Top of Mind Thursday – January 27, 2022: Totally Nuts

This week, a Merrill Lynch advisor was fired after directing an expletive laden tirade at the workers at a smoothie shop who made his son’s drink. He threw a drink at one person and made anti-immigrant comments at another.

Leverage2Market LogoSounds like a straight-forward case of inappropriate racist behavior, right? Not so fast.

It turned out that James Iannozzo’s son has a severe peanut allergy. Iannozzo specifically told the shop NOT to put peanuts in his son’s drink–and this even was noted on his sales slip. However, in spite of this, the smoothie contained peanuts and his son required emergency room treatment.

Somehow this part of the story appears to have been lost. The video of Iannozzo’s tirade has gone viral–being viewed more than half a million times. It doesn’t appear there’s a video of his son being treated for anaphylactic shock, which could have easily killed him.

Too many people poo-poo allergies like this–complaining how limiting peanuts at school lunch tables or on airplanes is inconvenient for them. This is not an inconvenience for someone like Iannozzo’s son. Untreated, an exposure like this could be deadly. Over 3 million people in the US have nut allergies and 150 of them die each year from situations like this.

Was Iannozo wrong to attack the employees in the store like this? Yes. Were the store employees wrong not to treat a nut allergy seriously? Absolutely.

It’s too bad this hasn’t been showcased as an example of why nut allergies should be taken so seriously. Ignoring that lesson is totally nuts.

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