$10M Granted in 1st Plaintiff Victory w/food allergy

Posted on: Sat, 03/30/2002 - 1:42pm
k's picture
k
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pHAVE YOU SEEN THIS!!!??? I FOUND IT LAST NIGHT AS I WAS DIGGING AROUND LOOKING FOR THINGS TO SUPPORT CONTAMINATION WITH FOODS AND CARPETS! MAYBE THIS IS "OUR" BREAK THROUGH AND OTHERS....ESPECIALLY SCHOOLS WILL START TO SEE...THIS IS REAL AND IT IS VERY SERIOUS!!! /p
pI DON'T KNOW HOW TO LINK BUT, IF YOU GO TO LAW.COM AND ON THE RIGHT CLICK LITIGATION.br /
THEN UNDER SEARCH KEYWORD PUT IN FOOD ALLERGY. THIS I HOPE WILL GET YOU TO THIS PLACE. /p
pTHIS IS BIG, IF YOU ASK ME! PLEASE READ IT!br /
IT GAVE ME GREAT HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN!!!/p
pBEST TO EVERYONE./p
pSEIZE THE DAY~/p
pK/p

Posted on: Sat, 03/30/2002 - 10:37pm
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I am bringing this to my son's daycare first thing Monday!!!!!
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
------------------
Christine Horton

Posted on: Sat, 03/30/2002 - 11:56pm
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I'm sorry, but I'm missing something. Did I perhaps read the wrong case? The only case that came up for my search was the one where a family sued their child's doctors for not educating them about the dangers of PA, not prescribing epipens, etc.
How does this help our children be safer? And why send the writeup of this case to a school or daycare?
I can see how this might make uninformed doctors more aware that they need to take PA more seriously and how it might educate parents to find a new doctor if their doctor doesn't seem to understand how serious PA is, but I don't see how it's a breakthrough in terms of our children's safety.
Did I read about the wrong case? Did something really exciting happen that my search on law.com missed? Am I missing some subtle implication or detail of this case?
If a food manufacturer lost a PA-related suit over failing to adequately label or a school lost one over failing to protect a child from exposure to an allergen, I think it could have strong implications for the future safety of all our kids, but how was this case any different from any other medical malpractice suit?
Thanks for any info!

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 12:53am
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HI DROBBINS
IN MY OPION, AND OF COURSE IT IS JUST THAT, I FEEL THIS CASE IS IMPORTANT FOR AT LEAST TWO REASONS. THIS CASE MAKES PEANUT ALLERGY REAL IN THE EYES OF THE COURT. A JURY FOUND THIS TO BE A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE. THEY AWARDED THE FAMILY OF THIS HORRIBLE TRAGEDY 10 MILLION DOLLARS BECAUSE THE CARE WAS NOT TAKEN TO PREVENT THIS CHILD FROM EXPOSURE AND INGESTION OF PEANUTS, "POISON TO THESE ALLERGIC CHILDREN". IT TALKS ABOUT THE DANGERS AND THAT THE RESULTS CAN BE FATAL. IT SAYS "BE CAREFUL" SOMEONE IS TAKING THIS VERY SERIOUS. 10 MILLION IS A LOT OF MONEY! I KNOW THERE IS NOT ONE OF US THAT WOULD EVER WANT THE MONEY....WE WANT OUR CHILDREN SAFE! PLAIN AND SIMPLE. UNFORTUNATELY, ALL THE INFORMATION WE SUPPLY TO THE SCHOOLS, ALL THE DOCTORS LETTERS, ALL THE WORK WE DO, ALL THE VOLUNTEERING, ETC STILL ISN'T GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH, MONEY (YUCK), SPEAKS VOLUMES TO OUR SOCIETY. WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT IT'S TRUE! MONEY TALKS AND BULLSH*T WALKS.
I THINK UP UNTIL NOW, THEY HAVE KNOWN THERE HAS BEEN NOTHING OUT THERE LIKE THIS. IT IS THERE NOW AND THEY CAN NO LONGER DENY THAT SOMETHING VERY SERIOUS NEEDS TO BE DONE! TAKE NOTICE FOLKS....WE PARENTS ARE NOT CRAZY, THIS MAY BE SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT TO THE WORLD OF DISABILITY AND SCHOOLS ETC. BUT NONE THE LESS, IT IS REAL AND IT IS HERE AND WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT. WHAT IS PERCEIVED AS AN INNOCENT FOOD IS NOT INNOCENT TO OUR KIDS. A NEW AND UNIQUE APPROACH IS REQUIRED TO ACCOMODATE THESE CHILDREN AND NOW WE JUST MIGHT HAVE A LEGAL LEG TO STAND ON. WE ARE TELLING OUR SCHOOLS THESE ALLERGIES ARE DANGEROUS AND THERE ARE STEPS WE CAN TAKE TO PREVENT SENSELESS DEATHS AND INJURIES. IF THE SCHOOLS THINK IT WOULD COST THEM TOO MUCH MONEY, WOULD BE INCONVIENT, WOULD ANNOY TOO MANY OTHER PEOPLE,ETC., TO MAKE THESE CHANGES WE ARE ASKING FOR, WELL I SAY, IT HAS SURELY GOT TO COST LESS THAN 10 MILLION DOLLARS!!
I HOPE THIS MAKES SOME SENSE TO YOU. I THINK THE DOOR HAS BEEN OPENED AND THE WINDS OF CHANGE ARE STARTING TO BLOW OUR WAY.
THE PARENTS SAID THEIR ONLY SATISFACTION REGARDING THIS VERDICT IS THAT, HOPEFULLY, WORD WILL SPREAD THAT THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ILLNESS...THEY ARE HOPING THAT THIS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR OTHER CHILDREN.
I THANK THEM FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO GO FORWARD. BLESS THEIR HEARTS. THAT 10 MILLION DOLLARS WILL NEVER MAKE THEIR SON BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM AGAIN...THAT 10 MILLION DOLLARS WILL NEVER MAKE HIM WALK AGAIN BUT, THAT 10 MILLIONS MAY GIVE ALL THOSE CHANCES TO OUR CHILDREN....
VERY VERY BEST TO YOU AND YOURS~
K

