A Florida family was awarded $800,000 in damages after a girl was left with second-degree burns outside a McDonald’s in Tamarac, near Fort Lauderdale, when a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget fell on her leg when her mother pulled away from a drive-thru.
Olivia Caraballo was 4 years old when she was burned in 2019, and jurors reached a verdict Wednesday to award her family $400,000 in damages for the past four years and another $400,000 for the future from the McDonald’s USA and its franchise operator, Upchurch Foods, the South Florida SunSentinel reported.
Fox News reports that the verdict came after a separate jury decided in May that the company and franchise owner were liable for the injury.
Olivia’s mother, Philana Holmes, said that ttold reporters outside the courtroom thane decision by the jury was fair.
Holmes testified Tuesday that Olivia, now 8, calls the scar on her inner thigh her “nugget” and plans to have it removed.
The family sought $15 million in damages.
During her testimony, she explained that she had purchased Happy Meals for her son and daughter, who were sitting in the back seat when the incident took place. She said she heard her daughter scream in pain, promptly pulled over in a parking lot and found the nugget lodged between Oliva’s thigh and the seat belt.
She also shared photos of the burn and played sound clips of the child’s screams in court.
Defense attorneys for McDonald’s argued the child’s wound healed after about three weeks and suffered no further discomfort so $156,000 should cover damages, both past and future.
The company testified they followed food safety rules, requiring McNuggets to be hot enough to avoid salmonella poisoning and that their use outside the restaurant was no longer under their control.
Both sides agreed during the trial in May that the nugget caused the burns but disputed its temperature.
The jurors reached their decision after debating for less than two hours.