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Family Of Actor Chantel Giacalone Awarded $29.5 Million After She Suffered Brain Damage From Eating Pretzel

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Family Of Actor Chantel Giacalone Awarded $29.5 Million After She Suffered Brain Damage From Eating Pretzel

A family has been awarded $29.5 million (£21.4m) in compensation after a woman suffered brain damage from eating a pretzel.

Actor Chantel Giacalone bit off a piece of pretzel that had been infused with peanut butter in Las Vegas back in 2013.

She was just 27 at the time and the food made her go into anaphylactic shock.

Paramedics from MedicWest Ambulance arrived to treat her for an allergic reaction, however, according to Ms Giacalone's lawyer, they acted negligently.

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Attorney Christian Morris accused the two medics of only administering intramuscular epinephrine on Chantel when she needed IV epinephrine.

Credit: Nettle Morris Law Firm
Credit: Nettle Morris Law Firm

When an allergic reaction is so severe, the adrenaline treatment needs to be administered directly into the veins to get throughout the body faster.

During her ordeal, Chantel lost oxygen to her brain for several minutes, which has caused serious damage to her quality of life. She is now a quadriplegic, according to the Daily Mail, and requires 24-hour care at her parent's house.

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She has to be fed through a tube and can only communicate with her eyes.

Her family launched a lawsuit against the ambulance service and were originally seeking up to $60 million (£43m) in damages to help pay for medical expenses and emotional suffering.

Chantel's dad Jack said while his daughter can't do much anymore, he still wanted to fight tooth and nail for her.

Credit: Windell Oskay/Flickr
Credit: Windell Oskay/Flickr
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"Don't worry, the truth will come out. And we're going to finally find out what happened to you that day in the room," he said before the trial.

"She's still in there. She still has emotions. She's still crying. But when I get home, I'll see her, and we'll straighten everything out."

The trial ended with a $29.5 million settlement, with MedicWest denying their paramedics did anything wrong.

Not only did the defence claim Chantel didn't lose consciousness during her allergic reaction, but they added that her brain damage was inevitable because she was so allergic to peanuts.

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Jack Giacalone is happy with the results of the trial and added that her life expectancy is around another 20 years.

"At least my daughter will be taken care of. I'm happy about that," he said. "All the anguish that we´ve been through for the last eight years, I'm not happy about. I just hope MedicWest changes their ways."

Featured Image Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty

Topics: News

Stewart Perrie
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