Cleaning Solution in the Iced Tea?

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Who is to blame when a cleaning solution makes its way into a drink dispenser intended to hold beverages for public consumption?
Who is to blame when a cleaning solution makes its way into a drink dispenser intended to hold beverages for public consumption?

An Indiana teen was eating at a McDonald’s restaurant in August of 2013 when he filled his cup at the drink dispenser with what he believed to be iced tea.  Soon after taking a drink, the boy began to vomit and feel a burning sensation in his chest.

It turns out the drink machine contained cleaning solution instead of iced tea.

The boy and his parents are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the restaurant owners, claiming the employees had put the wrong solution in the dispenser, exposing the public to hazardous conditions.

This case is eerily similar to one handled by Doug Landau, personal injury attorney with the Virginia firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.

In that case, a singer from California was between sets at a concert in Florida.  After making herself a cup of hot tea using water from one of four urns labeled “hot water,” she allowed her drink to cool while her band mates sat drinking coffee without incident.  When she took a drink a few minutes later, she experienced pain and burning — it was not tea, it was cleaning solution!  The cleaning crew had filled the urn with cleaning fluids the night before and had failed to empty the caustic chemicals out.

Landau’s case was settled before it went to trial.

It will be interesting to follow the McDonald’s case to see how it proceeds.  Will the fast food owners settle?

If you or someone you know was harmed by ingesting cleaning solution or other chemicals from a container labeled for consumption, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).