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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Pizza Makes Girl Vomit Blood, Parents Sue Restaurant and Hospital

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Image: CC--rina sergeeva

    Celiac.com 09/13/2016 - A 10-year-old girl allegedly fell ill after eating pizza that was supposed to be gluten-free, but which turned out to be standard pizza.

    The girl, Sydney Bayle, became violently ill, and ended up in the local emergency room. The attorney for Grotto Pizza says the company has admitted making a "mistake."

    Now the parents, Samuel and Victoria Bayle, of Edinboro, Erie County, are seeking monetary damages against both Grotto Pizza and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, including doctors and nurses.

    After becoming ill and checking in at the Medical Center's Emergency Room, the parents claim that medical center staff made the Sydney wait for nearly three hours, where she continued to be ill enough to vomit blood.

    Sydney has suffered from celiac disease from birth, according to the complaint.

    Read more at: Timesleader.com


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    I get suing the restaurant but adding the hospital on just makes it look like the parents are looking for deeper pockets. Serving the non-gluten-free pizza as gluten-free is worth legal action. How she was or wasn't treated at the hospital is a separate event.

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    I get suing the restaurant but adding the hospital on just makes it look like the parents are looking for deeper pockets. Serving the non-gluten-free pizza as gluten-free is worth legal action. How she was or wasn't treated at the hospital is a separate event.

    I totally agree.

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    It is not even news worthy. There is plenty of blame to go around and ultimately the fault lies with the parents. If their 10 year has had celiac since birth as the mom claims, they know what a gluten-free pizza looks like and should never have let their daughter touch the pizza. It is just a case of parents trying to profit from their child's illness at the child's expense and they should be sued for neglect. Why did it take them more than two years to file a claim? Because it probably took that long to find a scumbag of a lawyer that didn't laugh the parents right out of their office. All this family is doing is making it so that restaurants wont even consider providing gluten-free food for fear of getting sued.

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    This incident happened in my area. I am very familiar with the pizza chain, the hospital and all the towns mentioned in the article. Geisinger normally has an excellent reputation, not that they aren't infallible, though. The story said the girl waited over an hour and still wasn't seen or treated. I guess that's why they´re also being sued.

     

    This is definitely a cause for concern with getting served food advertised as gluten-free, but not really. I am surprised Grotto Pizza wasn't more careful. I am sure they will be now. Thanks for the heads up. I hadn't even heard about this. I will be sure to ask them to make sure the pizza is actually gluten-free if I ever order it from Grotto.

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    I get suing the restaurant but adding the hospital on just makes it look like the parents are looking for deeper pockets. Serving the non-gluten-free pizza as gluten-free is worth legal action. How she was or wasn't treated at the hospital is a separate event.

    Medical staff do not take celiac disease seriously has been my experience. It is time to do so and this may be the only way.

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    Pizza is a really iffy thing to eat with a gluten intolerance. Obviously not the person's fault, if it was advertised as gluten-free it should have been gluten-free. But I know of pizza shops that have "gluten-free" pizza. Sure, the dough is gluten-free before they make it. But they don't have separate preparation surfaces and they don't have a separate oven, so it's not really gluten-free. I think a major issue with these kinds of mistakes is an issue of education on the part of the restaurant industry. Most people just don't understand what gluten-free truly means.

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    I would tend to agree with the comment from Kay2. But people sue for lack of perfection every day - especially when it comes to the treatment of their child. In my area, hospitals can make you wait for hours as a matter of routine, although it is getting better. I know that MOST people, whether in the food industry or not, have little understanding of what we celiacs go through. A "little bit" of gluten is not OK. I would have been interested to know if the attorney for the pizzeria said anything else - like "We're really sorry. We will make sure our people are more thoroughly trained in future. We will separate ovens, we will use separate cutting tools. We will take your gluten free needs seriously in future. We are humbled by this devastating mistake".

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    Sorry I disagree with the suing, I also have celiac and this is a risk I take every time I eat out. Believe me anybody can certainly tell gluten-free pizza crust from regular too. There is plenty of flour in the air to risk cross contamination too, they are just looking for money.

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    There's a few things off about this. Like that fact that they just took the little girl home after waiting a few hours. Is there anything you can do once the gluten is already in your system? Even if there isn't, I know that I've stayed home practically in hell a few times in my life, dehydration is a real concern, at the least, not to mention the pain (and who here wants to sit in an ER for hours on end glutenized, I literally couldn't do that). The little girl should have been admitted, maybe the staff didn't comprehend the entire situation. Maybe the parents should have tried another care facility, but I can hardly move when I get as sick as they describe this girl. It would be hell for her to be moving around, at the same time, she was in a serious condition. And the pizzeria? I'm worried about that, I know a few people who think allergies are just trends; I'm really not joking. And thus they ignore it and give people regular food regardless, they'll watch you eat it and laugh and not see the damage it'll do later. I had a teacher who thought some allergies were made up, like an allergy to cinnamon, which my best friend is allergic to. She even went to the same school, she told that teacher she was wrong and I don't think the woman believed her. It feels like a real possibility that this wasn't a 'mistake' or an accident, but a real outcome from naive cynicism. We don't know all the details, a fact is that little girl was in very real pain and in risk and that was ignored, even if unintentionally, and she was fed something with gluten in it, and not just a little bit. I hope something like this doesn't happen again, but that would be naive of me. So stay safe you guys, I know you already are super hyper aware if you get sick like this, but you never know with restaurants until you try them an you never know. One slip up could have you out of commission. Have a nice day though!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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