Inquest opens into death of Leeds man James Atkinson with peanut allergy who died after eating single slice of pizza

An inquest has opened into the death of 23-year-old man with a peanut allergy who died after eating a single slice of pizza from Deliveroo.

By Rebecca Marano
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 5:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 5:43 pm

James Atkinson died on 10 July 2020 after ordering a takeaway pizza via the Deliveroo app from Dadyal restaurant in Newcastle.

The graduate from Garforth in Leeds, who had a known peanut allergy, may have suffered anaphylaxis after eating just one slice of pizza with his housemates in Newcastle, says the family.

Despite ordering food from the premises previously, the computer science graduate from Newcastle University was unaware the restaurant had allegedly begun using peanut powder within the ingredients for making the chicken tikka masala pizza.

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James Atkinson, from Leeds, died after eating just one slice of pizza. His parents have pushed for an inquest into their son's death, who they said was always "so careful" with his peanut allergy.

James’ parents, Jill Atkinson, 58, and Stuart, 59, have pushed for an inquest into their son's death, who they said was always "so careful" with his allergy.

They are hoping that an inquest will help them to finally get answers about the circumstances surrounding their son's passing.

On the Crowd Justice page the couple from Leeds said: "We have been told by the police that the restaurant may have swapped an ingredient in his pizza on the day he died to a powder containing peanuts.

"We want to find out if that is correct, and if so, how that could have been allowed to happen".

More than two million people in the UK are living with a diagnosed food allergy and this number is on the rise.

The Atkinson family hope that by examining whether lessons could be learned in James’ death, other allergy sufferers can be better protected.

Jill and Stuart are also hoping questions will be raised over the effectiveness of Deliveroo's allergen information - arguing such details need to be made clearer with an allergy tick box on the order form.

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A pre-inquest review hearing was held on Tuesday, May 10 at Newcastle Upon Tyne Corner’s Court, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge.

The hearing was in-person only and was listed for one hour.

The full inquest into James’ death is currently listed on 19 to 22 October 2022.

On the Crowd Justice page, the Atkinson family wrote: "James was a bright and bubbly character who lived life to the full. He loved sports especially rugby, cycling and running.

"He moved to Newcastle to study computer science and loved it so much he decided to stay.

"He loved spending time with his friends and brightened up any room.

"He was the life and soul of a party and went out of his way to make sure everyone was having a good time.

"James loved his time with family and looked forward to coming home to spend time with us all and having long walks with our dog.

"James will be forever missed by all his family and friends.

"We are determined to ensure a full and fearless Inquest into James’ death and want to do all we can in his memory to help increase the protection for allergy sufferers in the UK.

"We have been told that a three-day Inquest into James’ death will be taking place on what would have been his 26th birthday.

"We should be celebrating his life on this day and instead we are going to be asking questions about what happened to him that night.

"We have no words to describe how painful this will be".

The family are being represented by Thomas Jervis, partner at law firm Leigh Day, who have represented families with similar allergen stories to James.

To support the family, you can visit their crowd justice page here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/justice-for-james/