There are many benefits to having a Costco membership, including the endless food options that are available to you at the food court. Costco food courts offer a wide variety of food and beverages, including pizza, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and gourmet coffee drinks.
Normally, people stop by the food court for a snack or quick meal in between shopping for the many products you can purchase at Costco. One thing you don’t expect is a choking accident, where a piece of food or some other object is stuck in your airways. This is a terrifying prospect, whether you are the person in distress or someone that’s trying to help the victim.
The public was recently reminded of how serious these accidents can be when a 4-year-old child died from choking on a hot dog at a Costco in Kenniwick, Washington. Sadly, these incidents happen more often than people think, and many of these are cases that could have been prevented by the store or restaurant.
Did you sustain injuries from choking on food at a Costco food court? Have you lost a loved one that choked on their food and passed away as a result of their injuries? Contact us right away to receive legal advice from a Costco food court choking attorney. You may be eligible for a store injury or wrongful death lawsuit, which we can discuss with you during a free case review.
Injuries from Choking on Food
With adults, most cases of choking are related to foreign objects in food, which can happen very easily at foods courts and restaurants. These places serve cheap and convenient menu items at a fast pace, and it’s not unusual for things to end up in a customer’s order that shouldn’t be there. Of course, people can also choke on the food itself, and this is very common with children under the age of 4.
So, what are the effects on your health if you end up choking on something at a Costco food court? If the food or object cannot be removed from the airways fast enough, the victim may end up with:
- Cuts and scratches in the esophagus and throat
- Shock / seizures from hypoxia (oxygen deprivation)
- Brain damage
- Coma, and possibly death
On the one hand, people are responsible for cutting up food and chewing it thoroughly to prevent the possibility of choking. But restaurants and other places that serve food must also take precautions to minimize injury to their customers. That’s why accident victims have a right to sue if a business failed to take reasonable measures in order to prevent a dangerous situation.
Can I Sue for a Choking Incident at a Costco Food Court?
Yes, you can sue Costco for a food court choking accident if you can prove that they were negligent in their duty of care to you. What does this mean? Basically, business owners (and property owners in general) need to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This duty of care includes additional responsibilities for businesses like Costco, where countless people are on store property for a number of reasons. This increases the likelihood of an accident, like food poisoning and choking at a food court.
Incidents of choking can happen for a variety of reasons, including foreign objects in food. Nails, glass, plastic, and animal parts are just some of the items that can be found in food orders when there is negligence by Costco employees. Sometimes, the preparation and handling of the food can cause someone to choke. Food that’s too hard or overcooked, for example, can lodge in someone’s throat – an accident that’s particularly common in children.
We also have to consider Costco’s reaction to someone that’s in distress because they are choking. Was there an immediate call to 911, which could have saved the victim’s life? Were there employees on site that were properly trained in CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, usage of a defibrillator, and other life-saving techniques?
These questions are just the beginning when it comes to the investigation of a choking incident at our law firm. That way, we can determine with certainty whether Costco is responsible for your injuries or the unexpected death of your loved one.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits against Costco
Wrongful death claims are filed by loved ones of a deceased injury victim. This type of legal action is meant to compensate spouses and family members for the losses they are left with after a negligent death. Such expenses generally include:
- Funeral expenses
- Cost of medical treatments / services up until the date of death
- Future earnings that are lost due to the victim’s death
- Loss of expected benefits (life insurance, healthcare, pension, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Attorney’s fees
The money from a lawsuit won’t make up for everything that was taken away from you. However, careless or reckless actions that cause someone to die must not go unpunished. In addition, loved ones should not struggle with financial and emotional hardship when they are entitled to compensation under the law. To receive guidance from a wrongful death lawsuit attorney, contact our law firm as soon as possible.
Value of a Costco Choking at Food Court Accident Case
This is a difficult question to answer, as there are various health complications you can suffer as a result of choking on food at a Costco food court. These include permanent conditions that will impact your health on a day to day basis. Death is, of course, the worst case scenario, and these cases are usually settled for around $500,000 to $3,000,000 and above. Payment for an injury claim varies significantly from case to case. There are lawsuits that will settle for $50,000 or less, while others exceed $1,000,000.
How Long Do These Cases Take from Start to Finish?
Ultimately, settling a case as soon as possible is in everyone’s best interest, especially the victim and their loved ones. But latching on to the first offer made by Costco’s insurance company can leave you with inadequate funds to cover all your losses. A choking on food injury attorney can help you determine an accurate case value and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. This process usually takes 6 months or longer when the defendant is a major retailer. If private negotiations are not successful and a lawsuit is required, a Costco food court accident case can take anywhere from 12 months to several years.
How Much Time do I have to File a Choking Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury lawsuits in California must be filed no later than two years from the day you were harmed due to an act of negligence. If you are suing for a loved one’s death from choking, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. The courts are very strict about these deadlines, and there is very little chance that you will be given extra time to seek compensation if you miss the 2-year window. Please don’t wait to contact us and take action on a lawsuit against Costco.
Speak to a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorney
Choking on food or a foreign object isn’t something that should happen when you stop by the Costco food court for a quick bite to eat. Sadly, the recent incident at a Washington Costco is proof that people are vulnerable to the effects of choking, even from something as basic as a hot dog.
Justice for injury victims and their family members is our main priority here at DTLA Law Group. To that end, you can count on us to go after every penny you deserve as a victim of Costco’s negligence. All you have to do is contact us and schedule a free consultation at a time that works for you. Our choking injury accident lawyers offer second opinions as well, so don’t hesitate to call if you need guidance on an existing claim.
You will never receive a bill from us for the cost of legal fees, which are paid by Costco as a part of your compensation award. As we offer a Zero Fee Guarantee to all of our clients, there is nothing for you to pay in the event we don’t win your case.
For a detailed discussion on your rights and legal options, please take a moment to schedule a free case evaluation.