MORGANTOWN - A West Virginia University student is suing a popular casual dining restaurant after he had a severe allergic reaction to his meal after he claims the restaurant failed to clean the grill before preparing his food.

Christopher Puccio of Lewisburg filed a suit Nov. 1, 2007, in Monongalia Circuit Court against Apple American Group, also known as Applebee's.

According to the suit, Puccio went to Applebee's on Nov. 5, 2005, to order food with friends.

"As he ordered his food he informed the server of a severe allergy to seafood and was assured his food would be prepared without contact with seafood," the suit says.

Puccio claims he previously had suffered a reaction at the restaurant in March 2005 and was concerned for his safety.

However, the suit states Puccio's food was not prepared on a clean grill, which allowed it to be exposed to seafood.

Because of the negligence shown in preparing his food, Puccio became violently ill and was transported to the emergency room for lifesaving procedures, the suit says.

Puccio claims he suffered serious injury and damages, pain and physical disability, mental anguish and great discomfort of the body. He will suffer severe impairment to and loss of enjoyment of life in the future and may require future medical treatment.

According to the suit, Puccio is informed that his injuries will result in some permanent disability. He was lost considerable personal time and delayed his ability to return to school.

Through attorney J. Steven Hunter, Puccio seeks general damages, medical and related expenses, and other costs.

The case is somewhat reminiscent of a high-profile case also filed in Monongalia County earlier this year in which a man sued McDonald's after he had an allergic reaction to cheese on his Quarter Pounders.

In that suit, filed July 18, Jeromy Jackson claims he asked for no cheese on his Quarter Pounders when he went through the drive-thru with his mother, Trela Jackson, and his friend, Andrew Ellifritz. The burgers had cheese, and he had to be rushed to the hospital. Jackon's attorney Tim Houston recently filed a motion to be removed from that case.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-726

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