A 45-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit claiming one sip of a drink resulted in an ‘explosion’ in her chest as well as the removal of her gall bladder and parts of her stomach.
Stacey Wagers, from Tampa, Florida, was celebrating her birthday with one of her best friends at the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach last November when the incident took place.
She and her friend had just finished dinner when they saw their waiter create a ‘smoking’ dessert at a nearby table by pouring liquid nitrogen over it. Wagers’ friend told the waiter the smoke effect ‘looked cool’, after which the employee proceeded to pour it into the women’s glasses of water.
Hear about Wagers’ ordeal below:
Wagers told NBC she didn’t believe the liquid nitrogen was dangerous as she’d just seen it being used on the dessert, but after drinking from her glass the 45-year-old became ill ‘immediately’.
Recalling the experience, the mum-of-two said:
There was an explosion in my chest. I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was dying.
Liquid nitrogen is a colourless, odourless form of nitrogen which exists as a liquid at temperatures around -320° Fahrenheit (-195° Celsius).
An ambulance was called to the hotel where Wagers had been eating and, when she should have been celebrating her birthday, she was taken to the Intensive Care Unit where she remained for several days. It’s unclear whether her friend was affected by the liquid nitrogen.
On Friday (October 11), Wagers filed a lawsuit against the hotel in which she claimed she felt harmful the affects of the drink ‘within seconds’.
The suit claims the liquid nitrogen burned her insides and as a result Wagers had to have surgery to remove her gall bladder. Parts of her stomach were also removed where tissue had been burned by the extremely cold temperature of the chemical.
According to Wagers’ attorney Adam Brum, the mum lost over 25 pounds (1.7 stone) after the incident and she will now suffer lifelong digestion issues.
Speaking to ABC News, the lawyer commented:
She had to have laparoscopic surgery where they go in and actually scrape away the dead portions of tissue that was [sic] 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.
The US Food and Drug Administration has warned liquid nitrogen can be extremely dangerous if consumed.
In a report, they write:
Both liquid nitrogen and dry ice can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidently ingested due to the extremely low temperatures they can maintain.
As such, liquid nitrogen and dry ice should not be directly consumed or allowed to directly contact exposed skin.
Representatives of Don CeSar Hotel have not publicly commented on the lawsuit.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.