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 3:13am
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Quote:Originally posted by k:
[b]THEY AWARDED THE FAMILY OF THIS HORRIBLE TRAGEDY 10 MILLION DOLLARS BECAUSE THE CARE WAS NOT TAKEN TO PREVENT THIS CHILD FROM EXPOSURE AND INGESTION OF PEANUTS, "POISON TO THESE ALLERGIC CHILDREN". [/b]
Hi, k, thanks for your response. I agree with many of your points, especially about how the money will never bring that child back to his parents (with his previous abilities, that is).
But the care that was not taken to keep this child away from nuts was not directly the fault of the doctors who were sued. Yes, they were incredibly negligent in their own understanding of PA and also in their obligation to educate the parents (who seem to be the ones who let the child have the candy bar, iirc). Yes, they should be forced to pay a huge amount of money to the family who suffered the loss due to the doctor's ignorance/negligence.
I hope this case will make doctors more aware of food allergies in general. But I still just don't see it as something that will influence schools or food manufacturers.
We have already read of and heard of children who have died from peanut exposures, and if Nathan's death last spring on a school field trip and that Australian boy's death last week on another school outing didn't influence the schools and daycares, than I don't see how the fact that damages were awarded by a jury because of a medical malpractice suit will help open eyes.
I still see this as just something that if properly publicized will hopefully educate doctors to take food allergies more seriously. Unfortunately, I fear its primary effect will be to get medical malpractice insurance companies to educate doctors to cover their a*s better, not to practice better medicine. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I know I sound like an incredible downer on this, but I am distressed by this case, because it really goes to show that there are people suffering tremendously due to doctors whose level of knowledge in their own field doesn't seem to be even as deep as educated laymen's. How very sad that a family had to suffer so for this to be uncovered.
Thanks again for your response.

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 3:55am
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can someone post this link? i cannot seem to find it. thanks!

