Jalapeño Lawsuit Loses Heat

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Jalapeño surprise

When consumers have food allergies, there is always a risk in dining at a restaurant.  About two years ago, on May 8, 2018, a patron of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa received both a poor dining experience and a trip to the hospital. As a result of her less than pleasurable dinner, Rochelle McCoy filed a lawsuit on May 4 in Woodbury County District Court.  Since then, the lawsuit has been dropped, but the specifications or terms of a potential settlement have not been disclosed to the public.  The culprit that convinced McCoy to take legal action may be described as rich and mild.

Jalapeños were added to McCoy’s meal.  Despite her warning to the wait staff that she was allergic to jalapeños, as well as the menu’s lack of notice on the ingredients included in the meal, McCoy was served a food item that caused a severe health complication.  After consuming a portion of the meal, McCoy was rushed to the hospital for side effects that included swelling, physical discomfort, shortness of breath, and loss of speech.  She also almost fainted and was hospitalized.

Initially, McCoy sought damages in the amount of $10,000, which would help pay for her medical expenses.  Since the filing, the case has been dropped, but there are a couple of details that have yet to be unearthed.  It is not clear which of the menu items were selected by McCoy, however, it was mentioned that the jalapeños were added to a dish containing meat. The second topic that is not being discussed publicly is the terms of resolution, settled between the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Rochelle McCoy’s legal team.  The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City has not provided a comment on the matter.