A jury found that a McDonald’s in Florida and its franchise owner are liable after a hot Chicken McNugget led to second-degree burns on a girl after it fell from a Happy Meal and landed on her leg.
A split jury determined last Thursday that the franchise owner of the McDonald’s in Tamarac was negligent and that McDonald’s USA failed to warn customers about the heat risk of its food, according to the Sun Sentinel.
McDonald’s USA was not found to be negligent, and the jury dismissed the argument that the Chicken McNuggets were defective.
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“Our sympathies go out to this family for what occurred in this unfortunate incident, as we hold customer safety as one of our highest priorities,” McDonald’s owner-operator Brent Upchurch said in a statement.
“We are deeply disappointed with today’s verdict because the facts show that our restaurant in Tamarac, Florida did indeed follow those protocols when cooking and serving this Happy Meal.”
The jury reportedly listened to two days of testimony regarding the Chicken McNugget incident, which happened in 2019.
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Philana Holmes testified that she handed the Happy Meals to her son and then-4-year-old daughter Olivia Caraballo after purchasing them at a drive-thru in Tamarac, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Holmes said her daughter began to scream as she was driving and did not realize what was happening until she pulled over and saw the girl’s burned thigh, according to the outlet.
The mother took photos of the injury and also recorded the screams of her daughter, who is reportedly autistic. The girl’s nugget-induced screams were played in court.
Both sides agreed that the Chicken McNugget caused the burns, though the family’s lawyer argued that the nugget was more than 200 degrees while the defense maintained it never exceeded 160 degrees.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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