Disney World lawsuit: Woman dies from food allergies after Disney Springs dinner

The autopsy report ruled Kanokporn Tangsuan's death an accident.

The family of a 42-year-old tourist with serious food allergies says she died after eating at a popular Disney Springs restaurant last year.

The woman’s husband, who filed a lawsuit in Orange Circuit Court, accused Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant of ignoring the couple’s repeated warnings that she needed allergen-free food and serving the meal she ate that night.

Jeffrey Piccolo is suing Disney and Raglan Road for more than $50,000, according to the wrongful death lawsuit.

His wife, Kanokporn Tangsuan, was a doctor who worked at NYU Langone and lived in New Jersey, her obituary said.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her Oct. 5 death an accident and said the cause of death was from anaphylaxis, according to the autopsy report obtained by Florida Politics through a public records request.

The Mayo Clinic calls anaphylaxis a “severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. It can happen seconds or minutes after you’ve been exposed to something you’re allergic to.”

“Jeff really wants to make sure that this never happens to anyone else,” attorney Brian Denney said Friday. “It’s very important to him that people are aware that people with severe allergies like this should be taken seriously. And he doesn’t want this to happen to anybody else’s family.”

The lawsuit described the frantic last moments of Tangsuan’s life.

She had extreme allergies to dairy and nuts. On the trip with her husband and mother-in-law, she ate dinner at the Irish restaurant. The married couple talked to the waiter to alert the restaurant of her extreme allergies to dairy and nuts and to check which menu items had allergens in them.

“The waiter unequivocally assured them that the food would be allergen free,” the lawsuit said, so she ordered broccoli and corn fritters, scallops, vegan Shepherd’s pie and onion rings.

“When the waiter returned with Kanokporn Tangsuan’s food, some of the items did not have allergen free flags in them and Kanokporn Tangsuan and Jeffrey Piccolo once again questioned the waiter who, once again, guaranteed the food being delivered to Kanokporn Tangsuan was allergen free,” the lawsuit said.

Tangsuan ate her food at about 8 p.m., and then the two women split up to go shopping at different stores at Disney Springs while Piccolo returned to the hotel with the leftovers.

Forty-five minutes later, Tangsuan was alone and had a medical episode. She couldn’t breathe and collapsed at Planet Hollywood. She gave herself an EpiPen shot, but it was too late. She died at the hospital.

Her mother-in-law couldn’t find her until somebody answered Tangsuan’s phone and said she had been taken to the hospital. At the hospital, her husband learned the tragic news.

It still haunts her husband that Tangsuan died alone, Denney said.

Tangsuan, who went by the nickname “Amy,” was a first-generation American born from immigrants from Thailand.

“She was an only child, so this has been devastating, really just for everybody,” Denney said.

Tangsuan was madly in love with her husband and was excited to start having a family, Denney said. The couple enjoyed going on hikes and had been in Orlando for a work conference while they squeezed in some fun at the theme parks and Disney Springs.

“She was just a kind, gentle, sweet person,” Denney said.

Tangsuan’s patients recalled her down-to-earth personality, her kindness and her sense of humor. “She was a great physician and an even better human,” one person wrote on her online obituary page remembering the family care physician.

The lawsuit said both Disney and Raglan advertised they handled special accommodations for people with food allergies, which is why they decided to eat at the Irish eatery. The couple had believed there were enough safeguards in place to keep Tangsuan safe.

“Disney advertises and represents to the public that food allergies and/or the accommodation of persons with food allergies is a top priority at its parks and resorts, including Disney Springs and that patrons/guests may consult with a chef or special diets trained Cast Member before placing an order,” the lawsuit said, which accuses Raglan of being negligent.

Florida Politics reached out to Disney and Raglan Road which did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • jean solomon

    February 23, 2024 at 11:16 am

    how can anyone be certain that the IRISH restauraunt is the only place this person consumed food? if she is so allergic to many foods..why is n’t she bringing her own food/ sounds like a typical scam to me…… deep pockets and all that!

    • Strel

      February 26, 2024 at 2:17 pm

      Why do those disabled people need ramps? Tell them to bring their own, or just don’t go out to restaurants, eh?

    • Donna

      February 27, 2024 at 8:25 am

      Wow! This woman died! How can u call it a scam? Where’s your compassion?

