Anaphylactic shock is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction to certain foods, drugs and other products. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) estimates that approximately 200 people die each year from food allergies alone.
At the law firm of Hilley & Frieder in Atlanta, we represent people who have lost loved ones due to allergic reactions. If your family member died after exposure to an allergen in a restaurant, from a mislabeled food product or another type of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Call us at 404-233-6200 for a free case evaluation. Our lawyers represent families throughout Georgia.
It is possible to hold one or more parties accountable for a fatal allergic reaction in Georgia in certain circumstances. A party may be found liable if it reasonably should have prevented the victim’s allergic reaction. The civil justice system can hold restaurants, food manufacturers, medical professionals and others accountable when they negligently expose people to allergens without warning.
Common causes of an anaphylactic reaction include exposure to foods such as peanuts or shellfish, products such as latex or certain dyes, insect stings, and drugs such as penicillin. There is no cure for allergies. The only way consumers can protect themselves is by avoiding contact with allergens. Unfortunately, people cannot protect themselves from restaurants, manufacturers of food products, medical professionals and others who fail to disclose allergens. Here are a few examples:
In these scenarios, it is possible to claim that one or more parties reasonably should have prevented the allergic reaction (the party had a duty of care) but negligently failed to do so (the party breached the duty of care). If there’s evidence that a prudent party would have done something to prevent your loved one’s fatal allergic reaction – such as properly labeling food or checking a patient chart – your family can file a wrongful death claim.
If your loved one’s anaphylactic shock or deadly allergic reaction was prompted by a tort such as medical malpractice, medical negligence, a defective product, mislabeling or improper marketing, or a negligent food supplier, you have grounds to file a related civil lawsuit in Georgia for wrongful death.
The state’s definition of wrongful death under Chapter 4 of the Georgia Code is the loss of life due to a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from defectively manufactured property (whether or not as a result of negligence). For your claim to succeed, you must follow the state’s wrongful death laws. This includes the statute of limitations, or deadline for filing, which is two years from the date of death.
Only certain parties can file wrongful death claims in Georgia. In this order, they are the deceased person’s spouse, child or children, parent or parents, and the administrator of the estate. If the administrator files a lawsuit, he or she does so for the benefit of all beneficiaries.
The burden of proof in a wrongful death case is a preponderance of the evidence. This burden rests with the plaintiff, meaning that you or your lawyer must submit clear and convincing evidence that demonstrates the defendant is at fault. The evidence available to support a fatal allergic reaction case depends on the circumstances.
If your claim is based on the legal theory of medical malpractice, for instance, evidence may include notes from nurses and doctors, medical expert testimony, and medical records. Other general types of evidence include signed eyewitness statements, expert testimony, photographs and videos, and accident reports. Working with an attorney can make it easier to preserve and collect evidence to support your claim.
A fatal allergic reaction is a devastating shock for a family. At Hilley & Frieder, P.C., we understand the pain, grief and frustration that you’re experiencing as a surviving loved one. It’s our mission to help you move forward with a lawsuit and with your life. In a case involving a fatal allergic reaction, we start by investigating the cause of the deadly anaphylaxis. We will search for evidence against one or more defendants. Then, we will file the required paperwork on your behalf to initiate a claim in Fulton County.
Going up against an insurance company is not easy. Even in the face of a client’s death, an insurance company protects its profits. To obtain a fair and full amount for the losses that your family suffered – including lost wages and benefits, funeral and burial costs, and loss of consortium – you need an attorney to negotiate a settlement for you.
Our skilled negotiators can resolve most wrongful death cases in Atlanta via settlements. However, if an insurance company is refusing to offer a fair amount, we are prepared to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial. We will do what it takes to achieve the best possible results for a fatal allergic reaction claim in Georgia.
To discuss your loved one’s fatal exposure to allergens with an attorney at our Atlanta law firm, call us at 404-233-6200 today or contact us by email.
Mia Frieder was the contributing attorney to this content.