Andy Marsh, the husband of the second food allergy victim to have died after eating a Pret A Manger sandwich, has launched a personal injury lawsuit at London’s High Court.
42-year-old Celia Marsh, a mother of eight from Wiltshire, UK, died in December 2017 after eating at the sandwich chain where she had a “Super-Veg Rainbow Flatbread”.
She collapsed and was pronounced dead at Bath’s Royal United Hospital a short time later.
The tragedy came a year after the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the 15-year-old who died after exposure to unlabeled sesame from a Pret A Manger sandwich.
The family issued the following statement following Ms Marsh’s death:
We have kept a dignified silence since the death of Celia in December last year as the family has come to terms with her sudden and unexpected death.
We are also awaiting the outcome of the investigations into how she died.
She was a much-loved mother, daughter, sister and wife. We miss her greatly and we just want the answers to why she died after eating lunch with her family.
In a statement at the time, Pret A Manger said it believed the dairy-free yogurt used in the sandwich was the cause of her death:
As soon as Pret was made aware of this incident by Bath Council, it withdrew all affected products.
Subsequent testing by Pret and two independent authorities found that the COYO dairy-free yoghurt contained traces of dairy protein.
Pret informed the Food Standards Agency, which led to a national product recall from all supermarkets and businesses supplied by COYO.
Pret terminated its relationship with COYO UK and is in the process of taking legal action.
Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of our customer in this terrible case and we will seek to assist them in any way we can.”
In February of 2018, Coyo recalled all of their dairy-free yogurt products after they were found to contain traces of milk, but a spokeswoman denied their yogurt was to blame for the death:
The claims made by Pret are unfounded.
The dairy-free product we provided to Pret in December 2017, at the time of this tragedy, is not linked to the product we recalled in February 2018.
The product recalled in 2018 was made with a contaminated raw material that was only supplied to us in January 2018.
Pret’s inability to provide us with a batch code, despite several requests, has severely limited our ability to investigate this further.
We hope the lawsuit brings clarity to the conflicting details surrounding the death of Ms Marsh and that the family receives a substantial judgment from all those responsible.