    • Catrina s

      February 27, 2024 at 10:44 am

      This was my friends wife that died. So stop assuming. They took an hour and a half to get to her. That’s the problem.
      When it comes to any public area, public safety is a priority. For Disney it is not because they dont have to abide by Florida laws.
      If they got to her like a regular emergency responder is supposed to, she would of made it to the hospital in time.

      • Steve

        February 29, 2024 at 12:16 pm

        What are you talking about get to her?? I am confused by your statement. They left raglan rd and split up correct??? She went Shopping?? He went elsewhere correct? Disney springs is jam packed 7 days a week. Thousands and thousand there every night. Police there along with disney security. Not understanding your claim about an hour and a half?? If she had an issue there is plenty of people around to alert 911 and find help within minutes. The fire station is not far from disney springs so I am sure the ambulance police and paramedics where there rather quickly. Please enlighten us on your comments

      • Steve

        February 29, 2024 at 12:31 pm

        And to your point about safety. Have you been to disney springs?? You pass through a metal detector before your allowed in. There is orange county sherrifs on site along with disney security. Your comments about safety are way off base. While this is a tragic accident do not blame disney for this. If you have an allergy that is so bad it’s life threatening then YOU are responsible for your health. Not anyone else. Disney goes above and beyond for food allergy people. THEY ARE NOT CERTIFIED ALLERGY FREE RESTUARANTS. You can easily have cross contamination issues at each restaurant you eat at. All restaurants use a wood pick in the food stating allergy free. If you do not see that pick you DO NOT EAT IT AND ASK TO SPEAK WITH MANAGEMENT! . My wife and daughter have food allergies and we know the risks. We also know and understand it’s OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DOUBLE CHECK FOOD AND SPEAK WITH A MANAGER IF WE ARE UNSURE. NEVER EVER JUST TAKE THE WORD OF A WAITER WAITRESS OR FOOD RUNNER!!! WHEN AT DISNEY PROPERTIES ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE ALLERGY FREE WOOD PICK IN THE FOOD AS A MARKER. IF ITS NOT THERE THEN ASSUME THAT FOOD IS NOT ALLERGY FREE AND GET A MANAGER INVOLVED.

    • G. Sooby

      February 28, 2024 at 4:23 pm

      Wow!, that shows how stupid you are to make a comment like that. The womens gone its not scam. It’s people like you that make food allergies really dangerous.

  • Steve

    February 23, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    Both my wife and younger daughter have gluten issues. So we know all about allergy friendly ordering at disney. Disney goes above and beyond for their allergy guests. My wife will most of the time ask to speak directly to a chef to be certain they get the correct foods. Plus the chef will usually make your meal fresh and deliver it to you so both parties are absolutely sure food is correct. We did have a issue once with bread being delivered to them by accident that was not gluten free. We immediately asked to speak with someone in management and they took away the bread and delivered a brand new one that was gluten free. Accidents happen now and again. I don’t think this is a scam in any way. Just a tragic accident. My question is if she had such a life threatening allergy why did they take the waiters word?? Any allergy free food at any disney restaurant is clearly marked with a wood pick that states allergy free on it. If your food is missing that marker you ask to speak to management to question the food. This is a tragic horrible story. If your going to disney and have food allergies DO NOT EAT ANY FOOD NOT MARKED WITH THAT WOOD STICK THING. Ask to speak with a manager if there is any doubt. They will gladly make you a new what ever.

  • Alicia

    February 24, 2024 at 9:10 am

    Your ignorance of what food allergies are is probably why you sound so rude you simply don’t know imagine having to carry your food around w you even on vacation all the celebrations we have involve food It would take just a little extra work for the restaurant to ensure food safety I’m sure if you found mouse poop or glass shards In Your food you’d be upset Or if they allowed ecoli contamination and your loved one died from it you’d be outraged Food allergies are serious and usually restaurants treat it as such I suspect it was an waiter uneducated in food allergy issues that caused this

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 24, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    50 thousand? It should be 50 million.

  • Strel

    February 26, 2024 at 2:19 pm

    The problem isn’t just people who are ignorant of real food allergies, it’s also the jerks who fake allergies for whatever reason. Too often wait staff doesn’t take the diner seriously.
    Like when Panera sent me to the ER.

Comments are closed.


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