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Actor Chantel Giacalone’s family receives $ 29 million in peanut allergy case


LAS VEGAS (AP) – A jury awarded $ 29.5 million to the family of a woman who suffered a brain injury after being treated for a severe allergic reaction by an ambulance service in Las Vegas in 2013.

Chantel Giacalone, then 27, suffered anaphylactic shock after biting into a peanut butter infused pretzel in Las Vegas for a convention, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Friday. Giacalone, an aspiring actor, has played roles in “The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations” and in the web series “Hollow Walls”.

Giacalone’s attorney, Christian Morris, said she lost oxygen in her brain for a few minutes after seeking treatment from MedicWest Ambulance, who ran the medical post that day.

Morris has argued in a civil lawsuit that MedicWest Ambulance negligently treated his allergic reaction.

He argued that neither of the two doctors on site that day had IV epinephrine, an epinephrine treatment for severe allergic reactions that is required by the Southern Nevada Health District. According to testimony during a three-week trial, the requirement was established by a task force on which the company sits.

Morris said doctors deployed intramuscular epinephrine instead, but IVs were needed for complete anaphylaxis.

He argued that the cost of the drug was only $ 2.42. The lawsuit sought more than $ 60 million in damages for medical costs and emotional suffering.

MedicWest denied any wrongdoing and said the outcome was inevitable due to Giacalone’s increased sensitivity to peanuts. Lawyer William Drury argued that Giacalone never passed out.

“At least my daughter will be taken care of. I’m happy about it, ”said Father Jack Giacalone after the verdict was read on Friday. “All the angst we’ve been through over the past eight years, I’m not happy. I just hope MedicWest changes its ways. “

Jack Giacalone and his wife provide 24-hour care for their quadriplegic daughter, who must be tube-fed and can only communicate with her eyes, according to the Review-Journal.


Nettles Morris Law Firm

In this undated photo, Chantel Giacalone (left) lies in a hospital bed after suffering brain damage from an allergic reaction. On the right, her father, Jack Giacalone, talks to her.

Hayley Miller contributed reporting.

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