BOTULISM


Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer Reviewing Cases for injured plaintiffs in Ohio and Nationwide
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Botulism is a rare and serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death. This toxin is made by Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii bacteria. These bacteria can be spread by food and sometimes by other means.

The bacteria that make the botulinum toxin are found naturally in many places. These bacteria make spores, which act like protective coatings. The spores help the bacteria survive in different environments, even in extreme conditions. The spores usually do not cause people to become sick, but under certain conditions, these spores can grow and develop into a lethal toxin.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio personal injury attorney with experience in injuries due to food poisoning. The Lyon Firm has represented plaintiffs nationwide in foodborne illness claims.


Common Sources of Foodborne Botulism


The most common sources of botulism are homemade foods that have been improperly preserved, canned, or fermented. If they are improperly stored, store-bought foods can also be contaminated with the botulinum toxin.
Home-canned vegetables are the most common cause of botulism outbreaks in the U.S. each year.

From 1996 to 2014, there were over 200 outbreaks reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of the 145 outbreaks that were caused by home-prepared foods, around 30 percent were from home-canned vegetables. Outbreaks often occur because home canners do not follow canning instructions, fail to use pressure canners, or ignore signs of food spoilage.

Particular affected foods include home-canned foods with a low acid content, fermented fish, herb-infused oils, baked potatoes in aluminum foil, cheese sauce, bottled garlic, honey, corn syrup, and foods held warm for extended periods of time.


Common Symptoms Associated with Botulism


Symptoms of botulism usually start with weakness of the muscles that control the eyes, face, mouth, and throat. This weakness may spread to the neck, arms, torso, and legs. Botulism also can weaken the muscles involved in breathing, which can lead to difficulty breathing and even death. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Facial weakness
  • General muscle weakness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps
  • Paralysis
    Infants with botulism may show the following signs and symptoms:
  • Appearing lethargic
  • Feeding poorly
  • Are constipated
  • Have a weak cry
  • Have poor muscle tone

Almost all symptoms result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. When untreated, the disease progresses and symptoms worsen and can cause total paralysis of certain muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms and legs.

People with botulism may not show all symptoms at once. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. In rare cases, symptoms may begin as soon as 6 hours after ingesting toxins or up to 10 days later. The incubation period for infants may be 3 to 30 days.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

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Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

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