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How a Botulism Attorney Can Help

Our botulism lawyers review every case carefully to help you get the maximum compensation possible.

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Your botulism may stem from a tainted food item from a restaurant, grocery store, or another establishment. You should immediately get medical treatment, and when you’re able, call a botulism lawyer who can pursue compensation for the damages you suffered due to the negligence of another person or company.

Contact OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Call 888-828-7087 Today.

Do I Need an Attorney If I Get Botulism Food Poisoning?

Laws associated with liability and negligence for food poisoning can be complex. Every state has a different statute that applies to botulism lawsuits. Additionally, each state must meet deadlines, or you may forfeit your right to recover compensation, regardless of how strong your claim is.

By working with a food safety and injury lawyer, you can ensure that you comply with the requirements, preserve your right to compensation and work to prevent future illnesses like yours.

A botulism attorney can help if:

  • A negligent party served you adulterated or contaminated food
  • You lost a loved one because of botulism or related complications

When you purchase food or eat outside of the home, it is with the expectation that you will not get ill.

Stop Negligent Parties from Causing Illness

When you initiate a lawsuit against the parties who caused your foodborne illness, you are also helping to protect other people. The restaurant, grocery store, or other parties may be compelled to change how it handles food.

Upon investigation by the health department or CDC, the entity may receive fines or even be shut down for a while until they comply with health and food safety standards.

The botulism attorneys at OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers frequently help victims of food poisoning get the money they need to move forward with their lives.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks


A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant


A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia


A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash

Compensation for Botulism

You likely have significant economic and non-economic losses related to suffering from botulism. Economic losses are the financial costs directly associated with money you had to spend. Non-economic losses are not out-of-pocket expenses but can still be assigned a monetary value.

You shouldn’t have to pay for the negligence of another party. An OFT food safety and injury lawyer can help you seek financial compensation for:

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Lost income and employment benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent physical limitations

If your loved one dies due to this foodborne illness, we can also help you file a wrongful death claim to help you pay for funeral expenses, burial costs, lost inheritance, and more.

Liability in Botulism Outbreak Cases

Determining who is liable in a botulism case depends on the circumstances that caused the illness. Botulism has multiple potential causes, so it can be challenging to discover all liable parties. More than one person or company may be jointly responsible for your injuries.

In the case of contaminated food sold to you, everyone within the distribution chain may be strictly liable. Strict liability means they may be held accountable for your losses regardless of any partial negligence. This includes manufacturers, producers, and sellers. Large companies often have large insurance policies covering their liability; therefore, you have a good chance of recovering all your damages.

Tracing Botulism to Determine Negligence

To hold someone liable for a botulism outbreak, you need to prove that the specific infection can be traced back to a particular food item, restaurant, grocery store, or other establishments.

State and local health departments often perform these “tracebacks.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may get involved if two or more people suffer the same illness after consuming the same food or beverage. This may be considered a “foodborne illness outbreak.”

How to Report a Botulism Infection

If you are diagnosed with botulism, your doctor or medical treatment facility should report it to the health department. State health departments can voluntarily report botulism cases to the CDC. However, you may also directly report a foodborne disease to the CDC.

The CDC may investigate a botulism outbreak and provide in-depth information about how you became infected. This report can be used to support your arguments in a botulism lawsuit.

What Is Botulism?

Botulism is an illness caused by a toxin made by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium botyricum, and Clostridium barati. This toxin attacks the body’s nervous system and can cause serious illness, injury, and even death.

Botulism toxin spores are highly lethal and can grow in harsh conditions, including low or no oxygen environments. They often thrive in low acid, low sugar, and low salt conditions. Botulism does need a specific temperature range and water in which to grow.

How Is Botulism Contracted?

Botulism-causing bacteria can cause toxins in food, infected wounds, and the intestines of infants. It can also be found in the soil naturally; however, this is a rare cause of illness. The most common method through which people contract botulism is contaminated food, such as botulism-infected potatoes and home-canned foods.

Types of Botulism

There are five kinds of botulism most frequently encountered:

  • Infant botulism – Occurs when botulism spores grow in an infant’s intestines and result in the toxin causing illness.
  • Wound botulism – Toxins can form in wounds after traumatic injury, surgery, or even illicit drug injection.
  • Foodborne botulism – Occurs when a person eats foods contaminated with botulism toxin. Homemade canned, preserved, and fermented foods are high risk.
  • Iatrogenic botulism – Botulism may be injected for cosmetic purposes, such as reducing wrinkles and migraine headache management. Too much botulism toxin may result in an adverse reaction or injury.
  • Adult intestinal toxemia – Botulism intestinal colonization in adults is rare but can be more common in people with pre-existing health conditions.

Botulism Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of botulism depend on the type of infection. Since the toxin directly affects the nervous system, common symptoms include:

  • Drooping eyelids
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty moving the eyes

If you contract foodborne botulism, you may also experience stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. After eating contaminated food, foodborne botulism symptoms may begin within 18 to 36 hours.

Infants and adults with intestinal botulism may have constipation and loss of appetite.

Modern medical care has dramatically reduced the number of people who die from botulism. In the past, botulism only had a 50% survival rate. Today, approximately five out of every 100 people with botulism die.

How Is Botulism Diagnosed?

When a person seeks medical treatment for a foodborne illness, doctors generally ask about your recent activities and health history. They will also run specific tests that can help with a diagnosis, including:

  • Spinal fluid examination
  • Tensilon test for myasthenia gravis
  • Brain scan
  • Nerve and muscle function tests

Sometimes the symptoms of botulism are mistaken for other diseases, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, stroke, meningitis, or myasthenia gravis. Depending on your symptoms, a doctor may also suspect that you have overdosed on opioids.

If tests do not confirm a diagnosis, they may order lab work to look for bacteria or toxins that can cause botulism illness. These lab tests are the only way to know that you have botulism positively.

How Is Botulism Treated?

It’s essential to get medical treatment for a botulism infection immediately. If left untreated, botulism can progress to severe symptoms. It may even cause full paralysis of some muscles used in breathing and movement.

Botulism is treated with a drug called an antitoxin. It prevents the toxin produced by the botulism bacteria from causing additional harm. However, it does not heal any damage already done by the toxin. You may have to remain in the hospital for weeks or months to treat the damage botulism does to your body and nervous system.

The paralysis of muscles caused by botulism typically improves over time; however, it can take months. You may require constant or ongoing nursing care after your infection.

Some people who suffer botulism require surgery, and you may also need to take strong antibiotics.

Recent Botulism Outbreaks

A botulism outbreak is defined as two or more people becoming ill from the same source. These outbreaks are often the topic of news articles that warn others of similar risks.

Recent botulism outbreaks in the U.S., as reported by the CDC, can be seen here,

Speak to Our Botulism Lawyers Today

You have rights if someone’s negligence led to your botulism infection. Our botulism attorneys have extensive experience in food injury claims like yours and recovered millions in damages for our clients.

Let OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers fight back against parties who caused you injuries.

Call 888-828-7087 or contact us online for a free consultation. We won’t charge you anything until you get compensation.

Awards & Accolades



Rising Star

University of Minnesota Law School

University of Minnesota Law School

Sidney J. Kaplan Award

Minnesota Lawyer

Minnesota Lawyer

Up and Coming Attorney

Minnesota Lawyer

Minnesota Lawyer

Attorney of the Year

University of Minnesota Law School

University of Minnesota Law School

Order of the Coif

Minnesota Law & Politics

Minnesota Law & Politics

Rising Star

Dorsey & Whitney

Dorsey & Whitney

Scales of Justice Award