Family Suing Publix Claims Boy Allergic To Nuts Died After Eating Cookie Worker Said Was Safe

The family of an 11-year-old boy allergic to nuts who died in June 2014 is suing Publix, claiming that his death was caused by a severe allergic reaction after eating a cookie a grocery store worker allegedly deemed safe.

According to the lawsuit reported by the Associated Press (warning: link includes video that autoplays), the Alabama boy was visiting family in Tennessee when he passed away soon after eating a chocolate chip cookie bought at a Publix store.

The lawsuit filed in federal court claims that the store bakery didn’t post warnings about ingredients or the potential for cross-contamination between products, and claimed that the mother only purchased the cookie after a worker told her it was safe.

The 11-year-old almost immediately started showing symptoms when he bit into the cookie at his aunt’s house, the lawsuit says. His mom gave him Benadryl and injected him in the thigh before an ambulance arrived, but his condition quickly worsened, a lawyer for the family said.

“It was horrible,” the family’s attorney said. “The child went into anaphylactic shock at his aunt’s house in front of his aunt and his mother and his cousins.”

The boy later died at a hospital.

His grandfather and mother filed the suit along with the boy’s aunt, who lives in Tennessee, with family members saying they hope the lawsuit brings attention to children with food allergies.

A Publix spokeswoman says that the company does post allergen information in its bakeries, but didn’t elaborate further on the case.

“Our thoughts are with the family over the loss of their child,” the spokeswoman said in a statement to the AP. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the pending litigation.”

Lawsuit: Boy, 11, died of allergic reaction to Publix cookie [Associated Press]