Robert Morgan was on the Whole30 diet and felt unwell while driving, according to the lawsuit

By Rachel DeSantis
March 11, 2019 12:38 PM

The estate of an Oregon woman run over by a car in a grocery store parking lot has sued the car’s driver, claiming he was behind the wheel despite feeling unwell thanks to his Whole30 diet.

Susan Matthies, 68, died in September 2017 after she was run over while loading groceries into her car in a Safeway parking lot in Dallas, Oregon, according to a lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE.

Driver Robert Morgan was on the Whole30 diet at the time, and had not eaten breakfast or lunch, leaving him “feeling nauseous and lightheaded,” the suit claims.

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The diet encourages people to cut added sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol and baked goods for 30 days in order to “let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing,” according to its website.

Morgan allegedly turned his vehicle into Matthies’, then ran her over. She was transported to a local hospital, where she later died.

“[Matthies’] death resulted from the negligence of [Morgan],” the suit reads.

Matthies’ estate is suing Morgan for $3.6 million in damages, claiming he did not maintain proper control of his vehicle, was driving too fast for the conditions, was driving despite knowing his health issues would pose a risk to people on the roadway, and failed to obey traffic laws.

The Oregonian reports Morgan did not face criminal charges in the accident.

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Matthies was a native of Portland who’d been widowed several months before her death, according to her obituary, which says she died in a “tragic accident.”

“The fad of aggressive diets can be potentially dangerous to not just the person on the diet,” Brian Lathen, an attorney representing Matthies’ estate, tells PEOPLE. “The world lost a wonderful woman, in part, due to a diet. Please talk to a doctor before starting a diet.”

Whole30 cofounder Melissa Hartwig Urban said in a statement to PEOPLE that the diet does not instruct users to skip meals.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the Matthies family,” the statement read. “Whole30 has always maintained the importance of eating whenever participants feel hungry, and to avoid skipping meals.”

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