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Quebec Waiter Arrested After Seafood Puts Allergic Customer in Coma


DonLever

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From CBC:

 

A waiter at a Sherbrooke, Que., restaurant was arrested Wednesday for serving salmon to a highly allergic customer in a case one expert says could be a Canadian first.

Simon-Pierre Canuel, a resident of Gatineau, Que., filed a formal complaint against the server at Le Tapageur restaurant after he says he nearly died from his meal.

The waiter could be charged with criminal negligence.

According to the complaint, on May 29, Canuel ordered a beef tartare and alerted the waiter that he was allergic to salmon and seafood, said Sherbrooke police Const. Martin Carrier.

 

"At the time of the order, the waiter took no notes and never went to the kitchen to talk with staff," Carrier said.

When the meal arrived, an unsuspecting Canuel took a bite of his food.

With the dim lighting, it's not easy to tell the difference between two dishes, especially if they use mayonnaise. It can be confusing," Canuel said.

He soon realized he wasn't eating beef and informed his partner, who is a resident doctor.

"He confirmed that it was salmon and he said we had to go to hospital. We told the waiter, who apologized, saying he would bring me beef," Canuel recalled.

 

"That's when I started going into anaphylactic shock and having difficulty breathing."

Canuel had left his EpiPen in his car.

He was hospitalized at the intensive care unit of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, where he was treated for a severe allergic reaction.

He says he also suffered a cardiac arrest the following day and was in a coma for several days.

"I almost died," he said.

Prison sentence unlikely

Canuel filed a formal complaint with Sherbrooke police on July 21.

Police met with witnesses before arresting the waiter, a 22-year-old man, this week. 

He was released with a promise to appear in court at a later date.

Canuel alleged the waiter didn't inform the cooks of the allergy and instead was chatting, laughing and drinking alcohol with other guests.

Though it will be up to Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions to decide whether charges will be laid, Carrier says the circumstances meet the conditions for a criminal negligence charge.

Simon Roy, a law professor at the University of Sherbrooke, agrees, and says a conviction for criminal negligence could result in anything from a fine to life in prison.

But based on similar cases, he added, the waiter is unlikely to get a prison sentence.

A Canadian first?

Though similar allegations have been made against doctors and workers in other service industries, one crime lawyer says this particular case could be unprecedented in the country.

"For a waiter, I haven't found one in Canada. This would indeed be the first time," said Roy.

"This kind of story is practically unheard of," echoed Carrier, the police spokesman.

"It's excessively rare."

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Thanks for the article. This guy must be really pissed off to be spending money on a lawyer.. Not looking at your food closely if you have a serious allergy is contributory negligence and they won't be able to prove that he was served that on purpose.

 

I do hope there wasn't any collusion going on with the waiter/chef though.. 

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When are people going to start taking responsibilities on themselves? You put your fork in a piece of salmon and can't tell it's not beef? The dim lighting made it so he could not tell the difference? Were the lights off? Looks like this guy is just looking for a payday from the restaurant.

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17 minutes ago, smokes said:

When are people going to start taking responsibilities on themselves? You put your fork in a piece of salmon and can't tell it's not beef? The dim lighting made it so he could not tell the difference? Were the lights off? Looks like this guy is just looking for a payday from the restaurant.

Personal responsibility he says, trying to absolve the waiter who DIDN'T DO HIS &^@#ING JOB PROPERLY,  But yeah, it's totally the guy who almost died due to the laziness of the server's fault.

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2 hours ago, smokes said:

When are people going to start taking responsibilities on themselves? You put your fork in a piece of salmon and can't tell it's not beef? The dim lighting made it so he could not tell the difference? Were the lights off? Looks like this guy is just looking for a payday from the restaurant.

The guy is in a hospital for days.  

Seems a little far to go to possibly get a bit of money.    

He was in a coma FFS.  

Doesnt sound like a money thing. 

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2 hours ago, austy said:

Maybe don't leave your epipen  in the car. Don't just sit there after working out you ate salmon, go to the car. Especially if your partner is a doctor? Seems like a bs story. 

Maybe, when someone tells you they have a major seafood allergy, don't bring the guy a piece of freakin fish.  

it doesn't say they sat around and chatted about it.  It says he but the fish, said it was salmon, and they left.   

 

How are people defending the waiter?  

The guy f'd up and almost killed a guy. 

That is his fault.  Do your job you tip monkey. 

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27 minutes ago, drummerboy said:

Maybe, when someone tells you they have a major seafood allergy, don't bring the guy a piece of freakin fish.  

it doesn't say they sat around and chatted about it.  It says he but the fish, said it was salmon, and they left.   

