A Woman Allegedly Had To Get Her Gallbladder Removed After Drinking Liquid Nitrogen

Kristin Salaky
Photo credit: Ann Purcell - Getty Images

From Delish

A woman is suing a Florida hotel after she was allegedly given a drink made with liquid nitrogen that made her so ill she had to have her gallbladder and parts of her stomach removed as a result.

According to the suit filed on October 11, obtained by WFTS Tampa Bay, Stacey Wagers was finishing up dinner on November 11, 2018 at the Maritana Grille located in The Don CeSar Hotel. She and her dining partner noticed that someone near them was being served a dessert made with a "liquid" that made it smoke. From there, the lawsuit alleges, the waiter poured the liquid, which is assumed to be liquid nitrogen, into their water cups and they drank it.

From there, Wagers said she got extremely ill "within seconds."

"There was an explosion in my chest," she told NBC News. "I couldn't speak. I felt like I was dying."

“She was throwing up and shouting to the staff for help,” her attorney Adam Brum told People Magazine.

She was then taken to the ICU and her attorney said she sustained lasting damage that required her to get her gallbladder and parts of her stomach removed.

"She lost about 26 pounds as a result of this because she couldn't eat," Brum told WTFS. "She had to have laparoscopic surgery where they go in and actually scrape away the dead portions of tissue that was in her stomach from being frozen. The initial injury was to the tissue in her stomach, which they went in and had to do surgery on. And, then it turned out that this had done damage to her gallbladder, she had to have that removed."

Delish did not immediately hear back from Don CeSar after a request for comment but Don CeSar Hotel acting general manager Thomas Fraher told The Tampa Bay Times in a statement last week that “we cannot comment on pending litigation.”

Liquid nitrogen is often used in foods and drinks and is non-toxic, but as the FDA warned, it can cause "serious injury from eating, drinking, or handling food products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, immediately before consumption."

A similar incident happened in 2015, when a British wine bar was fined $200,000 after woman had to have her stomach removed after drinking a shot with liquid nitrogen in it.

Wagers is seeking $15,000 in damages with her lawsuit.

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