Family, School Settle for $1 Million in Teen’s Allergy Tragedy

in Food Allergy, Food Allergy News
Published: March 15, 2023
Jagger Shaw
Jagger Shaw Photo: Facebook

A Nebraska school district has agreed to pay $1 million to the family of a teen who died of anaphylaxis in May 2022. Jagger Shaw, 14, ate a granola bar that contained peanut, which a teacher had given him while at Liberty Middle School in Papillion, Nebraska.

Jagger was allergic to peanuts and died later in hospital following a devastating reaction.

During its meeting on March 13, 2023, the school board received notification of the settlement with Jagger’s parents Tom Shaw and Jill Shaw over the wrongful death claim. The Papillion La Vista Community Schools’ liability insurance will cover the lump sum settlement fee. The teen’s parents have agreed, in turn, to release the school district from liability. 

”Our thoughts are with the Shaw family. It’s such a tragic situation. Our hearts break for them,” school district spokeswoman Annette Eyman told the Omaha World-Herald.

The settlement was reached through a probate court process, not a civil lawsuit. Jagger’s family did not respond to requests to comment on it. 

However, in May 2022, following Jagger’s death, the eighth-grader’s father wrote a Facebook post that offers insight into what happened in this tragedy. 

Tom Shaw says that he dropped Jagger at his school the morning on May 6. “I gave him a hug and kiss told him to be good, and have a good day like every time I dropped him off,” he wrote.

He says his son had asked to go to the school office to retrieve a snack, but a teacher instead offered him one of her granola bars. “Jagger took it, and got halfway through eating it, and felt like he was starting to have an allergic reaction and went to the nurse’s office,” his father said.

Jagger’s Reaction Got Critical

“They gave him Benadryl and waited to see if that was working,” said Shaw. He wrote that his son tried to throw up the food, but “came back from the bathroom looking flushed.” At that point, “the nurse gave him the EpiPen and called an ambulance.”

Jagger was taken to the local hospital, but the anaphylaxis swiftly became critical. According to Shaw’s post, his son’s heart had to be restarted, and his brain had swelling.

The young man was urgently transported to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. The bigger center’s intensive care unit got the teen onto a ventilator. However, his father wrote that oxygen deprivation and worsening swelling had severely injured his son’s brain. Doctors told the family, including his mom, stepmom and twin brother, that scans showed Jagger had negligible brain activity. They were told he had no chance of recovery.

Jagger passed away on May 7, 2022, surrounded by his family. “I hope he knew somehow that we were with him,” wrote Tom Shaw.

At the time of Jagger’s tragedy, Allergic Living reminded food allergy families and individuals of the importance of using epinephrine promptly to try to halt a reaction from progressing. We stress that reminder again, as you keep Jagger and his grieving family in your thoughts.

Related Reading: 

Anaphylaxis But No Epinephrine: Inside an Epidemic of Hesitation
Allergy Mom Reflects on 3 Tragedies – and Vulnerability