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  • Jefferson Adams

    UK Man Sues Restaurant, Claims Gluten Caused 'Permanent Injuries'

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      A UK man is suing his local pub over a gyros salad he says caused 'permanent injuries.'


    Image: CC--kuchenkainternetowa
    Caption: Image: CC--kuchenkainternetowa

    Celiac.com 07/11/2017 - A UK man has filed a lawsuit against a local bar and grill after becoming sick on a gyro salad that servers led him to believe was gluten-free.

    The Webster Groves resident, Phillip "Gus" Wagner alleges that servers at Michael's Bar & Grill in Manchester, provided inaccurate information about the dish, and that he suffered an adverse reaction to the gluten in the dish that left him with "severe and permanent injuries."



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    His lawyer, Christine Anderson of Faerber and Anderson, specifies that Mr. Wagner was injured in one or more of the following respects to wit: injuries to the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, internal organs, respiratory system and body as a whole; that he sustained an aggravation of a pre-existing condition; that said injuries are permanent and permanently disabling; that he has experienced pain and suffering in the past and is reasonably certain to experience pain and suffering in the future; that he has expended money for necessary medical care, treatment and services in the past and is reasonably certain to expend money for necessary medical care, treatment and services in the future resulting from said occurrence; that he has lost the ordinary gains of his employment and will lose further such sums in the future; that he has sustained loss of a normal life.

    For their part, the restaurant says that the lawsuit is their first indication of any kind of a problem. Michale's general manager, Katina Malliotakis, says they had no indication that any customer had any kind of problem, until someone called and demanded to know their insurance company, and adding that that someone had told Wagner the gyro salad was gluten-free.

    Malliotakis says that Michale's special gluten-free menu does not include the gyro salad, and that her servers are all aware of that fact. "Nobody remembers a customer asking about the gyro salad,” she says.

    If someone did ask for a gluten-free salad, any server would have pointed them toward another salad on the menu that is gluten-free."We have plenty of gluten-free options if people ask for that," she says.

    What do you think? Mistaken restaurant? Mistaken patron? Much ado about nothing?

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    Obviously, there was one server who gave incorrect information, even though it must be an anomaly as they have a gluten-free menu and it sounds like the servers are generally well-informed. But without some kind of proof, this guy will not win any compensation in court.

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    I hope this is a genuine complaint. Brits after holidays abroad have been encouraged to sue for alleged food poisoning. Restaurants in the UK generally are making great efforts to have gluten-free options and might feel it is not worth the trouble if they are sued frivolously.

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    If this restaurant indeed has a gluten free menu, then this is on the patron - who is most likely looking for gain from the restaurant. it sounds very suspect to me.

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    Well it seems my comment disappeared into the ether so I will have another go! I think he's just after a big insurance payout. "Severe and permanent injuries"? Ridiculous. If it wasn't on the gluten-free menu he shouldn't have ordered it (and quite possibly didn't).

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    Servers make mistakes, give wrong information, kitchens make mistakes - I've had to deal with those issues too many times. I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt until I see what evidence is used in court. Did he go to the emergency room shortly after the meal? Does he have a receipt to prove he ate there? As for the types of injuries he claims: it mentions aggravation of a pre-existing condition. I know celiacs who have violent, extreme vomiting after eating gluten. If he had an ulcer or esophageal problems, such vomiting could conceivably cause permanent harm. The other thing to keep in mind is that a gluten ingestion triggers inflammation which is not just limited to the GI tract. One study shows the damaging effects of the inflammation can last as long as 11 weeks. There's really not enough info in the article to know if this claim is bogus or if the man did sustain lasting injuries.

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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 2,500 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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