Anaphylaxis and Restaurant Negligence

Anaphylaxis is a serious physical reaction, usually triggered by exposure to an allergen, that can lead to serious personal injury or even death. Those people with allergies are always very careful, but mistakes can happen. Last year, a Quebec restaurant patron suffered a severe allergic reaction after being mistakenly served salmon, ending up in hospital with life-threatening anaphylaxis.

What are restaurants obligated to do when customers have an allergy?

Restaurant patrons with allergies, especially those who have experienced an anaphylactic reaction in the past, are usually very careful to mention their dietary restrictions to their server.

Staff members at a restaurant or other business that serves food should take allergy requests seriously and answer any questions you have about the food, including its ingredients and preparation. Once your allergy has been communicated, the restaurant must take every reasonable step to prevent any contamination to your dish.

Businesses should also be honest if they are unable to meet your dietary needs, or guarantee non-contamination, so that you can make an informed decision to leave and go elsewhere.

Restaurant negligence causing anaphylaxis

Any business serving food to the public should be able to meet these obligations. If a restaurant server or chef knows about a food allergy and is negligent, a customer could suffer a serious allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Negligence could include:

  • Mislabelled menu items or inadequate warnings regarding ingredients
  • Failure by servers and “front-of-the-house” staff to communicate allergies to the kitchen
  • Failure of kitchen staff to prevent cross-contamination
  • Errors by staff in transcribing, communicating and serving orders

In these cases, where it can be shown that these failures were the cause of an allergic reaction, a restaurant can be required to compensate the victim for her injuries.

Compensation for victims of anaphylaxis

The physical injuries after an allergic reaction be severe, including coma and death, but even in more mild cases, it is still a good idea to seek legal advice. Anaphylaxis often grows in severity with each reaction, and the consequences of a restaurant’s negligence may have long-term repercussions.

Non-physical injuries are also common after restaurant negligence that causes anaphylaxis. Victims may feel a lot of anxiety returning to restaurants, or eating any food they do not prepare themselves. This can have impacts on social activities and long-term mental health.

Claims against restaurants for negligence can be difficult to prove, which is why you need lawyers with experience handling complex personal injury claims. At Derfel Injury Law, we can help you obtain compensation for all of your losses after an anaphylaxis injury. We understand the evidence necessary to prove your claim, and will help you build the most successful case possible.

You can contact Derfel Injury Law online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment.