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Why You Need a Vibrio Outbreak Attorney

Raw or undercooked shellfish are often to blame for food contaminated by Vibrio bacteria.

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If you or a loved one was diagnosed with vibriosis, a lawyer can investigate and help determine if your case is unique or if there is an outbreak.

If your illness is traced back to a specific person or business that caused your damages, your attorney may recommend a Vibrio lawsuit.

A food safety and injury lawyer can help you understand what’s next if you:

  • Were served contaminated food
  • Lost a loved one due to food poisoning or related complications

You have a right to safe food that will not make you ill. When someone’s negligent actions cause you to become sick, a Vibrio lawyer can help you pursue compensation while you focus on recovering.

Compensation for a Vibrio Claim

You should not have to bear the burden of someone else’s mistakes. We can help you pursue compensation to cover the following after a vibriosis diagnosis:

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

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

Who’s Liable for a Vibrio Outbreak?

Multiple parties may be liable for a Vibrio outbreak. Generally, the person or company who harvested handled, or served a contaminated food product can be held strictly liable.

Strict liability is a legal theory that holds those companies responsible for damages regardless of the fault of other parties. This encourages companies to follow health and safety guidelines and serve safe food to consumers.

Common liable parties in Vibrio cases include:

  • People who knowingly harvest shellfish in contaminated waters
  • Buyers and sellers of contaminated foods
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Cafeterias
  • Distributors
  • Food preparers
  • Catering companies
  • Other entities who serve or sell contaminated or undercooked food

What Is Vibrio?

Vibrio is a bacterium that naturally lives in coastal waters. It may be present throughout the year, but concentrations tend to be higher between May and October when water temperatures rise.

Common Vibrio bacteria that cause illness include:

  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus
  • Vibrio vulnificus
  • Vibrio alginolyticus

Other strains of Vibrio bacteria can also cause cholera; however, the method by which cholera is contracted, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are different than that for vibriosis.

How Is Vibrio Contracted?

Vibrio food poisoning typically stems from eating raw or undercooked shellfish. Raw oysters are a common food that leads to food poisoning cases.

Some species of Vibrio can also lead to a skin infection when an open wound is exposed to contaminated salt water or brackish water. Brackish water is a fresh and saltwater mix that occurs when the ocean meets a river or other body of water.

Vibrio Symptoms

Vibrio bacteria can lead to serious illness. Common symptoms related to vibriosis include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus bacteria can be particularly harmful. It can cause blistering skin lesions that may lead to limb amputations in the worst cases.

Symptoms usually begin within 24 hours and typically last up to three days.

How Is Vibrio Diagnosed?

Vibriosis is frequently diagnosed based on the details involved in a particular case. A diagnosis may be made without laboratory testing if a patient has watery diarrhea and has recently eaten undercooked or raw seafood, especially oysters.

Similarly, a diagnosis may be made if a patient has been exposed to seawater or brackish water and has a wound infection. Alternatively, a doctor can order laboratory tests to determine if the bacteria is present in the stool, blood, or wound.

How Is Vibrio Treated?

Most mild Vibrio cases do not require medication or significant medical care. However, people with Vibrio food poisoning should drink plenty of water to replace fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea.

If vibriosis is prolonged or severe, antibiotics may be used for treatment.

Recent Vibrio Outbreaks

There are approximately 80,000 cases of vibriosis in the United States every year, according to the CDC. About 52,000 of those are food poisoning cases caused by eating contaminated food.

  • 2019 – A multistate outbreak of vibrio was linked to oysters imported from Mexico.
  • 2018 – A multistate outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections linked to crab meat.
  • 2013 – Oysters harvested along the Atlantic Coast led to a Vibrio outbreak in several U.S. states.
  • 2012 – There was a Vibrio outbreak in Maryland due to contaminated shellfish.
  • 2006 – A multistate Vibrio outbreak was associated with raw shellfish consumption.

How to Report Vibrio

Your doctor or healthcare facility should report your case of Vibrio food poisoning to your local or state health department. However, the health department is not required to report an individual case to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can self-report your case of vibriosis to the CDC online.

It is best to report your foodborne illness to the CDC. The CDC will sometimes investigate an outbreak to determine how and why it happened. This can help prevent the situation from occurring again and provide you with a report for your Vibrio lawsuit.

Speak with a Vibrio Lawyer Today

You have a right to know what caused your Vibrio food poisoning. By working with an attorney, you can figure out who is to blame and hold them accountable. OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers have helped countless clients recover millions of dollars to cover their damages.

Call 888-828-7087 now or contact us online. We help people throughout the U.S. with foodborne illness cases. Initial consultations are 100% free.

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