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 4:37am
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[url="http://law.com/"]http://law.com/[/url]
On the right type in Food allergy and press Go

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 4:48am
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HI AGAIN DROBBINS~
YOU HAD SOME INTERESTING POINTS YOURSELF. I GUESS WHEN I THINK OF THIS LAW SUIT I SEE IT LIKE THIS...
IF THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T "TELL" THE PARENTS HOW SERIOUS AND POTENTIALLY FATAL PEANUT ALLERGY CAN BE...OR WHAT THEY COULD HAVE DONE TO PREVENT REACTIONS AND HOW TO BE PREPARED...
CAN THE SCHOOLS, ETC., THEN...
BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T "LISTEN" TO THE PARENTS WHEN THE PARENTS (AND THE CHILD'S DOCTOR TOO) WERE TELLING THEM HOW SERIOUS AND POTENTIALLY FATAL PEANUT ALLERGY CAN BE..."AND" WHAT THEY CAN DO TO PREVENT REACTIONS (CLEANING, PEANUT FREE ROOMS, READING LABELS, ETC)AND HOW TO BE PREPARED.
THIS IS A BONIFIED, ON THE BOOKS, CASE. IT WILL BE ON THE BOOKS FOREVER (UNLESS THEY APPEAL IT OR WHATEVER...I'M NO LAWYER, BUT LET'S SAY IT STICKS..). THEY ARE PLAINLY STATING...WE HAVE FOUND THIS...PEANUT ALLERGY IS SERIOUS AND DEADLY. WE HAVE FOUND WITH PEANUT ALLERGY YOU NEED TO "GIVE SEVERE WARNING" AND TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING. IN THIS ARTICLE THEY MENTION BOTH EXPOSURE TO, AND INGESTION OF.
THAT SAYS A LOT TO ME.
I KNOW WHEN MY CHILD HAD HIS FIRST REACTION I CALLED THE DOCTORS OFFICE AND SAID HIS MOUTH SUDDENLY TURNED DEEP MAROON ALL AROUND IT. THE WOMAN (A NURSE/RECEPTIONIST) ASKED WHAT HE ATE. I SAID I JUST GAVE HIM A TINY LITTLE TASTE OF PB. SHE SAID...I KID YOU NOT....OH, HE MUST BE ALLERGIC TO PB. GIVE HIM BENEDRYL. AND THAT WAS THAT. I DID AND HE GOT BETTER. I DIDN'T KNOW HOWEVER, WHAT BEING ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS MEANT. I HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS. THAT WAS IN EARLY 1997. IT WAS NOT UNTIL HIS 2ND REACTION WHEN HE WAS AT DAYCARE AND I HAD TOLD THEM, NON-CHALANTLY COMPARED TO WHAT I WOULD SAY TODAY, HE CAN'T HAVE PB. I NO SOONER GOT TO WORK WHEN THE PHONE RANG. HE HAD BROKEN OUT IN HIVES ALL OVER HIS BODY AND LOOKED A MESS. A CHILD HAD BEEN EATING THOSE ORANGE PB CRACKERS IN THE HIGH CHAIR NEXT TO HIM. THEY TOUCHED MY CHILD WITH THE OIL STILL ON THEIR HANDS AFTER THEY TOOK THE OTHER CHILD OUT OF HIS HIGH CHAIR. DUE TO MY LACK OF KNOWLEDGE I WENT RIGHT AWAY AND LOOKED HIM ALL OVER. I GAVE HIM BENEDRYL. THE HIVES EVENTUALLY WENT AWAY. I DID CALL THE DOCTOR AGAIN AND THAT IS WHEN HE WENT TO AN ALLERGIST AND WE STARTED DOWN THIS LOVELY ROAD. I MUST SAY WE WERE VERY LUCKY. MY SON COULD HAVE DIED EITHER TIME. IF NOT FROM THE ORIGINAL REACTION, THEN FROM A POSSIBLE SECONDARY REACTION. AGAIN, WE WERE LUCKY.
I THINK WE HAVE TO REMEMBER OR MAYBE IT WAS JUST THIS WAY FOR ME...BUT EVERYTHING I REALLY FOUND OUT ABOUT PEANUT ALLERGY WAS NOT TOLD TO ME BY DOCTORS. I STARTED RESEARCHING AND READING AND CONTACTING PEOPLE ETC. I EDUCATED MYSELF. I WAS GIVEN AN EPIPEN AND KNEW THIS WAS BECAUSE HE COULD DIE. SO, I DID HAVE THAT KNOWLEDGE. IT SEEMS THE WHOLE COMMUNITY (PARENTS AND DOCTORS) HAVE COME A LONG WAY. THERE IS RESEARCH NOW THAT WAS NOT AVAILABLE THEN. THERE IS MORE AWARENESS NOW THEN THERE WAS THEN. WE WERE ALL VULNERABLE TO THIS. WE NEEDED THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY TO TELL US WHAT THIS WAS. I THINK I WAS LUCKY WHERE UNFORTUNATELY, THIS OTHER FAMILY WAS NOT. I KNOW NOW HOW MUCH DANGER MY CHILD WAS ACTUALLY IN BECAUSE OF LACK OF MEDICAL ADVICE. IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE WE WERE EVER THAT VULNERABLE. SO I CAN READ THIS ARTICLE AND THINK OF THE PARENTS AS REALLY NOT BEING TO BLAME. ONCE YOU KNOW STUFF ABOUT ALL THIS, THEN MAYBE...MAYBE IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT.
THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSE...IT DOES GIVE AN INTERESTING VIEW OF THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY. I DO HOPE HOWEVER, THEY WON'T RUN SCARED BUT MOVE TOWARDS CAREFUL EDUCATION.
SEIZE THE DAY~
K

