Anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis) is a severe allergic reaction that is fatal if not treated immediately. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Brendan Flaherty have helped people who suffered anaphylactic shock win lawsuits against restaurants, food manufacturers, and others. You can fill out our online consultation request form or call 1-888-377-8900 to contact one of our attorneys.
Symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock
The immune systems of people with food or drug allergies treat everyday foods or certain medicines as foreign substances. The tissues in their body release substances called mediators, such as histamines and leukotrienes. The release of these substances causes muscle contractions, which can produce sudden and severe symptoms that may include:
- abdominal pain;
- swelling of throat, lips, tongue, around eyes;
- difficulty breathing and swallowing;
- wheezing, coughing;
- heart palpitations;
- skin redness, hives, itchiness;
- nasal congestion;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
- fainting, dizziness;
- drop in blood pressure and paleness;
- loss of consciousness, collapse.
The most serious complications include: airway blockage, respiratory arrest (no breathing), and cardiac arrest. If your loved one died after an allergic reaciton, you may have a wrongful death claim.
Federal Law Mandates Labeling of Major Food Allergens
According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004, food manufacturers and distributors must label any ingredients that are “major food allergens” so consumers can take appropriate action. There is no cure for food allergies, so avoiding allergens is the only way consumers can protect themselves from potentially severe reactions.
Your anaphylaxis lawsuit can seek compensation from a food company for undeclared allergens. The suit can be filed before or after a recall is issued due to mislabeling — not listing an undeclared allergen as an ingredient.
FALCPA identifies the following food groups as the “major food allergens:”
- Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
- Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
According to the Food and Drug Administration, “2 percent of adults and about 5 percent of infants and young children in the U.S. suffer from food allergies. Approximately 30,000 consumers require emergency room treatment, and 150 Americans die each year because of allergic reactions to food.”
Anaphylactic Shock Compensation for Victims and Families
To file a lawsuit, there has to be evidence that the anaphylactic shock was caused by a the negligence of a restaurant or by a mislabeled (and thereby defective) product.
Anaphylactic shock survivors may be able to recover money for the following:
- medical expenses;
- lost income;
- emotional distress;
- other damages.
Families of people who died from anaphylactic shock may have claims for compensation under state wrongful death laws.