Northeast Edition

Woman sues McDonald’s after workplace accident

LOS ANGELES — A McDonald’s employee is suing the company and a commercial coffee-making machine manufacturer after a coffee pot allegedly exploded and left her with second- and third-degree burns.

Casarra Chairez filed the negligence/products liability lawsuit Feb. 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court against McDonald’s Corp. and Cerritos-based Bunn-O-Matic Corp. She seeks unspecified damages.

A company representative could not be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Chairez was working the drive-through at a McDonald’s restaurant in East Los Angeles on Feb. 5, 2013, when she attempted to pour coffee from a Bunn-O-Matic pot into a cup for a customer.

“As Chairez tilted the coffee to pour into the cup, it suddenly and without warning exploded, causing nearly all of the coffee and glass to land on her,” the suit states.

Chairez collapsed to the floor, the suit states. Instead of getting her emergency help, she was brought into a manager’s office and told that they could not take further action without contacting the insurance company representing McDonald’s, according to the lawsuit.

One of the managers began applying Icy Hot pain cream to Chairez’s right foot that was burned in the mishap, the suit states. A co-worker realized that the cream was inappropriate for burns and told one of the managers, who began wiping it off the plaintiff’s foot, the suit states.

However, while removing the cream the manager peeled off a layer of Chairez’s skin, the suit states.

After an hour of waiting for someone to call for medical help, Chairez called her mother to tell her what happened, the suit states. But when her mother asked the managers to get her daughter emergency assistance, she was told they had to wait because the restaurant was too busy to allow anyone to leave, according to the lawsuit.

Chairez’s mother persisted and the managers ultimately said they would take her daughter to the hospital, the suit states. However, Chairez was transported to a facility that handled workers compensation injuries and did not have an emergency room because that was the company’s policy, the suit states.

Chairez was treated as a walk-in patient and finally received medical treatment more than three hours after she suffered the burns, according to the lawsuit.

Chairez has seen several burn specialists and therapists as she continues to deal with pain from her injuries, the suit states.

The suit alleges Bunn-O-Matic’s coffee pot was defective when it malfunctioned and exploded.