Stuck in McDonald’s

STUCK IN MCDONALD’S A second family is suing a second area franchisee over playground injuries caused by a metal fastener at a McDonald’s PlayPlace. Last weekend 2-1/2-year-old Alexis Durant caught and gashed her lip on this exposed bolt in a plastic slide in the I-45 feeder road McDonald’s at Pine Dr. in Dickinson, claims attorney Jason Gibson. Last year, another Gibson client sued the owners of the McDonald’s on Uvalde Rd. just south of Woodforest Blvd. after claiming their 6-year-old son cut his head on a screw sticking into a plastic slide tunnel. McDonald’s USA declined to comment on the lawsuits, but issued a statement saying “The safety of our youngest customers is our top priority.” [Click2Houston] Photo: Click2Houston

46 Comment

  • Oh, come on! I seriously hope they don’t win. I’m not a big McDOnalds supporter, but this could (and does) happen anywhere. At home on the fireplace, sidewalk, etc. I broke my arm at Mcdonalds when I waas little– did my parent’s sue? Of course not. People like this piss me off so bad. They need to work & save for a living, not expect a handout from a huge national chain restaurant.

  • so would this be subject to the law Gov. Perry signed in Houston yesterday that says if you sue and lose, you get to pay the winner’s costs?

  • Jason Gibson needs more than a bloody lip, just another dirtball

  • I want to sue the parents for taking their kids to a McDonald’s. We’ll be paying for their diabetes later on…

  • Wussy parents making a wussy examples for their wussy kids…

  • The law is what it is. If you invite someone to your restaurant, you have a duty to keep the premises safe. If they know that kids are going to get snagged on screws hanging out of their slides they have an option — warn them, fix it, or pay for the stitches.

  • Cap’n – do you seriously believe they are just asking to have their stiches paid for?? Please. They are looking for a bigger payday than that.

  • I’m with you Cap’n. It also bugs me that McDonald’s calls a 2 and half year old a “customer”….

  • McBarnacle, good point. It’s hard to tell from that photo as to whether that nut and bolt should have been capped or not. My guess is that it probably should have been and could reasonably be considered dangerous on a slide.

    Having said that, it seems difficult to justify damages beyond immediate medical costs and an order to repair it.

  • My kids go to McDonalds probably about once a week and neither are even remotely overweight or malnourished. What makes you assume that these parents are somehow unable to apply the same sort of self control that you presumably apply to your own indulgences? Everything in moderation I say!

  • company lawsuits aren’t just about righting wrongs though, it’s also about a chance to prevent it from happening in the future. it has to hit the company hard enough so the company institutes it as a standard of construction and make a policy of thorough HSE evaluation of all playgrounds/structures. it often takes a lawyer getting filthy rich (the parents won’t get nearly as much) for policies to be properly prioritized and implemented within large organizations sometimes.

    we all laugh/cringe at the lady who got rich for spilling hot coffee on her, but the lady had extensive 3rd degree burns on her legs and had to get skin grafts. that shit ain’t cool and i certainly wouldn’t find it funny if it had happened to more than one person, especially my grandma for chrissakes. that big payday ensures it won’t.

  • I don’t know what they are asking for. I do know they can’t win unless they show McDonald’s knew about the dangerous condition and did nothing.

    So if McDonald’s knew about the problem, and knew it was dangerous, under the law they bear a responsibility for the injury. Under Texas law the little girl can get reimbursed for medical bills, pain and suffering, and disfigurment. That’s why we have juries. They’ll decide what is fair — most likely that her medical bills are a few thousand, and probably throw in a few thousand for pain and the scar that she’ll carry around the rest of her life. Or maybe they’ll say McD’s didn’t have any prior complaints, didn’t know about the problem, and give the girl nothing. Unfortunatlely, you have to file a lawsuit to sort out who knew what.

  • This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • How about don’t take your kids to McDonald’s in the first place.

  • I just love the rush to judgment in favor of McDonalds and against a little girl and a little boy, whose faces were injured because they used a children’s slide in a children’s playground at a restaurant that specifically advertises to children.

  • shadyheightster, the “tort reform” bill says that even if the Plaintiff wins, he/she might still have to pay the defendants’ attorney fees depending on what amount the Defendants tried to pay in settlement. What a nasty little game that is. This whole “loser pays” catch phrase is a misnomer, at best.

  • The whole point of “loser pays” is to intimidate ordinary people who can’t afford to pay all the court costs, so they won’t sue more powerful interests who are harming them. It’s a basic “government for the corporation” kind of move and it’s a terrible, terrible idea, unless you think people suing companies when they’ve been harmed by bad actions by those companies is a pesky thing we need to do away with.

