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Food Poisoning & Food Safety Lawyers

When a person suffers from food poisoning after eating at a public restaurant, bar, fast-food chain, or other type of establishment, costs of medical treatment and lost wages from missing time at work can have a profound impact on a person's life. The physical health effects of experiencing food poisoning can be traumatic enough, but the financial consequences make the experience even worse for innocent victims. 

Washington state law permits victims of serious injury and/or illness to pursue legal recourse against any at-fault party who can be held legally responsible for any and all damages the victim has suffered. The award-winning personal injury attorneys at Davis Law Group have nearly 30 years of experience representing victims of negligence and have handled a wide range of cases involving serious injury or illness.

E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella & Foodborne Illnesses

food safety illness law seattle

According to the Centers for Disease Control, E. coli causes over 2,000 hospitalizations each year in the US.  E. coli bacteria can cause serious illness that can sometimes be fatal. Many E. coli victims often develop serious hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can result in kidney failure, central nervous system damage, and is often fatal.

E. coli outbreaks are frequently traced to food served in restaurants and food trucks and/or food sold in grocery stores.  Well-known E. coli outbreaks in Washington State have involved hamburgers, spinach, raw milk, water, and prepared foods.  

E. coli patients are the victims of poor and/or negligent food safety practices. E. Coli victims and their families are entitled to compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.  

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Food Safety Attorneys In Seattle

Davis Law Group has the skills, experience and expertise to handle personal injury claims of all types including foodborne illness cases.  If you, a family member, or loved one has contracted a foodborne illness contact us for a free legal consultation.  Call 206-727-4000.  
PHOTOS: Top: Attorney Chris Davis appearing on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  Bottom: Dr. Mehmet Oz and attorney Chris Davis.  

Washington State Food Safety Law

Chapter 246-215 WAC provides the safety standards for food served or sold to the public in Washington State. Washington adopted the 2009 FDA Food Code, with some modifications. The FDA Food Code was developed with extensive input from members of the foodservice industry, the scientific community, and food safety regulators throughout the country. It incorporates the latest knowledge of food science and technology. The Food Code serves as the basis for foodservice rules in most states and provides Washington with rules that are more consistent with the national food safety standards.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. This law aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. The FSMA has given the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authority to regulate the way foods are grown, harvested and processed. 

E. coli Outbreaks in King County Washington 

Each year in Washington State between 150 and 250 E. coli cases are reported, with most cases occurring in the fall and summer. In 2014 there were 74 confirmed and 14 probable cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in King County Washington. This is the highest number of cases reported in the past ten years.

In June of that year 12 confirmed and 13 epistemologically linked cases were related to an outbreak of E. coli O26 at a child care center. Public Health worked with the center to strengthen hygiene practices and control the spread of infection.

In 2014, in King County 13 of the e. coli patients (15%) required hospitalization. There were no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), damage to the kidneys that can result from STEC infections. On average, King County receives zero to one report of HUS per year.

That same year, the city of Mercer Island issued two boil water advisories in September and October, after Seattle Public Utilities detected the presence of E. coli during routine water sampling. Although Public Health conducted enhanced surveillance, no cases of E. coli from this exposure were identified.

What is E. coli?

E. coli is the name of a type of bacteria that lives in your intestines and in the intestines of animals. Although most types of E. coli are harmless, some types can make you sick. 

The worst type of E. coli, known as E. coli O157:H7, causes bloody diarrhea and can sometimes cause kidney failure and even death. E. coli O157:H7 makes a toxin called Shiga toxin and is known as a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).  There are many other types of STEC, and some can make you just as sick as E. coli O157:H7. 

One severe complication associated with E. coli infection is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The infection produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells, causing kidney injury. HUS can require intensive care, kidney dialysis, and transfusions.

What is Listeria?

Listeria is the name of a bacteria found in soil and water and some animals, including poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats.  Listeria is unlike many other germs because it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator. Listeria is killed by cooking and pasteurization.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella, the name of a group of bacteria, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. Usually, symptoms last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment.  But, Salmonella can cause more serious illness in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic diseases. Salmonella is killed by cooking and pasteurization.

Meet With An Experienced Attorney

The award-winning legal team at Davis Law Group is standing by to evaluate your food poisoning case and help you determine if hiring an attorney is in your best interests. We offer a free, no-obligation case review to gather the necessary information about your case and help you better understand your legal rights and options. 

If we believe we can help improve the chances of a successful outcome to your case, we will meet with you for a free legal consultation to discuss our expertise and your legal needs in more detail. Call our office in Seattle at (206) 727-4000 or use the confidential contact form on this page to have your case reviewed by our attorneys.


  • King County Public Health (Ed.). (n.d.). Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) including E. coli O157:H7. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  • "E. Coli Information." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 3 Sept. 2015. 
  • "E.coli (Escherichia Coli)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Jan. 2015. Web. 3 Sept. 2015. 
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "E. Coli." E. Coli. Web. 3 Sept. 2015. 
  • .U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "Listeria." Listeria. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Web. 3 Sept. 2015. 
  • "U.S. Food and Drug Administration." FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Web. 3 Sept. 2015.
  • "Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)." Full Text of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Web. 3 Sept. 2015.
  • "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 3 Sept. 2011