A model named Chantel Giacalone was awarded $29.5 million after suffering brain damage from eating a pretzel.
Back on Feb. 20, 2013, Giacalone, who was 27 at the time, was modeling clothes at a fashion trade show at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center when her friend bought her frozen yogurt and added a bite-size pretzel on top.
As soon as she took a bite, she went into anaphylactic shock, the New York Post reported. According to the model’s lawyer, she lost oxygen to the brain for several minutes even after receiving MedicWest Ambulance treatment.
On the day of the incident, MedicWest Ambulance was running the station. During Giacalone’s trial, she claimed MedicWest Ambulance two of the medics on site did not have IV epinephrine, an adrenaline treatment for severe allergic reactions required by the Southern Nevada Health District, New York Post reports. The outlet reports that medics only had intramuscular epinephrine in their bags, which they used on Giacalone. However, IVs are required when a patient is going into full anaphylaxis.
“Every minute of Chantel’s life has been inextricably altered,” Morris said in court. “Every single minute since she walked into that medic room to a company that chose profits over patient care.”
MedicWest claimed it did nothing wrong and said no matter what, Giacalone would have undergone the same outcome due to her allergy to peanuts.
By the end of it all, a Las Vegas jury found MedicWest guilty, resulting in Giacalone winning nearly $30 million. “At least my daughter will be taken care of. I’m happy about that,” her father, Jack Giacalone, said after the verdict was read.
Unfortunately, the now 35-year-old is quadriplegic, has to be fed through a tube, and can only communicate with her eyes, according to the Review-Journal. The outlet reports that he parents take care of her 24 hours a day; her parents said they are using the money to fund future care and a new home that will help with her specific needs.