‘Poisonous’ level of marijuana in caterer’s food derails wedding, Florida lawsuit says

Tony Dejak/AP

A woman who attended a wedding in Florida is suing the event’s caterer, accusing her of serving guests food infused with “poisonous” levels of marijuana.

The event meant for celebrating two newlyweds turned to chaos, as deputies arrived to find guests complaining of feeling “high” or “stoned” at the Feb. 19 reception in Longwood, a city 15 miles north of Orlando, according to a report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.When authorities showed up, first responders were already treating several sick guests and a few attendees were sent to a hospital.

Samples of food served at the event were sent to a lab for testing, the report shows. Lab results revealed lasagna and bread tested positive for THC, an active ingredient in marijuana.

Two months later, the Orlando-based wedding caterer, Joycelyn Bryant, and the bride were arrested, McClatchy News previously reported.

Virginia Ann Taylor-Svoboda, who says she “became immediately ill” after unknowingly eating marijuana-laced food at the event, has filed the lawsuit against Bryant and her catering company, Joycelyn’s Southern Kitchen, Inc., according to a complaint filed in Seminole County.

McClatchy News has contacted Bryant’s company for comment on Nov. 29.

Taylor-Svoboda’s lawsuit argues she had no idea the wedding’s food contained cannabis, resulting in her suffering from “marijuana poisoning,” the complaint states.

Food infused with marijuana can affect people differently compared with smoking the plant and can cause “poisoning” if too much is consumed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Having too much may result in anxiety, paranoia, a fast heart rate, severe nausea and more, the agency says. However, it’s highly unlikely for marijuana to be deadly.

“Uncomplicated marijuana intoxication rarely needs medical advice or treatment,” according to Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

Taylor-Svoboda is accusing Bryant of negligence and her lawsuit seeks more than $30,000 in damages.

The wedding

“(Bryant) knew, or should have known, that allowing the food served by (Joycelyn’s Southern Kitchen) to be laced with marijuana was reasonably likely to cause injuries and damages to wedding guests,” Taylor-Svoboda’s lawsuit states.

Another woman at the wedding who became sick told authorities that she witnessed Bryant handling a “green and fuzzy looking” substance with a scent of marijuana and placing it into food dishes, according to the report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

When the woman asked Bryant if the food contained marijuana, Bryant “giggled and shook her head yes,” the report states.

The woman avoided eating most of the food at the wedding, but she eventually tried some bread and olive oil, according to the report. Shortly afterward, she said she “felt stoned.”

A few days after the event she took a drug test and the results showed she had marijuana in her system, the report states.

Bryant was charged with violating the Florida Anti-Tampering Act, delivery of marijuana and culpable negligence in April, according to the report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

The criminal case against Bryant is ongoing and she is due in court to face the charges against her on Jan. 11, court records show.

Meanwhile, Taylor-Svoboda also wants to take Bryant to court, as her lawsuit demands a trial by jury.

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