Woman Died From Anaphylaxis After She Was Assured She Could be Accommodated at Disney Springs


The husband of Dr Kanokporn Tangsuan, 42, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Orange County Circuit Court alleging that she died from an anaphylactic reaction at Disney Springs and accusing the resort and the restaurant of negligence in her death.

The complaint states that Tangsuan, her husband Jeffrey Piccolo, and his mother chose to dine at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant on October 5, 2023, because Disney and the venue claimed that accommodating those with allergies is a top priority and that customers could consult with staff members about their specific allergens of concern.

The couple warned their server that Tangsuan had severe allergies to tree nuts and dairy, and the server responded that her dish could be made free of her allergens. They inquired about allergens “several more times” and were told “unequivocally” their food would be allergen-free, the complaint says.

Click to visit sponsor

After some of the dishes arrived without allergen-free flags, the couple again inquired and were assured by the server the food was safe.

After dinner, Tangsuan and her mother-in-law each went to different shops and Piccolo headed back to the hotel room.

About 45 minutes later, Tangsuan developed difficulty breathing and collapsed at a nearby restaurant “while suffering from a severe acute allergic reaction to the food served at Raglan,” the complaint says.

She administered her epinephrine auto-injector while a bystander phoned emergency services, and paramedics subsequently rushed her to a hospital.

Piccolo later called her cell phone, which was answered by a bystander who informed him of the incident. He rushed to the hospital and was informed his wife had died.

Click to visit sponsor

The complaint states that an autopsy revealed Tangsuan had elevated levels of dairy and nuts in her system and that the manner of death was accidental. It also noted that the tests were conducted after her death and that their validity and significance “have not been established.”

The complaint alleges multiple counts of negligence on the part of the restaurant and Disney Parks and Resorts and seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

“Disney advertises and represents to the public that food allergies and/or the accommodation of persons with food allergies is a top priority at its parks and resorts, including Disney Springs and that patrons/guests may consult with a chef or special diets trained Cast Member before placing an order,” the lawsuit said.

“Jeff really wants to make sure that this never happens to anyone else,” attorney Brian Denney said Friday. “It’s very important to him that people are aware that people with severe allergies like this should be taken seriously. And he doesn’t want this to happen to anybody else’s family.”

Click to visit sponsor

Tangsuan was a physician with NYU Langone Health, spokesperson Steve Ritea said Monday by email to NBC News.

“We are saddened by Dr Tangsuan’s passing and our deepest condolences are with her family,” he said.

Tangsuan is survived by Piccolo. The couple hoped to have children, said the plaintiff’s investigator.

We send our sincere condolences to Mr Piccolo and Dr Tangsuan’s family and wish them solace in the days to come. We hope the eventual conclusion of this lawsuit brings them some measure of closure.

At this point, we usually discuss how the tragedy might have been avoided but by all accounts, Dr Tangsuan did everything right: she dined at a restaurant that purported to accommodate food allergies safely, made sure to discuss her allergies with her server, and checked again when the food was served. When she experienced the signs of anaphylaxis, she administered her epinephrine auto-injector while a bystander called emergency services.

The only thing we don’t know, is whether she waited some period of time before administering the epinephrine and whether she had a second dose available in case the first was insufficient to reverse her symptoms.

We remind our readers that have been prescribed epinephrine to always take two auto-injectors with them everywhere, every time, to administer the drug as soon as they suspect anaphylaxis, and if symptoms do not resolve after a few minutes, administer the second.

Print or share this article
Click to visit sponsor
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of SnackSafely.com.

Find Allergy-Friendly Products