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Unhappy Meal: 4-Year-Old “Disfigured” by McDonald’s Chicken Nugget [Video]



In a Nutshell:

  • A Florida couple has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s after their 4-year-old daughter allegedly suffered second-degree burns from a “dangerously hot” chicken nugget, leaving her “disfigured and scarred.” The jury found the McDonald’s franchisee partially liable for negligence and failing to warn about the risk of hot food.
  • The lawsuit suggests that McDonald’s had a “duty” not to sell nuggets that were “defective, harmful, and unfit for human handling,” and raises questions about safety protocols in fast food. The couple is now demanding $15,000 in compensatory damages for their daughter’s injuries and distress.
  • McDonald’s disagreed with the verdict, assuring customers it will continue serving Chicken McNuggets safely. Meanwhile, the franchisee expressed sympathies but maintained the restaurant’s cooking protocols were followed. A second jury will now decide on the compensation amount.

In an era where quick service and convenience reign supreme, we’ve all become familiar with the occasional tongue scorch from a too-hot cup of coffee or a freshly microwaved burrito. But a chicken nugget? That’s a new one.

In a saga that can only be described as “Fried and Furious,” a Florida couple is giving a whole new meaning to “hot food.” They’ve taken on the fast-food giant McDonald’s after their 4-year-old daughter was allegedly left “disfigured and scarred” by a scalding McNugget from a Happy Meal.

According to the Associated Press, the jury held the franchisee partially liable for negligence and failing to warn customers about the risk of hot food. McDonald’s itself was found to have dropped the ball on providing safe handling instructions, though not deemed negligent. The lawsuit raises the burning question: just how careful should food producers be?

This culinary calamity took place in Tamarac, a quiet Fort Lauderdale suburb known more for its golf courses than its legal drama. As per court documents, the mother, Philana Holmes, purchased the six-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, presumably expecting it to be a source of joy, not pain.

However, the nuggets were allegedly hotter than a Florida summer afternoon, leading to a burn on the child’s thigh, trapped behind her seatbelt. The kid’s meal suddenly wasn’t so “Happy.”

This food fiasco has cooked up debate about the safety protocols for fast food. If a McNugget can be a weapon of mass discomfort, what does that say about the temperatures we’re cooking our food to? Should Happy Meal boxes come with a warning label: “Caution: contents may cause unexpected trip to the emergency room”?


The lawsuit suggests McDonald’s had a “duty” not to sell nuggets that were “defective, harmful, and unfit for human handling.” That’s a tall order, considering that most of us just hope they remembered the extra barbecue sauce.

The couple is now demanding $15,000 in compensatory damages, citing medical expenses and their daughter’s “pain, suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress.” Clearly, this is a nugget of trouble McDonald’s could have done without.

While McDonald’s called the incident “unfortunate,” it disagreed with the verdict and assured customers it will continue serving Chicken McNuggets safely. Meanwhile, the franchisee expressed sympathies but stood by the restaurant’s cooking protocols.

McDonald’s lawyer, Scott Yount, added a nugget of his own, suggesting the child had dropped all six nuggets onto her lap and the burn was from “the one location where the McNugget was trapped by the seatbelt for two minutes.”

As we await the decision on damages, let’s spare a thought for the humble chicken nugget. Once a simple, beloved fast-food staple, it’s now at the center of a heated debate.

Just remember, folks: always handle your nuggets with care. After all, you never know when one might just be too hot to trot.




  1. Barb

    May 17, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    She burnt her tongue and that’s worth $15,000??? Why don’t you blow on it like most parents do before giving your child hot food. And you’d complain if they were cold nuggets too I’m guessing SMH

    • Bass

      May 17, 2023 at 9:56 pm

      Burnt her leg, not her tongue.

    • Randy Varnadore

      May 18, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      Did you not read the article? The child’s leg got burned after she had dropped a nugget and it fell onto her leg. That saying I suppose she would have sued if the food had not been hot enough; for her liking. The food needs to be an adequate temperature, to assure the food is properly cooked. I would say common sense should be in play here. The responsibility is at least partially on that mother. This is fast food, especially, in the drive-thru; the workers don’t have the time to inspect the food, before it has been delivered, to the customers.

  2. Judith A Carlson

    May 17, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    Crapola! If it was too hot she would have automatically dropped it unless, of course, she has no feeling whatsoever in her fingers, such as would occur if she had leprosy. I’m a great-grandmother and have more than once seen one of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren touch something – not even go so far as to pick up – and pull their fingers away because it was too hot. Unless they were sticking their fingers into hot oil or boiling water there would be no damage. These frivolous lawsuits are getting out of hand, clogging the courts, and costing taxpayers’ money. Enough already!

  3. Doug Litchfield

    May 17, 2023 at 8:17 pm

    Probably marred from prior abuse.

  4. Old Man

    May 17, 2023 at 9:02 pm

    Why are the parents not held responsible for this? When my kids were four years old, I would always make sure the food had cooled down before giving it to them. These parents should be arrested for child abuse.

  5. Bass

    May 17, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Well here we go again, another false suit. Totally Moms fault if it really happened. To me that doesn’t look like a burn, not from a nugget. It looks like she got a Hole in her Leg. Are they saying it melted a hole in her leg. Maybe she did get burnt and mom left it get infected thats why the pick looks all bloody. I hope they check hospital records to see when they say it happened. See a rec from McD’s for just before the hospital visit. I think they just want money and are taking a chance. If it’s true I’m sure they would have ask for more. I hope the 2nd trail on gives them a Dollar or 2 and tells them to F**K OFF.

  6. Bass

    May 17, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    The picks look more like a stick stuck her or someone stuck her with something. Never saw a burn that had a hole like that does. There is something Fishy going on and it’s not a McD’s Fish Fillet.

  7. Spyder

    May 17, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    How did it get the Car Seat? How long was she forced to sit on this hot Nugget until it caused a burn like that. I agree with the other comments like; what were the parents doing, sounds like B.S., someone looking for easy money. If they were in N.Y. those crazy liberals would award them 15,000,000. STOP THIS INSANITY!

  8. Shirley

    May 18, 2023 at 1:38 am

    Your are lucky to get nuggets that are barely warm let alone scolding hot
    This is a bunch of BS. Just someone looking for a quick buck. That doesn’t look anything like a burn from a nugget. This kind of crap needs to stop.Jopefully the Looney tunes on the second phase will see through this & not award them much of anything.

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