  • Loser pays is really just an incentive for defendants to hire even more expensive counsel. Use the muscle of a massive law firm to beat down anyone who would dare try to sue you and then get them to pay for your legal costs. Our justice system at its finest.

  • I believe the tort reform is now in place to keep the ignorant hillbillies from using lawsuits as a form of lottery.

    On a personal note, I’m surprised me and my friends survived the “children’s playgrounds” of our era. We had all steel, rusty deathtraps with guaranteed broken bones and scars to last a lifetime. I think kids these days are way too removed from real life dangers.

  • Because really, our biggest problem was that it was way too easy for an “ignorant hillbilly” to sue giant corporations with teams of lawyers.

  • If I had a nickel for every time I cut myself on a playground, I could afford to go to law school.

  • Litigation is and has been going overboard for years, look to insurance rates as a testament to that. Beyond that Perry would rape the average Texan to appease corporations. Man says he’s all about jobs, and sure the lowest paying barely minimum wage jobs are what will be his legacy and again who does all this cheap labor benefit? Effing greedy corporations and the wealthy Republicans who obviously have nothing in the way of a social conscience.

  • Seriously! Playgrounds 20+ years ago were way more fun.. and not a single bolt was covered. A busted lip will not alter the kid’s looks- the swelling probably went down a day or two after the incident.

  • Social conscience? Does that mean giving someone more than they deserve? That’s charity, not business.

    If you’re working a minimum wage job, it means you do not have skills or education that warrants more pay, who’s fault is that?

    Democrats alway fight so there won’t be any “rich” people, not so there won’t be any poor people.

  • @ Mel, and John ( another one): I agree with you, and I think this form of “tort reform” was brought about to make it harder for the working person to access the justice system.
    Answering my own question, I doubt that law takes effect until September 1st, so this case goes in under the wire. I would have to think that under this law, it will be harder to find an attorney to cases such as this one.

  • Common sense or common rationalizations for greed? Typical Right wing rhetoric. Yeah kids and parents used to be tougher, getting hurt was part of growing up.

  • Why oh why do people vote themselves out of a trial by jury?

  • Those things are so dangerous. I really do think that, literally, everything at McDonald’s is designed to kill you :)

  • Are you kidding me? Playgrounds today are far more fun than 20 years ago. 20 years ago we had a choice of three pieces of equipment, slide, swing, roundabout and maybe some sort of crappy climbing frame. These days there is a vast array of different equipment that you can find and by no means is it all three feet high and covered with rubber bumpers. Anyone who says otherwise needs to get off their “good old days” bandwagon and actually go visit some playgrounds.

    A Pew study out today shows that the White/Black wealth gap has increased from 7:1 in 1995 to 20:1, the highest it has been since they started analyzing it. Presumambly commonsense can tell us how exactly that is tied to the Grand Old theory that we all have an equal chance of achieving the American dream.

  • Relax, dude.Gaaaaaaaaaa……….nice transition from playground equipment to racial inequality.Gawd.

  • Jimbo, I saw that study too, it is quite interesting and I would need a lot more room to fully discuss all possible causes. However the short version is… I still fail to see how the whites in any way “prevent” minorities from succeeding. I think it’s the defeatist attitude and lack of initiative in certain social groups that prevent them from succeeding. And the most vital factor I believe is that in order to succeed in todays economy you have to be prepared to adapt to change very quickly including your skills and overall income strategy. You can also look at the same report and say — Look this group without any “special status” is succeeding quite well, what is the other group doing or not doing that makes them fail in the same business environment. At some point people have to start taking personal responsibility for their failures or successes.

  • Thank goodness minorities have middle class white people to explain to them what their lives are like. Otherwise how would they know?

  • OK, ok, be cool…….

    Slowly put down the political talking points and step away from them….

  • #30/Jimbo: The gap between those w/ and w/o college degrees is growing. The difference that explains the gap are things like education and family structure (structure, not color).
    As we move more and more to a technology driven and competitive economy, I suspect the gap between rich and poor might get even larger. That doesn’t mean anyone has the right to steal money from someone and give it to someone else.

  • They should just remove the playgrounds since they are restaurants after all and not actually playgrounds. Then the parents could just have their child cut their finger on the towel dryer instead for their “payday”. Or maybe burn their lip on a french fry or the old favorite – slip and fall.

  • I wasn’t trying to raise an issue of color. I was more trying to point out that to say that success is equally available to all is nonsensical. Access to education, healthcare, childcare, family planning, credit, stable employment, all have an effect on how possible it is for someone to succeed in life. Whether you think that as a society we should aim to offer more equitable access to some or all of these things to people who now fault of their own are born into different social brackets is of course a personal decision.

