Recently, a family was awarded $800,000 in a civil lawsuits against McDonald’s and one of its franchises because their toddler was burned by hot Chicken McNuggets. The hot McNuggets fell from a Happy Meal onto the toddler’s legs, inflicting second-degree burns, similar to the earlier lawsuit from the ‘90s involving burning hot coffee. If you were injured by burning hot food, consult the seasoned Chicago-based lawyers of Moll Law Group. Billions have been recovered in cases with which we’ve been involved.
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The jury found that both the corporation and the franchise owner, Upchurch Foods, should be held accountable for failing to warn or give proper instructions on the possibility of injuries from hot nuggets dispensed at a drive through.
The damages award is intended to compensate for disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. These damages are intended to make up for past harm suffered by the toddler and her family, along with future injuries that the jury determined are likely to be suffered in the future.
The decision about liability was split. It came down after 2 days of testimony and arguments about this incident, which left the four-year-old with a burned upper thigh. The mother testified that she had bought the Happy Meals at a drive-thru window and handed them to her children in the backseat. When she drove away, her daughter who is now seven and autistic began screaming. The tape of her screams were played in court.
The jury found that Upchurch Foods which holds the franchise was liable for its negligence and failure to warn customers about the dangers of its hot McNuggets and McDonald’s USA was liable for failure to warn about how the food should be safely handled. The jury dismissed a claim that the product was defective in how it was made or designed. While liability has been determined, another jury will decide how much the corporation and the franchise owner must pay the toddler and her mom.
The owner-operator claims to have followed all the protocols provided by McDonald’s in cooking and serving the Happy Meal. The corporation said that the food needed to be as hot as it was to avoid salmonella poisoning and that they were intended to be wedged between a seat belt and human skin for over 2 minutes. The temperature, according to the family, was more than 200 degrees. The defense lawyers claim it wasn’t over 160 degrees.
The girl’s parents sued, saying that McDonald’s and the franchise owner failed to adequately train employees, failed to warn customers about the “dangerous” temperature of the food, and for cooking the food to a much higher temperature than necessary. In the earlier well-known McDonald’s case involving hot coffee, the jury awarded an elderly woman $2.7 million in punitive damages because she was scalded by hot coffee she got at a drive-through that spilled onto her lap and left her with shocking, third-degree burns on her legs, buttocks, and groin.
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If you or a loved one was injured because of excessively hot food at a fast food restaurant, you should call a seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyer. Consult Moll Law Group to see whether you have a claim. We represent injured consumers across the nation. Please complete our online form or call us at 312.462.1700.