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Parasite Found in Basil Spurring Lawsuits

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While the contaminated basil has been found all over the U.S., there are at least three cases here in Jacksonville linked to a specific restaurant that served fresh basil contaminated with the cyclospora parasite. Each of them got sick after eating at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant. Across the U.S., 132 have been sickened across 11 states.

Those who reported the illness here in Jacksonville ate at Cooper’s between June 11th and June 15th. The cyclospora parasitic infection has an incubation period of between 2 days and 2 weeks.

Each of the plaintiffs is asking for considerable compensation for damages. Parasitic infection can be difficult to diagnose and those impacted by the tainted basic missed several weeks of work.

FDA Issues Official Warning

According to the FDA, the outbreak is linked to imported from Mexico. The company that was responsible for the basil, Siga Logistics is based in Morelos, Mexico. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other distributors are being advised to avoid any basil that comes from Siga Logistics and if they aren’t sure where their basil came from, to not serve it at all.

Cyclospora Infections

Cyclospora is an incredibly small parasite that can only be seen under a microscope. It causes a cornucopia of debilitating symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and more. The worst part is, it’s fairly difficult to diagnose unless the doctor knows what they’re looking for.

Suing a Restaurant for Food Poisoning

Food poisoning cases can be tricky. Not only is a plaintiff forced to prove that they were served tainted food, but they have to show actual damages such as medical costs or missed time from work. Lastly, the most difficult part is showing that the restaurant was negligent in the serving of tainted food.

In this case, it may be more difficult than it sounds. When a restaurant places an order for food, they, like you, expect that food will be free from contamination. In other words, the restaurant is also a customer who was harmed in the purchasing of the basil.

To prove negligence, the plaintiff must also be able to prove that the restaurant did not exercise reasonable or ordinary care. In most cases, this means serving food that they failed to prepare properly or otherwise allowed to become contaminated. Here, there’s no evidence that they did that making it that much more difficult on the plaintiffs.

There is no “strict liability” in food poisoning claims. Plaintiffs must show that the restaurant either did something to contaminate the food or failed to do something that resulted in contamination. For instance, if the restaurant had a reasonable suspicion that their basil was contaminated and served it anyway, that would be negligence. But the plaintiffs, in this case, will need to know that the restaurant had some foreknowledge or should have known that the basil was contaminated, and it’s very difficult to make that case here.

Talk to a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Today

The Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Gillette Law file lawsuits on behalf of injured clients against negligent parties. If you’ve been injured, call us today for a free consultation.

 

Resource:

cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/07/multistate-outbreak-tied-basil-part-cyclospora-surge

https://www.gillettelaw.com/tiger-woods-restaurant-now-implicated-in-cover-up/

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