A family in Florida has emerged victorious in its lawsuit against McDonald’s. Specifically, the fast food giant will have to cough up $800,000, and the legal ordeal occurred after a hot chicken nugget burned a then-4-year-old child.
The Family Initially Sought $15M From McDonald’s
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a jury ruled in favor of the family on Wednesday (July 19). However, we should note the family initially sought $15 million in damages, so the $800K bag is undoubtedly a much smaller win by comparison.
Nonetheless, the ruling provides $400,000 for past damages and another $400,000 for anything that emerges in the future.
For context, the situation emerged in 2019 after Philana Holmes and her daughter—Olivia Caraballo, 8—went to a McDonald’s in Tamarac, Florida.
After buying Happy Meals in the drive-thru and passing them back to her children, she heard Olivia scream out in pain. The mother then pulled over and discovered a burn—which was documented, along with the child’s screams, which were played for the jury. The chicken nugget had fallen on Olivia’s leg, leaving behind a second-degree burn.
The lawsuit’s basis is that Philana accused McDonald’s of not warning her that the food was so hot. Additionally, lawyers argued that the ordeal left Olivia with lingering emotional pain and a scar that she hopes to have “revised.”
The Mother Is “Happy” With The “Fair” Decision
In response to the judgment, Philana Holmes said she found the decision “more than fair.”
“I’m actually just happy that they listened to Olivia’s voice and the jury was able to decide a fair judgment. I’m happy with that. I honestly had no expectations, so this is more than fair for me.”
As for the defense team, they felt that $156,000 should suffice to cover the damages, with attorney Jennifer Miller saying Olivia’s “not bothered by the injury” during closing arguments.
“She’s still going to Mcdonald’s, she still asks to go to McDonald’s, [and] she’s still driving through the drive-through with her mom, getting chicken nuggets. She’s not bothered by the injury. This is all the mom.”
Miller added, “Children are resilient. We know for a fact that Olivia got over this. Her doctors said it, not me.”
CNN notes that the family’s attorneys released a statement and declared, “This momentous decision brings meaningful closure.”