On March 31, 2011, a two and a half year old toddler dined with his mother in a Lakeland, Florida, Olive Garden and was served Sangria instead of orange juice. Local news report that Nikolai Van Heest, son of Jan Van Heest, consumed the better part of the Sangria before his mother noticed the restaurant's potentially deadly mistake. Jan reported to Orlando's WOFL-TV that her son was "visibly drunk. His eyes were dilated, they were red. He was getting loud."
Jan quickly whisked Nikolai to a nearby emergency room at Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he was treated with intravenous fluids and released within hours. Jan then hired an attorney and intends to file a lawsuit against the restaurant seeking damages caused by the incident.
Rich Jeffers, an Olive Garden spokesperson, offered his relief that the toddler wasn't more seriously injured as a result of the mix up. In a statement, Jeffers said "This was an extremely regrettable accident caused by the failure of an employee to follow our strict operating procedures." The restaurant chain insisted that a policy change involving mixing Sangria individually upon requests, rather than in batches, will prevent any further chance of repeating the mistake.