Parents of Girl Who Died from Peanut Allergy at Camp Sacramento Reach Settlement

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SACRAMENTO -- Louis and Joanne Giorgi reached a $15 million settlement with the City of Sacramento, three years after their daughter Natalie died from peanut exposure at Camp Sacramento.

"Nothing makes this easier, even three years later, but it actually does allow us the opportunity of knowing that we are doing good in our daughter's name and that carries her memory on," Joanne Giorgi said.

Natalie died on July 13, 2013.

Natalie, who had a severe peanut allergy, took a bite out of a rice krispies treat containing peanut butter --- the snack wasn’t labeled and did not display any warning that it contained peanuts.

"They lost her in about as the most horrifying fashion that parents can. Where in the arms of her mother, she ultimately loses the ability to breathe, from anaphylactic shock," the family's attorney, Roger Dreyer said.

The City of Sacramento issued the following statement:
“The City of Sacramento and the members of Camp Sacramento were deeply saddened by the death of Natalie Giorgi. Our hearts and condolences are with the Giorgi family. Through this tragedy we have learned there are some important steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of future campers.”

"To hear then that changes were made for us was extremely gratifying to know that perhaps sharing Natalie's story made adults stop and listen. How do we do better to protect children in the future," Joanne Giorgi said.

Natalie’s parents' dogged work to make food allergies a priority, has also led to change in school districts across the Northern California -- many of which banned peanuts and food containing peanuts on campuses.

They also lobbied successfully at the State Capitol requiring schools to have Epi-Pens.

Their message resonated across the state.

"Being aware of what you're serving, and being aware of who you're serving it to," Natalie's father, Louis Giorgi said.

"She didn't even eat it. Exposure to this allergen itself is enough to cascade in a number of symptoms, and you can't stop them," Dreyer said.

Part of the settlement with the city requires Camp Sacramento to become accredited, meaning they must meet strict guidelines on safety and procedures. The city promises it will do that in the next 12 months.

The family says less than 25 percent of such campsites are accredited in the entire country.

Louis Giorgi's career as a urology surgeon ended after he broke into a locked medicine cabinet at the campsite to get an Epi-Pen to try and save his daughter. He severed a main tendon in his arm.

For Natalie’s parents, life will never be the same, but they take comfort knowing their daughter’s legacy will save others.

"This will enable Natalie's message to be much greater amplified," her father added.

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