An 8-year-old Florida girl who got severely burned by hot McDonald’s chicken nuggets was awarded $800,000 by a jury after her parents filed a lawsuit against the company and the franchisee.
According to NBC 6 South Florida, Olivia Caraballo is said to have suffered second-degree burns from the hot nuggets in 2019 after she went to a McDonald’s franchise in Tamarac. A split verdict that was reached by a Jury in May established that both McDonald’s as well as the franchise owner were at fault for Olivia’s injury. The minor was 4 years old at the time of the incident.
The jury, after listening to closing arguments on Wednesday, held a 2-hour deliberation over the amount of money the family should be awarded for the pain and suffering the minor experienced. The aforementioned amount was subsequently reached.
The lawsuit against McDonald’s Corporation and the franchisee Upchurch Foods, Incorporated, was filed by Olivia’s parents Philana Holmes and Humberto Caraballo Estevez. The plaintiffs alleged their daughter’s “Happy Meal” contained “unreasonably and dangerously” hot nuggets that made her suffer second-degree burns. The suit stated that Olivia’s leg got burned by a nugget that was stuck in the car seat.
Although McDonald’s and Upchurch denied being responsible for the incident during the trial, the jury determined the defendants did not put warnings on the meal, causing Olivia to get burned, NBC 6 South Florida reported. The jury, however, did not find McDonald’s negligent for causing the minor’s injury.
“I’m actually just happy they listened to Olivia’s voice and she, the jury was able to decide a fair judgement, I’m happy with that,” Holmes said. The family’s attorneys said the decision by the jury was “fair and just” despite the plaintiffs initially demanding $15 million.
“This momentous decision brings meaningful closure to an arduous and protracted legal process,” said their attorneys in a statement. “Having previously established the defendants, Upchurch Foods Inc and McDonald’s USA LLC, as liable for their wrongful actions, this verdict reaffirms that they must now face the consequences and provide full justice. Despite years of denying any fault and, during this trial, attempting to undermine the extent of Olivia’s suffering in the eyes of the community, their efforts have been superseded by the jury’s determination.”