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Family Sues Restaurant After Woman Dies From Allergic Reaction to Food Ingredients


Avoiding allergens in food is more difficult than it looks; you probably do not know just how difficult it is unless you or a close family member is allergic to a common food ingredient.  You read the labels of all the food you buy at the supermarket, and you carefully study menu items, looking for something you can order, long before you set foot in the restaurant.  You don’t feel comfortable accepting a friend’s invitation for a home-cooked meal unless you have carefully inspected your friend’s kitchen.  Restaurants must post allergen information on their menus.  This is the easy part.  The danger comes from cross-contamination, since exposure to a minuscule amount of an allergen can cause an allergic reaction.  If you have a peanut allergy and the cook plated someone else’s peanut butter sandwich before preparing your turkey club, it could be enough peanut exposure to send you to the emergency room.  If you became severely ill because of accidental exposure to allergenic food ingredients at a restaurant, contact a Jacksonville premises liability lawyer.

Plaintiff Did Everything Right to Avoid Accidental Exposure to Food Allergens

Amy Tangsuan’s job was to help other people stay healthy; she was a physician at a university hospital center in New York state.  She also had to put great effort into keeping herself healthy, since she had severe allergies to nuts and dairy products.  In October 2023, she attended a medical conference in Orlando, and her husband and mother-in-law traveled with her.  The three ate dinner at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs.  They shared four menu items based on vegetables, grains, and seafood, only after receiving multiple assurances from the waiter that these dishes were nut-free and dairy-free.  After dinner, Amy went to shop at Planet Hollywood while her husband and his mother returned to the hotel with the leftover food.

At Planet Hollywood, Amy began to experience difficulty breathing.  She administered her Epi-pen, and a bystander called 911.  Later that night, she died of anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction.  She was 42 years old.

A lab tested the leftover food and found that it contained measurable amounts of dairy and nuts.  Amy’s husband Jeffrey Piccolo filed a premises liability lawsuit against the restaurant, claiming that it failed to prevent cross-contamination of food with allergens, despite advertising certain menu items as allergen-free.  In its response, the restaurant claimed that its menus bear a warning notice at the bottom saying that, despite the best efforts of employees, it is not always possible to prevent cross-contamination of food with allergens.  According to the Tampa Bay Times website, Piccolo is requesting at least $50,000.

Contact Douglas & Douglas About Premises Liability Cases

A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you if you were injured due to a severe allergic reaction caused by allergens in purportedly allergen-free foods at a restaurant.  Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.



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