Severe Allergic Reaction in a Restaurant...

by Tina
(Plano, TX)

My friends and I went to a casino and ate at the restaurant. I ordered a chicken wrap. I asked if the wrap had anchovies because I'm deadly allergic to anchovies. The waitress said no but I still asked her to call the person who prepared it since it was pre-made.

She called someone from the kitchen and they also told her there were no anchovies, so I purchased it. I took one bite and my voice became raspy. I told the waitress I believed the wrap had anchovies, she became upset and again told me that it did not.

In seconds my throat began to swell along with my tongue. I could barely talk so I asked my friend to run to the convenience store and buy me some benadryl. She ran over and got the medicine and I chewed them up. I demanded to speak to the chef.

He ran down and asked if I was allergic to anchovies and I said yes. He then told me in fact the wrap was prepared with anchovy paste. He call the EMTs and they took my vitals. My blood pressure was 199 over 189 and my pulse ox was 30.

The EMT asked me if I had ever been intubated, I told her no and I took more benadryl. I asked one of the EMTs to give me an Epi shot (epinephrine), but she was afraid I would go into cardiac arrest.

They took me to the back of the casino were they had a small medical office. I was put on oxygen and I bought more benadryl. My pulse ox went to 60, but blood pressure stayed the same. I asked to go to the hospital but because I didn't have insurance, they said I would be responsible for the medical bills.

The EMTs said people die here every day, that made me petrified. I waited 2 hours and my pulse went to 80, my tongue and throat were still swollen. I went home and called my doctor. He said to use my epi pen (epinephrine injection) so I did. I went to see him the next day and he said I was lucky I didn't die. He gave me 2 prescriptions. I am a tiny woman, only 95lbs.

Now they want to settle with me. The insurance company offered me a settlement in the amount of $2,000. Is this a fair settlement? This was clearly their fault. Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Severe Allergic Reaction in a Restaurant...":

Tina (Plano, TX):

With the facts you present, $2,000 is an unreasonably low amount of money for a settlement. Your near-death experience caused you substantial pain and discomfort.

Personal injury lawsuits are normally first based upon actual damages, referred to in the legal business as "Hard Costs". Hard costs are comprised of medical bills, then out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications and other medical needs, and then lost wages.

Add to those amounts an amount of compensation for pain and suffering and you have the basis of a personal injury lawsuit.

There are though cases like yours which don't necessarily require a substantial amount of hard costs, but which rely primarily upon the aspect of pain and suffering.

Although we can't suggest an accurate amount of compensation to ask for in the amount of pain and suffering, we can tell you it should be well more than $2,000 dollars. If you have any questions about a specific amount to request you might consider speaking with a personal injury attorney.

Most qualified personal injury attorneys do not charge for an initial office consultation. Once you visit with a qualified attorney and she has all the facts, she will be in a much better position to suggest a more accurate amount for pain and suffering, and hence, your personal injury settlement demand amount.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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