A Tampa woman went to dinner with her best friend at a hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida last year for her birthday. Instead of celebrating, she says she almost died.
"There was an explosion in my chest," said 45-year-old Stacey Wagers to NBC News. "I could not speak, I felt like dying."
In a lawsuit against the hotel on Friday, Wagers claims that she "fell seriously ill within seconds" after drinking liquid nitrogen.
Wagers and her friend had just finished their dinner at the Maritana Grille on the grounds of Don CeSar Hotel on November 11, 2018. The women saw how her waiter poured a liquid on the dessert of a nearby table that made it "smoke". Wagers' friend told the waiter that the smoke effect looked cool, and the waiter poured the liquid nitrogen into the women's glasses.
"Of course I did not think that was dangerous at all," said Wagers. "He just poured it on a dessert."
The women drank from these glasses, and Wagers fell ill immediately after the lawsuit. An ambulance was called and Wagers taken to intensive care where she stayed for days.
Due to liquid nitrogen, Wagers needed to undergo surgery to remove her gallbladder. Parts of her stomach were also removed where tissue had been burned by the extremely cold temperature of the chemical. Wagers has lost over 25 pounds through the incident and will experience lifelong digestive problems, according to her lawyer Adam Brum.
"You should not just pour it into someone's drink and allow them to just take a sip of it," Brum told NBC News about the waiter's behavior.
Liquid nitrogen is a colorless, odorless form of nitrogen that is liquid at -320 degrees Fahrenheit. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that liquid nitrogen may be extremely dangerous to eat, "the FDA said." As such, liquid nitrogen and dry ice should not be consumed directly and should not be consumed directly come into contact with exposed skin. "
Don CeSar representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comments.