oysters involved in these disease outbreaks. Symptoms can include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, vomiting, fever, and chills.

Several people also became sick after eating raw oysters at the White Swan Public House restaurant, located on Fairview Avenue North. Inspections at both restaurants concluded that the facilities did not contribute to the illnesses – for example, there were no indications of insufficient refrigeration or cross-contamination. But proper seafood handling and storage may not prevent vibriosis because the vibrio bacteria are naturally occurring. However, the Seattle-King County Public Health Department offered several prevention tips, including:

Another man was diagnosed with a Vibrio vulnificus infection after purchasing fish from a live fish tank at the Seattle Supermarket on Beacon Avenue South. While he and his wife both became sick after eating the prepared fish, he ended up in the hospital with a rare infection.

*Can I Bring a Food Poisoning Personal Injury Lawsuit?*If you become sick from eating contaminated food, you might have a cause of action against the restaurant, food preparer, and other potentially responsible parties.

A food or beverage contamination case is essentially a products liability claim. Washington food manufacturers are held to a standard of strict liability, which means that proof of negligence is not required for an injured party to recover damages. If the food or beverage product is unsafe and makes the consumer sick, then the manufacturer will be held strictly liable. Note that restaurants may be considered “manufacturers” under the state’s products liability law.

*Contact Us Today*Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you have become sick from eating contaminated food prepared by a restaurant, caterer, or other professional. Our experienced attorneys can help you receive the compensation that you deserve, including medical expenses.