- A Florida jury finds McDonald’s and a franchise holder liable for a child's second-degree burns from a hot Chicken McNugget.
- The franchise owner was held accountable for negligence and failure to provide necessary warnings about the temperature of the food.
- The incident echoes the notorious McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit of the 1990s.
Once upon a not so delightful day, a toasty Chicken McNugget, the star of a Happy Meal, took an unfortunate tumble onto the leg of a little lady, leaving her with second-degree burns. This unlucky event, originating from the golden arches of McDonald's in sunny South Florida, has the jury drawing parallels to the infamous hot coffee lawsuit of the yesteryears.
In a twist of events, a second jury was entrusted with the task of determining the financial compensation to be awarded to the kid and her mom. The finger of blame was pointed at the franchise owner, Upchurch Foods, for their lackadaisical approach towards customer safety and their inability to forewarn customers about the lurking danger of their piping hot meals. McDonald's USA too wasn't left unscathed, with them failing to provide safe handling guidelines, although they dodged the negligence bullet.
In response to the verdict, Brent Upchurch, the McDonald's owner-operator, expressed his deepest sympathies for the family while also expressing his disappointment at the verdict. According to him, his Tamarac, Florida-based outlet did adhere to all safety protocols while preparing and serving the Happy Meal.
The two-day testimony revolved around the unfortunate 2019 incident that left the then 4-year-old with a painful burn on her thigh. The mother testified that after collecting the Happy Meals from the drive-thru window, she handed them to her kids in the backseat. As they drove away, her daughter's piercing screams filled the car. Only upon pulling over did she discover the extent of the damage - a burn on the little one's leg.
The defense, representing McDonald's, justified the hot temperature of the food, citing the need to ward off salmonella. They contested that the nuggets weren't intended to be squished between a seat belt and human skin for an extended period. Regardless of the defense, the girl's parents argued that the employees weren't adequately trained, there was no warning about the high temperatures, and the food was cooked much beyond the necessary temperature.
WOM Money Picks
Be a part of the winning team | 81% Success Rate.