The parents of a four-year-old girl are suing McDonald’s and its franchise after a very hot Chicken McNugget burned their daughter’s thigh, leaving her ‘disfigured and scarred’.
Philana Holmes told a court in Broward County, Florida that she was leaving a McDonald’s drive-thru when she heard her daughter screaming in the back of the car.
When she stopped, she found a hot chicken nugget lodged between her daughter’s thigh and a seat belt, which had been in contact with her skin for about two minutes.
Holmes and the girl’s father, Humberto Caraballo Estevez, are now seeking $15,000 in damages because the restaurant served a chicken nugget that was “defective, harmful and unfit for human handling.”
The parents of a four-year-old girl are suing McDonald’s and its franchise after a very hot Chicken McNugget burned their daughter’s thigh.
Jordan Redavid, who represents the family of the burned boy, brought the iconic Happy Meal box with him to court and handed it over to the judge.
According to the lawsuit, on August 21, 2019, Holmes went to a McDonald’s drive-thru in Tamarac and ordered, among other things, a six-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal for his 4-year-old daughter, Olivia Holmes.
“The Chicken McNuggets within that Happy Meal were unreasonably and dangerously hot (in terms of temperature) and caused the skin and meat around Olivia Holmes’s thighs to burn,” the lawsuit reads.
Jordan Redavid, who represents the family of the burned boy, told a court Tuesday that McDonald’s and the franchisee failed to warn about the dangers of nuggets and were negligent in serving such a hot nugget.
He brought the iconic Happy Meal box, with two gold arches for handles, with him to court and presented it to the judge.
‘Reasonable and foreseeable intended use is for a child to handle this box. The law implies a promise from a corporation to, in this case, a child,’ he said.
“And if it can be prevented, it can be warned, you should warn someone about it, and if you don’t, then you’re responsible.”
His position was challenged by Scott Yount, a lawyer representing McDonald’s.
Philana Holmes appears on surveillance footage passing her daughter a box of nuggets in August 2019, which she then burned.
Olivia is seen in the back of the car (bottom right) as her mother exits the drive-thru.
‘Mrs Holmes bought 32 Chicken McNuggets that day. the evidence will show that with 31 of them there was no problem,’ Yount said Tuesday afternoon.
In making that statement, she may have been referring to all the nuggets in Holmes’s order, including those not inside her daughter’s box of six, which fell onto her lap.
“Olivia actually dropped six in her lap, and she’s got a burn, and that’s the only place the McNugget got caught by the seatbelt for two minutes,” he added.
“The Chicken McNuggets are not defective, they are not unreasonably dangerous, they are not dangerously hot, and there is no neglect.”
In a pretrial statement, Holmes described the events after he picked up the food.
‘As I walked away from the drive-thru I hear [Olivia] start screaming. But when I get to the street it’s a full-blown scream,” he told the court, according to a transcript.
I turn around and she drops the nugget in her lap. So I’m trying to drive and pull them off her lap as I go down the street.
The franchisee told the court that it has to serve hot nuggets to meet food safety standards.
“As soon as I could I pulled over and ran to the backseat of the car and pulled out the nugget that I could see and then I took the seatbelt off in his lap, there was a chicken nugget that was stuck.” that I couldn’t reach.
“As I remove the nugget from the skin, it falls apart in my hand. Her thigh, the upper part of her thighs, was very, very red. She’s screaming, she’s screaming,” she said.
Caraballo Estevez also spoke during a statement and told the court that although the girl does not say that the scar bothers her, she sometimes refers to it.
“From time to time she looks [the scar] and she refers to it as her chicken nugget.’
The hearing will resume on Wednesday.