We stopped at a well known fast food restaurant last night while we were out and my wife let my 2 year-old son grab a fry from the bag. My son began to let out a horrific scream.
Initially we thought that he screamed because he dropped his food. After noticing him reaching for his shirt, we realized he had dropped the fry into his shirt and may have been angry because he couldn't reach it.
While we were getting him ready for bed, we noticed a burn and blister on his chest about an inch long and a quarter of an inch wide. We are taking him to the hospital this morning to make sure that all is well.
Do we have a case against the fast food restaurant for the fry being so hot it could burn my son? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Child Burned by Fast Food French Fry...":
Corey (Ypsilanti, MI):
Technically you do have a case against the fast food restaurant. Your case will be based on the theory of "Product Liability". That is, the fast food restaurant is liable for the products it serves, especially when those products cause injuries to others. Although the restaurant may be liable, the case will come down to the medical bills, including the possible scarring the burn may have caused.
Your son's case would have been well-served if you had contacted the restaurant's management to inform them of your son's injury. Doing so would have prompted the management to have created some form of an "Incident Report," even if that report is informal in its constitution.
The first and most important action you should have taken is brought your son to the local hospital or emergency clinic. Waiting until the next morning may imply to the insurance company that the pain your son suffered was not sufficient enough for you have to have sought immediate medical attention.
Inasmuch as you didn't take your son for medical attention until the next morning, your case may be limited to the medical bills you will incur on his behalf. But if it can be determined that your son suffered permanent scarring, the value of the case may increase significantly.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.