Food Poisoning: Signs, Symptoms, & Your Rights | Queens Personal Injury Attorney


Just this month  (March, 2010) a coalition of health and consumer groups  put out a study that estimated the annual health related cost of  “food borne illnesses”  to be $152 BILLION !

While lately there have been a rash of well publicized outbreaks of contamination of everything from meat to  lettuce to peanuts, the effect of food poisoning is an everyday occurrence, making the general public susceptible every time each of us enters any type of public eatery for a snack or a meal.  Health practice standards, set by a variety of government agencies, apply not only to the various type of foods as they are processed, manufactured and distributed, but apply as well to the handling of food in local restaurants and “take out” stores.   The disregard of these established standards is a leading cause leading to food poisoning.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76 million people get sick each year with food borne illnesses and, unfortunately, 5000 die.

For the practicing Personal Injury Attorney, it is crucial in attempting to bring a viable lawsuit, that once food poisoning was confirmed by competent medical examination, the source of the food poisoning can be firmly established.   The experienced Personal Injury attorney has a number of available methods to achieve this end.   The medical exam should reveal the cause of the poisoning–the organism involved.  With that in  hand, the attorney will then work backward to pinpoint the source.

The source may be a well advertised item that has recently been recalled.  It may be from the take-out food someone recently ordered and which, with some luck, may be still available to the victim making it easy to submit for evaluation.  In the case of a restaurant, knowledge of the organism involved would give us an idea as to how long the “incubation period” is for food poisoning to take effect for that particular organism.  Trace that back to the time the victim ate in a particular restaurant, and your suspect is before you.

Food poisoning can be extremely serious, and painful.  Too often individuals confuse signs of food poisoning with flu or other symptoms.

Below, for your help, is a list of common food poisoning symptoms.  If you ever suspect you, or a relative or friend, was a victim of food poisoning, try to do all you can to identify the source as soon as possible.


—onset of symptoms often sudden and abrupt

—watery and/or bloody diarrhea



—bloating and gas


Why Personal Injury Cases Take So Long: Part I – Pre-Intake Phase | NYC Personal Injury Attorney


From a purely business point of view, this phase of a case may well be the most crucial to the attorney. In the field of personal injury law, cases are routinely taken on a “contingent fee” basis. This simply means that an attorney will not earn or receive any fee for his work unless there is a successful conclusion to the case, and the client receives some amount of monetary compensation. It stands to reason, therefore, that the decision as to whether or not to accept a matter into the office is of vital financial importance to the attorney. Too many cases accepted, that end in a failure to obtain compensation, will lead not only to unhappy clients, but will also lead, eventually, to an abbreviated life span for that law office.

Through diligent and meticulous questioning, the experienced attorney will delve into various aspects of the matter being presented by the potential client.

Questions relating to time, location, parties involved, conditions at the scene, preceding events, injuries sustained, relationships of parties and myriad other questions are all designed to see first, whether there is a viable case and second, whether the case has the possibility of ending in a way that both the client and the attorney can view as “successful.”

Issues involving Statues of Limitations (legal time limits for bringing a case), Damages (injuries suffered), Liability (fault of each party involved) and Coverage (available funds from insurance or other readily available sources)are all of pivotal importance to the experienced attorney at the Pre-Intake stage. At The Orlow Firm we have been handling personal injury cases in New York City for over 30 years.


Why Do Personal Injury Cases Take So Long? Introduction


One of the inevitable questions a new, or potentially new, client will ask is how long can he or she anticipate it will take until their case is finished.   The honest answer is seldom welcome: though cases have been known to finish in a matter of months, these are the very rare exceptions.  The client should realistically expect the case to last two to four years, with two and a half to three years being average!

It is fair for the client to wonder why a case should take so long.

The purpose of  the articles in this series is to make an attempt to explain why such a seemingly long time is needed to complete this task. At The Orlow Firm we want our clients to understand every aspect of their case. While the explanation may not alleviate the distress at the long haul involved, it will, hopefully, clarify the reasons and thereby give the client a basis for seeing at least some benefit to this lengthy time factor.

Our New York City Personal Injury Attorney series will begin with the “Pre-Intake” phase, followed by “The Intake”, “Beginning Litigation”, “Discovery” and then “Settlement or Trial”.


Stunning Conclusion by a US Federal District Court Judge | False Arrest | NYC Personal Injury Attorney


One of the most erudite, intellectually gifted and respected judges on the federal bench, long time Eastern District Court Judge Jack Weinstein, stunningly admonished the New York City Police Department for “widespread falsification by arresting officers.”

What was particularly astonishing is that, in deciding against a motion by the New York City attorneys to have a federal case thrown out, on the basis that no evidence was presented to the court that police lying is tolerated by the NYPD, the judge relied not on evidence in the case before him. Rather, the judge stated that his decision that police lying may well be construed as an official policy of the NYPD, rests on “Informal inquiry…” among the judges of the Eastern District and other “…anecdotal evidence of repeated, widespread falsification by arresting officers…” of the NYPD.

The judge noted that while the vast majority of police officers are honest,

and in spite of the fact that training for recruits has improved and disciplinary action, when taken, is tough, there is evidence that an attitude, which condones lying among police officers, is sufficiently widespread to suggest that it amounts to a “custom or policy” by the City of New York. This, in turn, amounts to approval of illegal conduct by the City and the Police Department.