 

How are people defending the waiter?  

The guy f'd up and almost killed a guy. 

That is his fault.  Do your job you tip monkey. 

If a person has this serious of a food allergy, where one bite of fish could kill him, and even with a dr at the scene, and immediately seeking hospital care he went into a comma, then MAYBE THE PERSON SHOULD PREPARE THEIR OWN FOOD?  Going out to dinner is not a right, it's a privilege.  

I must admit that reading this story made me crave an extra large serving of sea-food chowder with extra garlic toast to soak up the broth, and clean the bowl. :)

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16 minutes ago, Alflives said:

If a person has this serious of a food allergy, where one bite of fish could kill him, and even with a dr at the scene, and immediately seeking hospital care he went into a comma, then MAYBE THE PERSON SHOULD PREPARE THEIR OWN FOOD?  Going out to dinner is not a right, it's a privilege.  

I must admit that reading this story made me crave an extra large serving of sea-food chowder with extra garlic toast to soak up the broth, and clean the bowl. :)

So any person with a severe food allergy should just stay at home? They doesn't seem unreasonable to you?

 

This particular waiter was incompetent at his job not to mention careless. That isn't the fault of the victim, not all waiters are like this. 

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Alot of you are seriously missing the point here.  A person with an allergy should be extra careful yes - but the restaurant has a responsibility to its customers.

 

I'm guessing those of you who are blaming the customer don't have any serious allergies or know people who do.  Just because one has such an allergy it shouldn't be you should become a hermit and not live your life.

 

If his allergy was serious enough - even a tiny morsel of salmon on the plate could have killed him.  While it's very unlikely - even inhaling airborne particles of foods you're allergic to can cause anaphylactic shock.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Toews said:

And lighting in restaurants can often be quite dim. It can be difficult to distinguish your order from someone else's especially so if you have vision problems.

Sure. But the point is the customer is aware of his medical condition and the precautions he needs to observe. It's incumbent on him to be vigilant as to what he puts in his body. His responsibility alone. Carry that epipen, know the difference between a salmon steak and a beef steak by texture alone...I mean come on.  

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5 minutes ago, Roger Neilson's Towel said:

Sounds a bit fishy to me... :bigblush:

 

 

(Sorry, I couldn't help it!) 

Totally inappropriate, a man's life was at steak.

 

This reminds me of a time I was at Quiznos.  A couple orders 2 subs, a meat sub for the man and a veggie sub for the lady.  The lady doesn't say a word about being a vegetarian.  She waits until the Quizno lady cuts her sandwich with the same knife she used on her boyfriend's sub and then spazzes out on the employee about not eating any trace of meat.  Everyone else in the restaurant, myself included, went verbally ballistic of this cow for berating the employee.  It had nothing to do with allergies mind you but this cow thought she could milk it for a free sub, man the look on her boyfriends face said it all, he was so embarrassed.  Don't get me started on peanut ban in schools... 

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36 minutes ago, Toews said:

So any person with a severe food allergy should just stay at home? They doesn't seem unreasonable to you?

 

This particular waiter was incompetent at his job not to mention careless. That isn't the fault of the victim, not all waiters are like this. 

It's not anyone's fault.  However, if the individual's food allergy is this deadly, cooking their own food might be the best course of action.  IMHAO, of course.  

The person can still go out.  Go with friends to a movie, and enjoy popcorn.  Go to dinner, in a well lighted restaurant, and have coffee and dessert.  Are there not a lot of younger people now with peanut (nut) allergies?  When allergies are so extreme, relying on others to keep you safe might not be wise.  

 

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7 minutes ago, Alflives said:

It's not anyone's fault.

Yes, it is.  It's the fault of the server who was too lazy to relay some basic instructions to the kitchen staff, nor did he bother to ensure he was delivering the proper meal.

 

How about we insist the server DO HIS &^@#ING JOB?

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It's funny how many right wingers, you know, people who bag on low skill workers for being lazy and worthless, are bending over backwards trying to excuse a low skill worker's laziness.

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I'm going with 50/50 sharing of responsibility here.

 

ftr I've never touched seafood outside of BC. when in other parts of Canada.  Unless I'm in Atlantic Canada or at home why would I pay money for seafood that isn't fresh.  It doesn't make sense.

 

i was out for dinner one evening in Saskatoon with an industry associate.  The restaurant I would consider to be comparable to a keg - a better than average chop house. Anyway the guy I'm with orders some bacon wrapped scallop appys: I mean the taste was sort of there, at least the bacon, but it felt like I was biting into a tennis ball.

 

not fresh people.

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