The parents of a 4-year-old girl blamed McDonald’s and the operator of a Florida franchise for causing their daughter to suffer second-degree burns from a “dangerously hot” Chicken McNugget, a lawyer for the family said in court.
Philana Holmes and Humberto Caraballo Estevez sat in a Broward County courtroom Tuesday as the pained cry of their young girl was played at the outset of the trial, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Their daughter, Olivia, suffered second-degree burns to her thigh area in 2019 after a 200-degree McNugget fell in her lap from a Happy Meal box, the family’s lawyer told the court.
“The reasonable, 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,” Jordan Redavid said while holding the box’s iconic golden arch handles, according to Mail Online.
“And if its preventable, its warnable, you should warn someone about it, and if you don’t do that then you’re liable,” he added.
The mom had ordered the six-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Tamarac. Olivia was sitting in the backseat when Holmes handed the meal to the 4-year-old, who was burned by a McNugget after it fell on her, according to the August 2019 lawsuit.
The hot nugget sat there for around two minutes, leaving the young girl “disfigured and scarred” because it was so hot, the suit said.
The family is seeking $15,000 in damages from McDonald’s and its franchise, Upchurch Foods, for negligence and poor training.
Holmes’s lawyers claimed in court that the nugget was 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and said the franchise should have known it was passing such a dangerous product through the drive-thru window, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The girl’s parents are blaming McDonald’s and Upchurch Foods for not having safer protocols in place to prevent burns like the ones Olivia suffered from.
The suit claimed that Upchurch “had a duty not to sell or distribute Chicken McNuggets that were unreasonably and dangerously hot in temperature,” and should have deemed the hot nuggets served to Holmes as “defective, harmful and unfit for human handling.”
McDonald’s issued a statement to the Sun Sentinel that said: “We take every complaint seriously and certainly those that involve the safety of our food and the experiences of our guests.”
The fast-food chain also insisted that employees followed policies and procedures in this instance “and we therefore respectfully disagree with the plaintiff’s claims.”
Ralph Fernandez, the liaison between Upchurch and McDonald’s, took the stand as the trial’s first witness, the Sun Sentinel said.
Fernandez testified that the chicken is cooked to 160 degrees, which is also the temperature it’s served at. He said that the temperature is intended to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
Estevez shared during a deposition that he told the court his daughter still references the scar that was left behind from the burn, though it doesn’t hurt her, Mail Online reported.
“Every once in a while, she looks at [the scar] and she refers to it as her chicken nugget,” Estevez said.
If Broward Circuit Judge David Haimes determines that Upchurch and McDonald’s are responsible for Olivia’s burns, a second trial will determine the amount of the damages.
This story originally appeared on NYPost