A woman who claims McDonald’s served her “a harmful chemical” is suing for $13 million.
Business Insider reports Sherry Head, of Florida, is suing the restaurant in Alabama after the incident in December 2020.
She said the chemical “damaged her throat and organs” and alleges staff refused to call 911 or let her and emergency responders see the label on the chemical bottle so they could determine the appropriate treatment.
Gerry Murphy, one of the restaurant’s owner-operators, told Insider in a comment provided by McDonald’s: “The health and safety of our customers and employees is always a top priority.”
Head ordered the caramel macchiato at the drive-thru in December 2020.
She claims one staff member said she couldn’t have the drink because the machine was being cleaned.
However, another said it was “ready to go,” and the drink was served.
The lawsuit says: “Plaintiff pulled forward, drank a portion of the caustic chemical liquid, and immediately began to experience a burning and numbing sensation in her mouth and throat.
At this point, Head said she removed the lid from the cup “and saw that the liquid was not coffee, but appeared to be some type of chemical,” it stated.
She headed back through the queue and told staff what had happened.
She says the manager “screamed” at staff, telling them to be “more careful.”
The manager then told her it was “fine.”
She asked to see the label on the chemical bottle and asked what she should do, but the manager refused, according to the lawsuit.
She said the manager also refused to call 911 or poison control and slammed the drive-thru window shut.
The suit also claims McDonald’s staff would not agree to emergency responders’ request to view the bottle.
The lawsuit says: “As a direct result of drinking the dangerous chemical concoction served to her by McDonald’s, plaintiff suffered injuries to her mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, digestive tract, and other internal organs,”
“McDonald’s conduct towards the plaintiff was atrocious and utterly intolerable.”
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Head wants $3 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.
The lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s, its Alabama branch, and the two owner-operators of the franchised restaurant.
Murphy added: “Immediately upon learning of this concern, we conducted a thorough investigation to understand the facts,”
“We are aware of the complaint filed in the circuit court of Houston County, Alabama.”