Parents of teen with nut allergy who died reach settlement
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The parents of a teen girl with a peanut allergy who died in their arms after she ate a snack at a camp have reached a $15 million settlement with the city of Sacramento, they announced Wednesday.
Natalie Giorgi, 13, died in July 2013 after eating a Rice Krispie snack containing visually undetectable peanut butter at a city-run camp while her parents briefly stepped away. Her surgeon father severed a tendon on his dominant arm when he broke a medicine cabinet to get a third EpiPen, but the injections failed to stop the fatal allergic reaction.
“Sharing Natalie’s story is important to the food allergy community,” Joanne Giorgi, Natalie’s mother, said at a news conference. “It makes adults stop and listen. Nothing makes this easier, but it does allow us to know we’re doing good in our daughter’s name.”
The Giorgis’ 2014 lawsuit said officials at Camp Sacramento were warned numerous times that Natalie had a peanut allergy, and that the girl was conscientious about avoiding troublesome food.
The city of Sacramento confirmed the settlement in a statement and said that officials would have no further comment, the Sacramento Bee reported. “Through this tragedy, we have learned there are some important steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of future campers,” the statement said.
As part of the settlement, Camp Sacramento will go through an accreditation process over the next 12 months with the American Camp Association, the city said.
“The lawsuit is over, but the losses continue,” Natalie’s father, Louis Giorgi, told Sacramento television station KCRA. “The reality is Natalie should have driven to high school with her little sister and her twin sister today, and we shouldn’t be talking to you.”
Two years ago, the Giorgis successfully lobbied for a new California law that requires EpiPens in schools. They also have started a foundation in their daughter’s name.