Arby’s Sued by Family of Employee Who Died in Freezer

( – The family of an Arby’s restaurant employee who died in a freezer has sued the franchise, Fox Business reported. The female employee was found deceased at the scene after having beaten her hands “bloody” attempting to fight her way free from the freezer, Fox Business reported. Court documents obtained by Fox Business claimed that the restaurant franchise owner Turbo Restaurants was aware that the freezer door was broken and reportedly failed to fix it.

Following the death of Nguyet Le, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of her four children, NBC 15 reported. Le worked at the local Arby’s in Iberia, Louisiana. A mother and grandmother who was from Texas were reportedly contracted to work at the Iberia, Louisiana store location. The Texas mother was meant to stay on as a manager of the location for four weeks but was reportedly asked to complete another two weeks. Le was reportedly alone at the location at the time of the incident. Reportedly, Le was performing “opening operations,” when she was trapped inside. Le died in May, and her son, who was also reportedly working with her at this location, found her body in the freezer on May 11.

While no foul play was reported, Le was assumed to have “panicked” when she could not get free and beat her hands on the freezer to free herself or to get someone’s attention. She was found in the fetal position after collapsing from hypothermia, ABC News reported.

The company had been notified about the freezer door before the accident. Concerns about the door were repeated by another employee of the Arby’s location, who NBC stated wished to remain anonymous. Claims by those familiar with the situation stated that the management of the Iberia Arby’s store was aware of the lock being broken since “August 2022” and had made no efforts to repair it in the elapse of time since.

Le’s family has reportedly sought $1 million in damages because of their mother and grandmother’s preventable death. In their lawsuit, the family claims that the failure to repair the freezer’s latch was, on the part of the Arby’s, a matter of “conscious indifference” toward employees who were at risk of becoming stuck in the freezer.

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