  • Cody’s assertion that progress leads to income inequalities is peculiar and without historical precedent. In fact investment of the kind we’re talking about – in social safety nets, in infrastructure, etc. – has typically raised standards of living across the board, and recent (1980s-present) history is pretty much an aberration in which benefits of those investments are retained by an ever-smaller group of people while the rest of the population languishes. There was a time when thinking this was a bad idea was not a liberal notion; all of those things are really good for business and for the wealthy because they create a stable society in which to run businesses, qualified workers to operate those business, and more affluent consumers to spend money on those businesses’ products.

    And I’m sure it feel clever to call taxes “stealing” but it’s pretty silly and mostly just tells us about the theological approach to economics of the speaker. Our taxes are relatively low both by historical standards within the US and by comparison to other industrialized nations. Gone are the days when the government would “steal” to build an interstate highway system for businesses to ship their goods around, unfortunately.

    It’s odd that this rhetoric of self-achievement (mostly promulgated by people who were fortunate enough to face the fewest barriers to said achievement – I’m one of those fortunate and freely admit it) somehow leads to a vision of an America that can’t afford to take care of its citizens or invest in its future and is therefore racing toward mediocrity.

    Other countries aren’t really having this debate. They are investing in their people and their nations. The 21st century is likely to belong to them, not us, where our greatest aspiration seems to be creating a nation of hungry people at the gates of walled enclaves of the rich.

    I think those pursing this vision are engaging in quite a bit of self-delusion about which side of that wall they and their children will be on.

  • John (another one), I would like to make a couple of important counter-points…

    US may not have the highest personal taxes but it has the 2nd highest Corporate tax rate in the world which is bad for progress (biting the hand that feeds you).

    It is not America’s job to “take care” of it’s citizens a you put it, I’t America’s job to protect them and to provide opportunity to succeed.

    Furthermore, the “wealthy” no longer need the local masses as a consumer base, it’s a GLOBAL economy and they customers are available all over the world.

    And finally, people need to stop putting “other industrialized nations” as an example… everyone of them except Germany is dead broke.

  • Corporate tax rates may be higher here, but there are enough loopholes that the actual tax paid is low. I will guarantee you that business owners care more about how much they pay than a rate in the tax code.

    You are, once again, arguing from theology instead of reality. “It’s not the country’s job…” is a statement of principle. The outcome of that principle is social instability, lack of social mobility, unrest, and a lower quality of life for everyone.

    I’m a pragmatist. I’m interested in what works, not what feels nice.

  • Oh, and with respect to other industrialized nations… no, they are not “dead broke.” They face the same challenges we do. The UK is not “dead broke.” Sweden is not “dead broke.” France is not “dead broke.” Canada is not “dead broke.” In fact, the only industrialized nation about to go into default on its debts is the United States.

    It’s hard to arrive at “common sense” when you’re just making stuff up.

  • John (another one) is a genius.

  • But John, it’s hard to get past the perception that many of those to whom we provide a safety don’t take advantage of it. Instead, they take the fairly low standard of living that net provides, and they hang out all day, getting high and complaining about how hard life is. This is happening in most of the industrialized world, as the lazy discover they can get by on the dole. I’m all for providing the tools that allow for success if a citizen applies themselves, but I’m not happy about providing a living for those who think the rest of us are chumps for working.

  • “But John, it’s hard to get past the perception that many of those to whom we provide a safety don’t take advantage of it.”

    Why is it hard?

    I realize that there’s a popular stereotype here, but why would you just take it as truth?

  • As a side note: I think it’s interesting that the discussion turns immediately to welfare programs. I guess “there’s a perception” that these are the programs that are driving spending, when they are basically a drop in the bucket. The kinds of “stealing from hard working Americans” that we’re talking about stopping to create the “common sense” ideal society are things like maintaining and improving critical infrastructure, student loans, healthcare for senior citizens, and so on. We are not having trouble with our budget because we have decided that poor children should get adequate nutrition or people who are out of work shouldn’t lose their homes (as much).

    Our current budget mess has a couple of very clear sources: the last decade’s tax cuts at a time of massively increased spending (mostly on wars), tax cuts which no serious economist claims provided any meaningful economic stimulation; and bailing out the banks. Let the Bush tax cuts expire & our deficit will be the 2nd lowest among industrial nations.

    A huge portion of our ongoing problems comes from health care costs.

    Reagan’s imaginary welfare queen is not the problem, nor are the less-than-regal recipients of aid programs today.

  • A post about two young children injuring their precious faces on a children’s slide in a children’s playground at a restaurant that advertises and caters to children turned into a bash on “welfare queens.”