Family sues restaurant after teen eats pancakes, dies

Posted on March 17, 2015 by

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By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore for Newser.

A family in Minnesota is suing a local restaurant after their son ate two pancakes there and died last June. They say that 16-year-old Scott Johnson, who was so allergic to dairy that trace amounts had sent him to the emergency room before and the family generally avoided dining out, ate the breakfast only after his mother asked the server if the gluten-free pancakes were also dairy free, and said the cook would have to also clean the griddle before making them.

“Things that you wouldn’t even imagine have dairy in them,” mom Cindy Johnson tells KFOR 4. “He had just finished and he said, ‘We have to go now.'” By the time the family got home, Scott was in such bad shape—and his epipen and nebulizer, which ordinarily helped open his lungs during an allergic reaction, weren’t helping—that he was airlifted to a hospital in Fargo, reports WDAZ.

He died three days later from anaphylactic shock that led to heart failure. “Just one mistake can take someone’s life,” his mom said. “I miss him just as much today as the day after.” The family hopes Scott’s story will alert others to how serious allergies can be.

(One pre-teen died recently in Hawaii from an unidentified allergic reaction.)


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Posted in: Family safety