In practical terms, this decision certainly boosts the position of parties in their attempts to substantiate the grounds that must be demonstrated to succeed in Federal Courts, in cases based on violation of the Federal Civil Rights statute, usually relied upon in false arrest cases. For the lawyers representing clients falsely arrested, this decision will reverberate in a manner that should bring greater relief to those unjustly charged. If you have ever been unjustly charged of a crime you should call one of our NYC Personal Injury Attorneys at The Orlow Firm.


Sports Injuries | Assumption of Risk | New York Personal Injury Attorney

Very few venues in our society can top the sports arena as sites of accidents resulting often in serious injuries.

The subject of the injury may be either a participant in the sport, or an observer of a sporting event :  The race car driver, the wide receiver, the baseball player sliding into third base, going for the lay up;  or being hit by a foul ball in the bleachers, injured by an out of control race car, slammed by a wild hockey puck into the stands.    More disturbing, the little leaguer injured in any of a wide variety of sports engaged in by youngsters, and supervised by well meaning volunteer adults.  Add to this the myriad sports engaged in by school teams at all levels of age and proficiency, and what emerges is a plethora of sources for voluminous potential litigation.  Just imagine, a lawsuit for every injury incurred in the sporting arena !

Enter the doctrine of “Assumption of Risk”!

What this doctrine essentially means is that a person may not recover for any injury which that person sustains, when that person voluntarily exposes him or herself to a known dangerous activity, event or possible consequence of such activity or event.   Being tackled, flying pucks, speeding baseballs, outfield collisions, race car crashes–all known and anticipated possibilities to anyone participating in, or watching the event..  Injured by one of these or literally scores of other “every day” sporting  mishaps,  and you want to sue–“fuggedaboudit”!!   “Assumption of Risk” – you knew, or darn well should have known, about the risks before you started.   The courts will not be sympathetic.
Of course, the doctrine of “Assumption of Risk” does not, by any means, eliminate each and every injury incurred during the course of a sporting event from being litigated.  Especially in the case of younger athletes and school age children, the courts will look to factors that may well overshadow the “Assumption of Risk” doctrine.
The child injured when sliding into third base?   Was the coaching “negligent”?  Was the child properly taught how to slide,  minimizing potential  injury to him/herself or the opposing team’s player?  Did all the equipment used meet the required safety standards?  Was the base movable and detachable?  And of course, these issues can, and are, raised by experienced attorneys, in every situation where a child in particular, but adults as well, are seriously injured in a sports accident.  While the doctrine of “Assumption of Risk” looms very large indeed, in the field of sports injuries, a close examination of legitimate additional reasons for the injury having occurred should be pursued in all such potential cases. If you feel that this includes you please contact one of our experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorneys to assess your situation.



Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

While exposure to the HIV virus, and subsequent contraction of the Aids virus, is no longer, thankfully, a death sentence, it is nevertheless a frightening and life altering event that, without proper and constant lifelong medication could, eventually , lead to a premature death. Consequently, being exposed to the HIV virus, because of the negligence of someone else, may well be grounds for a lawsuit for “emotional distress”.

“Emotional Distress,” unlike a matter involving a purely physical injury, consists entirely of a psychological component.

While a fracture of the ankle cannot be easily faked, the objective determination that “emotional distress” truly exists is far harder to establish. The courts are well aware of this potential for fraud, and rules have been established that, while making it far harder to create a false cause of action, also, unfortunately, do result in many legitimate actions being denied.

To maintain a cause of action arising from a fear of contracting the aids virus, the person bringing the lawsuit (the Plaintiff) must either show:

1. He or she actually contracted the aids virus or, if he or she did not contract the virus, then, 2. That he or she ACTUALLY was exposed to the HIV virus. To show that the exposure to the virus was “ACTUAL” the Plaintiff must show that the way the virus was allegedly transmitted was recognized as a scientifically acceptable means of transmission (such as a hypodermic needle), AND that the source of the possible infection (the blood or other liquid or residue) was, IN FACT, infected with the HIV virus !! If you are, for example, stuck by a needle by accident in some medical office, and the needle is lost (perhaps because maintenance throws the needle out before it can be retrieved), you may well have NO CASE for “emotional distress” for the entire time you wait to find out if you are HIV positive≠unless you eventually DO contract aids. Why? Because you cannot show that the needle was contaminated with the HIV virus.

WARNING: While the rules regarding an action for “emotional distress”, especially in “Aids Phobia” cases, are very stringent, there are some exceptions that have been carved out by the courts. Never assume, in serious matters, that the option of a lawsuit does not exist. Be certain to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the thicket of laws and court decisions in making the proper decision.

At The Orlow Firm we have over 30 years experience in personal injury law. We will fight for your justice.


New York City Personal Injury Attorneys | New Office in Manhattan

Orlow, Orlow and Orlow is proud to announce our new Manhattan location for our new law office. As New York City Personal Injury Attorneys, we have been serving New Yorkers who have been harmed through the fault and negligence of others for over thirty years.  Orlow, Orlow, and Orlow has now made our partners directly available to our clients, by appointment only, at our new address in the historic Chrysler Building.

The physical address for the New York Personal Injury Law Firm in Manhattan is

Orlow, Orlow, and Orlow P.C.

405 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY 10174

We will still maintain our Queens, NY Personal Injury Law Office as well as our Brooklyn Law Office. To speak with one of our skilled, experienced and understanding attorneys, please contact us at 718.544.4100 or fill out the law office contact form.