(RepublicanDaily.org) – McDonald’s and one of its franchise owners are paying out more than $800,000 after being successfully sued by the family of a young girl whose leg was burned by a scalding hot Happy Meal. The burning incident occurred four years ago at the McDonald’s drive-through located in Tamarac, Florida about 20 minutes from downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Lawsuit plaintiff Philana Holmes says she took her young daughter Olivia Caraballo, who was four-years-old at the time, to get food at the Tamarac McDonald’s along with her young son. After purchasing Happy Meals and driving away, she was alarmed when her young daughter started screaming. Holmes pulled over to find out what was wrong, only to discover that Olivia, who is autistic, had been badly burned on her thighs by extremely hot chicken nuggets.
The Tamarac franchise owner Upchurch Foods along with McDonald’s USA have been found liable in the lawsuit, which concluded that Upchurch is responsible for not adequately cautioning its customers about how hot the food might be. McDonald’s USA was found liable for not giving the initial safe handling instructions to Upchurch to pass on to customers. In its defense, McDonald’s claimed that the temperature was necessary to avoid any bacterial danger in the cooked meat and said that the girl’s improper handling of them were not their responsibility.
McDonald’s also argued that the nuggets had not been heated to over 71 degrees celsius while the Holmes’ lawyer successful argued that the temperature had to have been above 93 degrees celsius to have caused the painful second-degree burns. The lawsuit played Olivia’s screams in court and photos taken at the time of the injury which they said showed “scarring and disfigurement” from the “unreasonably” heated nuggets. McDonald’s said they disagree with the decision and want to assure customers that they take all necessary steps to ensure food is safe and ready to eat and do not agree that they or the franchise holder were responsible for any negligence in this case.
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