Hot ‘Nugget’ Controversy: McDonald’s Faces Lawsuit Over ‘McScalding’ Incident

Parents Sue Tamarac McDonald's, Claim Daughter's Burns Caused by 'Dangerously Hot' McNugget

McDonald’sat 7600 NW 57th St in Tamarac. {Google Maps}

By Kevin Deutsch

The parents of a 4-year-old girl are suing McDonald’s and a Tamarac franchisee, alleging a “dangerously hot” Chicken McNugget caused a scarring burn on the child’s skin, court records show.

The civil case, which is being tried at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, centers on the claims of Philana Holmes, who said she visited the McDonald’s drive-thru at 7600 NW 57th St. in Tamarac in August 2019 and ordered a six-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal for her daughter, Olivia.

While sitting in the backseat, Olivia Holmes dropped one of the 200-degree nuggets, and it lodged between her thigh and seat belt, causing second-degree burns that left her “disfigured and scarred,” according to court filings.

“The Chicken McNuggets inside of that Happy Meal were unreasonably and dangerously hot…and caused (the girl’s) skin and flesh around her thighs to burn,” the lawsuit states.

“Every once in a while, she looks at [the scar] and refers to it as her chicken nugget,” Olivia Holmes’ father, Humberto Caraballo Estevez, said during a pretrial deposition, according to the filings.

The suit, which seeks more than $15,000 in damages, alleges the fast food’s temperature made it “unfit for human handling—let alone consumption.”

McDonald’s and the Tamarac location’s franchisee, Upchurch Foods, have denied the allegations.

In a statement issued  to Tamarac Talk, McDonald’s USA said:

“We take every complaint seriously and certainly those that involve the safety of our food and the experiences of our guests. This matter was looked into thoroughly. Ensuring a high standard for food safety and quality means following strict policies and procedures for each product we cook and serve.

“Those policies and procedures were followed in this case, and we therefore respectfully disagree with the plaintiff’s claims. Together with our franchisees, we have made food safety a top priority for nearly 70 years, ensuring that our customers can rely on McDonald’s for safe and quality food.”

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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