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 4:54am
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I haven't read the case yet, but in response to "how does this influence schools" I would say the following:
An important step in winning a negligence based case it to establish that the act or failure to act was "negligent." If a "reasonable" person wouldn't be expected to act, then the defendant's failure can't be deemed negligent. A physician has special knowledge so is held to a slightly different standard. But a school system is also specially situated and would be held to a different standard of reasonableness. Given that there is already a statutory duty to protect, then I would suggest that a school should be found negligent if it
(1) has specific knowledge of the means to provide that protection (in the form of detailed information from a parent or health care provider, a 504 plan, etc) and
(2) fails to apply that knowledge and act accordinly.
While a case involving a physician may not serve to prove a school's negligence because of the factual differences, the dollar amount of liability for the loss of a child is analogous. So if you live in a judicial district that awards damages for the loss of a child (some do not- or the amount is so limited as to be meaningless as a punative measure), and you can demonstrate to a school that damages have in fact been awarded when a child has died from a food allergy (thus overcoming the 'act of god' hurdle) then you can at least convince the school's counsel that any mistake could be costly.
Finally any case that expands the borders of what is considered "reasonable care" with regard to food allergies will help to make the case to the school that they must take steps to protect your child. Although it is sad that financial pressure must be applied where moral obligation ought to be enough.
Again, I haven't read the case- so maybe it wouldn't work at all. I will say though that a clever lawyer can take just about any case on a subject and *make* it say something of value to support his or her own cause. Any case awarding damages is good, one awarding damages against a school for failure to insure a child's safety would be better, one awarding damages against a school for failing to insure a child's safety from food allergies would be best. That being said, let me add that I hope that if there ever is such a case, it's only for emotional distress and a hospital stay NOT wrongful death.
Hope everyone has successfully made it through their school's Easter candy fests!

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2002 - 5:08am
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I am still not sure how this will apply in a school setting. Beyond the issue of not making the parents aware of the severity of the allergy and making a referral to an allergist, he didn't prescribe epinephrine. To me that is the salient point because even though the child had a reaction, he still could have been saved if he had the medication. Therefore, if the school has the epinephrine and teachers are trained to use it....are they negligent if a child has a reaction in school and they save his life by giving the injection? Or are they negligent because they didn't take every precaution in trying to prevent the reaction?

Posted on: Sun, 04/07/2002 - 11:50pm
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When I read this article in the newspapers back in January, I e-mailed it the school superintendent and the school nurse of my daughter's elementary school; like K and Christine, I feel that it reiterates the horrors of this allergy. The administration and staff have been viligent in risk reduction and the education of food allergies. But I don't want them to start to feel relaxed just because there hasn't been a reaction this school year. Here is the superintendent's response to that article:
"We will do everything in our power that this does not happen at BES. This
has to be living fear for each parent. LWR"
All it did was make this allergy very real and dangerous in their eyes, especially since this tragedy happened just 30 miles from here. I always envisioned death as being the worst case senario~never thought of this being a result of a reaction. My heart ached when I read this article.
As to aztec765's questions, they are questions that would have to be answered in the event of. For example, if the labels are clearly marked that it contains or may contain peanuts and that food was given to your child and your child reacts, as opposed to a reaction that occurs from your child touching something that had PB residue. It all depends I think on the given situation. The main thing, in my opinion, is that the school practices daily vigilent risk-reduction and staff/parent education on a regular basis. This and my daily prayers are what gets me through each school day! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Whether it's a breakthrough or not, is obviously a matter of opinion, however, it certainly shows the seriousness of a peanut allergy and the tragic result of a reaction.

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