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This Taco Bell Food Caused Permanent Paralysis, Customers Claim in New Lawsuit

A tainted dish allegedly left one women paralyzed with a rare disorder.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

Truth be told, the majority of items on fast-food menus aren't great for your health. But even if you do indulge in an occasional guilty pleasure, you likely wouldn't expect that a stop at the drive-thru could prompt a potentially life-altering illness. One woman claims that she experienced every fast-food fan's worst nightmare after ordering a tainted dish at Taco Bell, which allegedly left her paralyzed with a rare disorder.

Law360 reports that Wanda Shadix and her husband, Sherrel, have filed a legal complaint in Georgia state court over a series of events that allegedly transpired after they stopped at a Taco Bell location in Calhoun on June 10, 2020. According to the complaint, Wanda Shadix ordered a Nachos Bellgrande with pico de gallo and no sour cream following church that evening, while her husband ordered a Burrito Supreme with a Baja Blast Mountain Dew. (RELATED: The Saddest Restaurant Closures in Your State)

The complaint conveys what allegedly transpired next:

Upon taking the first bite of her Nachos BellGrande, Plaintiff Wanda Shadix noted that the meal looked different from those she had eaten in the past and tasted dried out."

For that reason, Shadix "did not finish her nachos, only eating approximately half of the meal."

Within approximately four hours of going to bed, Shadix allegedly woke up with chills, diarrhea, and severe stomach pain. Her husband "felt queasy and had an upset stomach," according to Law360.

Five days later, Shadix allegedly began to experience issues using her hands and subsequently lost control of all of her limbs. According to the complaint, Shadix was admitted to a nearby hospital's intensive care unit for a month. She then transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for another three weeks before undergoing three months of inpatient physical therapy and various medical interventions.

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Shadix has allegedly been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder known as Guillaine-Barre syndrome. The Mayo Clinic describes Guillaine-Barre as "a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves." The complaint further claims that she is now quadriplegic:

Plaintiff Wanda Shadix is now a quadriplegic. Through treatment, Wanda has made some improvements and can now breathe and speak on her own as well as perform minor movements with her hands. However, at this time, it is unknown to what extent her paralysis will be permanent.

As a result, the Shadixes are seeking damages related to seven counts, including negligence and strict liability. They name Taco Bell and its parent company, Yum! Brands, as defendants, along with five other anonymous parties (who are thought to be employees and suppliers of the Calhoun Taco Bell store).

Taco Bell did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Eat This, Not That!

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more