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Jury awards family $800K after girl was burned by hot McNuggets

The incident happened in 2019 when Olivia Caraballo's mother ordered food from a McDonald's drive-thru in Tamarac, Florida.
Chicken McNuggets from McDonald's
Posted at 2:56 PM, Jul 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-20 14:56:06-04

A Florida jury found McDonald's liable for second-degree burns a girl suffered after dropping a chicken McNugget on her lap. McDonald's and franchise owner Upchurch Foods was ordered to pay the girl's family $800,000 in damages. 

The incident happened in 2019 when Olivia Caraballo's mother ordered food from a McDonald's drive-thru in Tamarac. 

Olivia, who was 4 years old at the time, dropped the nugget, which reportedly got stuck between her leg and seatbelt. The nugget caused second-degree burns and left Olivia with a scar. 

The jury decided that McDonald's was at fault because the family was not properly warned about the temperature of the nugget. During the trial, attorneys for McDonald's claimed the nuggets are cooked at a temperature to meet food safety rules. 

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The family was seeking a $15 million judgment for Olivia's pain and suffering. However, the jury awarded them $400,000 for the burn and injuries sustained at the time of the incident and another $400,000 for any future damages the family incurs. 

The child's mother said she was pleased with the outcome. 

"I'm happy with that. I honestly had no expectations, so this is more than fair for me," mother Philana Holmes said outside of the courtroom, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

This is not the first time McDonald's faced a lawsuit over the temperature of its food or drinks. In 1992 a New Mexico woman sued after she suffered third-degree burns from coffee she spilled on herself. A jury awarded her $2.86 million, but the two parties later entered into a post-verdict settlement for an undisclosed amount.