The family of an American model and aspiring model has been awarded nearly $30 million in damages by a Las Vegas jury after she ate a peanut butter-filled pretzel and suffered a massive allergic reaction that left her with brain damage and unable to speak or walk.
Chantel Giacalone’s family was awarded the $29.5 million on Friday, April 9, when a jury found that the responding ambulance service negligently treated her in 2013, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
A jury in the civil case found that MedicWest Ambulance, whose staffers came to treat Chantel Giacalone, was at fault for lacking the IV epinephrine that was necessary to properly treat severe allergic reactions.
“At least my daughter will be taken care of. I’m happy about that,” Jack Giacalone, Chantel’s father, said at the conclusion of the three-week civil trial.
“All the anguish that we’ve been through for the last eight years, I’m not happy about,” he said.
“I just hope MedicWest changes their ways.”
Chantel Giacalone was 27 years old when she had the pretzel while attending a convention in Las Vegas.
Few minutes after eating the pretzel, Chantel Giacalone reportedly lost oxygen flow to her brain and was then attended to by first responders with the MedicWest Ambulance service.
“Every minute of Chantel’s life has been inextricably altered,” Christian Morris, the attorney representing the model’s family, said during his closing arguments on Thursday. “Every single minute since she walked into that medic room to a company that chose profits over patient care.”
Because of her condition, Chantel only communicates using her eyes. She must also be fed through a tube and requires round-the-clock care, TMZ reports.
The Southern Nevada Health District requires by law that ambulance services have on hand IV epinephrine.