Food, drug and chemical allergies seem to be much more common than they
once were. Thankfully, they also tend to be treated more seriously than
in the past as well. Two or three decades ago, for example, few people
had even heard of a peanut allergy. Now, food manufacturers and restaurants
are required to post warnings that certain foods either contain peanuts
or may have come into contact with them.
Allergic reactions can be fatal. As such, businesses should never ignore
or fail to respond to customer warnings about certain allergies they have.
Recently, a grieving husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a
hair salon that allegedly ignored his wife’s warning that she was
allergic to ammonia and could not use products containing it.
In 2012, the wife and mother of two visited a Las Vegas salon in order
to get her hair dyed. According to the lawsuit, she warned the employees
about her ammonia allergy before receiving service. The lawsuit states
that “in spite of being on notice of the allergy to ammonia, defendants
applied a chemical containing ammonia to [the woman’s] hair and
scalp, causing her to sustain severe and permanent injuries and death.”
The woman died approximately seven weeks after getting exposed to the ammonia
products at the salon. During those six weeks, she received “extensive
medical treatment,” according to her husband.
It is difficult for most reasonable people to comprehend why such a warning
would have been ignored or, at best, forgotten. In light of the high risks,
it seems unlikely that the woman would have mentioned the allergy casually
or failed to make herself clear. Hopefully, this lawsuit will be a reminder
to all businesses that customer allergies must never be taken lightly.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "
Widower Says Hair Dye Killed his Wife," Mike Heuer, Aug. 5, 2014