When a teen from Minnesota went to a local cafe for breakfast with his family last June, no one expected that it would be his last meal. The family of the teen, who tragically died due to a dairy allergy after eating a stack of pancakes, has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant.
The teen, Scott Johnson, suffered from a dairy allergy so severe since birth that even small consumptions of dairy could send him straight to the ER. So when Johnson ordered pancakes at Minnesota Nice Cafe in Bemidji, the family made sure that the pancakes would be dairy-free. Johnson's mother even asked the server to tell the cook to clean the grill before making the pancakes as precautionary measure.
After the stack was served, Johnson ate two of the pancakes before realizing that something was wrong. "We have to go now," he told his mother Cindy.
The family rushed home to get to the teen's EpiPen to stop the reaction and nebulizer to open his lungs, both left behind. But it was already too late.
Cindy Johnson called 911, and her 16-year-old son was airlifted to a hospital in Fargo. The family was informed that Johnson had suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction that caused his heart to fail.
The teen tragically died three days after eating the pancakes.
Because Johnson had such an extreme allergy to dairy, the family rarely ate out at restaurants. However, they'd decided to have breakfast at Minnesota Nice Cafe that morning as a treat.
"We didn't have to wait for a table," Cindy Johnson said. " They knew us by name."
Even though the restaurant was familiar with them, they still made sure to inform the establishment that caution was necessary.
The family hope that their story will stop a tragedy like this from occurring in the future.
"Sixteen years, that's too short," Johnson's father said.
The cafe has not commented on the matter because of the lawsuit.
Photo: Anne Catherine Nyberg | Flickr