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El Rey Del Taco and Foodborne Illness Liability

There are numerous restaurants in the Brownsville area to choose from. When you visit these establishments, you expect your food to be what you ordered, taste good, and most importantly safe to eat. However, due to poor maintenance, lack of handwashing, and other influences, this is not always the case. Food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses are on the rise in restaurants across the state.

While these conditions are entirely preventable, Brownsville eateries sometimes find themselves under scrutiny after patrons report illnesses after dining there. For instance, El Rey Del Taco, a local taqueria was recently closed by health officials due to dozens of customers falling ill.

If you or a loved one has fallen ill after a visit to El Rey Del Taco or another restaurant where you suspect food poising, contact the Brownsville personal injury lawyers from The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers right away. To schedule a free case consultation with The Law Giant, contact us today at (956) 982-1800.

Almost 30 Cases of Illness & the El Rey Del Taco Closure

After nearly 30 people experienced symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea following meals at El Rey Del Taco on January 30th, Cameron County Public Health, the Brownsville Public Health Department, and the City of Brownsville began an investigation to identify a clear reason as to why so many people had fallen ill. A notice on the door of the restaurant reads, “effective immediately, this establishment is to remain closed until further notice. No entry is permitted to anyone, unless accompanied by health authority.”

Concern arose when local hospitals contacted the authorities to report that multiple people arrived at their facilities experiencing similar food poisoning symptoms. After receiving these calls, police went to El Rey Del Taco to begin questioning management, who decided to close the establishment as the investigation began.

Cameron County Public Health administrator Esmeralda Guajardo recognizes that a specific cause for this outbreak of foodborne illness must be identified, stating, “it’s important for people to understand that it just takes time and we don’t want to create a panic.” Guajardo says she will publish a press release once the source of El Rey’s customers’ illnesses has been clarified. In the meantime, she stated, “people need to seek medical help if they are feeling sick.”

Do You Have Food Poisoning?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take hours – and even days – for food poisoning symptoms to manifest themselves. Regardless of how long they take to arise, you should visit a physician if you’re experiencing any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach cramps, and/or fever. While many cases of food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses may last a few hours to a few days, serious cases can last much longer, and present a victim with numerous long-term health issues. Per a CDC report, infections stemming from severe cases of food poisoning can leave an individual with brain and nerve damage, arthritis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome – which causes kidney failure.

Many people who ate at El Rey Del Taco on January 30th reported symptoms similar to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, so it’s highly probable that their illness is linked to food consumed at the restaurant.

Liability in Food Poisoning Cases

Restaurants act recklessly when they provide you with a tainted, undercooked, or an otherwise unsafe meal. As such, they can be held liable for providing you with hazardous food under a number of theories.

Strict Product Liability

Under the Texas Products Liability Act, when a restaurant supplies you with a meal that causes you to fall ill, they are legally responsible for any harm you incur as the result of consuming their food. Under this theory, you do not need to prove that the establishment was reckless or negligent in serving you contaminated food. You simply need to show that the meal was somehow compromised, and that contamination caused you to fall ill.


If a restaurant acts negligently in the preparation, storing, or distribution of your meal – say they fail to properly heat an entrée and still serve it – and consuming said food made you sick, you may have a legal claim based on negligence.

Warranty Breaches

There are numerous rules and regulations surrounding the services and goods that restaurants provide. For example, the Brownsville Public Health Department Food Inspection Program completes reviews of restaurants to ensure that they comply with federal, state, and local food safety regulations. This is done in hopes that foodborne illnesses may be avoided. When a restaurant fails to comply with these regulations, they’ve committed a breach of the implied warranties that claim their food is safe to eat. As such, you might have a legal claim under this theory of liability.

Contact The Law Giant for Help

At The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, we understand that the thought of a legal case against a restaurant that served you contaminated or otherwise unsafe food might be daunting. Don’t let the fear of going up against the responsible party prevent you from fighting for the compensation you deserve. After last year’s foodborne illness outbreak caused by meals consumed at Chipotle restaurants, multiple lawsuits against the chain have been filed. Similar claims might apply to you if you ate at El Rey Del Taco at the end of January 2019.

To learn more about your legal options after contracting food poisoning from a restaurant, call our product liability attorneys today at (956) 982-1800. Free consultations can also be scheduled via the online form.

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