Quebec man wants compensation after he says salmon meal put him in a coma

The Quebec man who was hospitalized for anaphylactic shock after eating salmon has sent a legal letter to the restaurant wanting compensation.

Simon-Pierre Canuel's lawyers have sent a legal letter to the restaurant, Le Tapageur

Simon-Pierre Canuel says he was in a coma for several days and 'almost died' after being served salmon tartare by a waiter who he says was aware of his allergy. (Submitted by Simon-Pierre Canuel)

A Quebec man who was hospitalized for anaphylactic shock after eating salmon despite warning a server about his seafood allergy is threatening to sue the restaurant for compensation.

Lawyers for Simon-Pierre Canuel, 34, sent a letter dated Aug. 9 to Le Tapageur restaurant in Sherbrooke, Que.

The letter, obtained by Radio-Canada this week, said Canuel would go to court to seek damages if an agreement can't be reached amicably.

The letter does not indicate the amount of compensation sought.

Canuel says he visited Le Tapageur on May 29 and ordered beef tartare. He says he told the waiter he was allergic to salmon and seafood.

Canuel was served salmon tartare instead. He says in the dimly lit room he was not able to tell it wasn't what he ordered.

He went into anaphylactic shock at the restaurant and was taken to hospital.

He says he suffered a cardiac arrest the following day and was in a coma for several days.

"I almost died," he previously told CBC News.

Canuel filed a complaint with Sherbrooke police and the server was arrested.

Police have said the server could be charged with criminal negligence, but no charges have yet been laid.

Simon-Pierre Canuel says he suffers from post-traumatic stress after being served salmon tartare at a Sherbrooke restaurant. (Radio-Canada)

Previous bad reactions

In a phone conversation this week with Radio-Canada, Canuel said it's not the first time he has suffered severe anaphylactic shock or had a bad reaction to a restaurant meal.

In 2004, he says he contracted salmonella at a restaurant in Luxembourg. He says he did not pursue any legal recourse in that case.

He also says he was treated at the Hull Hospital in Gatineau, Que., in the winter of 2013 for an allergic reaction to a medicine. 

In March of this year, he was again hospitalized in Gatineau for another food-related reaction. 

There is no record of Canuel filing a lawsuit in those cases.

Why no EpiPen?

Canuel says he normally carries an EpiPen with him, but he didn't have it at Le Tapageur.

He previously told Radio-Canada that he forgot the EpiPen in his vehicle the night he went to the restaurant, but said this week that it likely fell out of his pocket when he got out of his vehicle.

With files from Radio-Canada's Laurent Therrien