Lawsuit: Doctor died after eating at Disney World restaurant when served allergens

The family of a New York doctor who had a fatal allergic reaction after eating at a Disney Springs restaurant in Florida has filed a lawsuit, claiming that the victim had been assured that the food she was being served did not contain allergens.

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Jeffrey Piccolo, 35, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Orange County Circuit Court on Feb. 22 after the Oct. 5, 2023, death of his wife, Kanokporn Tangsuan, NBC News reported. He is seeking $50,000 in damages from the restaurant and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Inc. pursuant to Florida’s wrongful death act, according to People.

Disney Parks and Resorts did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, NBC News reported.

Tangsuan, 42, a physician at NYU Langone Hospital, collapsed approximately an hour after finishing her meal at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant. The eatery is located in Disney Springs, a restaurant and shopping district that is part of the Walt Disney Resort.

The complaint alleges that the restaurant served food to Tangsuan that contained allergens, according to NBC News. Piccolo was at the restaurant with his wife and mother and stated in court documents that the victim asked servers to confirm that several items on the menu were allergen-free, the Miami Herald reported.

Court documents state that the party ordered dishes called, “Sure I’m Frittered,” “Scallop Forest,” “This Shepherd Went Vegan” and “Onion Rings,” NBC News reported. The trio asked about allergens “several more times” and were told “unequivocally” that their food would be allergen-free.

After eating, Tangsuan and her mother-in-law split up to go shopping at different stores in Disney Springs, while Piccolo returned to his hotel room, the Herald reported.

At about 8:45 p.m., Tangsuan “began having difficulty breathing” and collapsed while shopping at Planet Hollywood in Disney Springs, according to the newspaper.

According to the complaint, a person called 911 and told the dispatcher that Tangsuan “emergently self-administered an epi-pen” before she was rushed to a hospital, the Herald reported.

Tangsuan died that night of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, NBC News reported.

Her death was ruled an accident, according to an autopsy report obtained by Florida Politics.

Piccolo posted on Facebook several days later, referring to his wife by her nickname of Amy and stating that he was “heartbroken” by her death.

“Ten minutes before she passed she was perfectly healthy and enjoying herself shopping and then minutes later she died,” Piccolo wrote on Oct. 9, 2023. “We are all heart broken over this loss of such a beautiful, loving, kind, and helpful person.”

The damages Piccolo is seeking in the lawsuit include compensation for mental pain and suffering, loss of companionship and protection, funeral expenses and more, according to the Herald.

“Jeff really wants to make sure that this never happens to anyone else,” Piccolo’s attorney Brian Denney told Florida Politics. “It’s very important to him that people are aware that people with severe allergies like this should be taken seriously. And he doesn’t want this to happen to anybody else’s family.”