Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hold the pickles, hold the lettace.....

It would seem that the trend for holding others responsible financially for mistakes continues. Jeromy Jackson, in his early twenties, of Morgantwon WV, is poised to try and make a run at $10 million for a mistake in his take-out order.

In October 2005, Jeromy, his mother Trella Jackson and a friend, Andrew Ellifritz, stopped at the Star City McDonald's on the way home to Clarksburg, where he was living with his mother at the time. Jeromy states that he more than did his part to warn the employess there that he was allergic to cheese and couldn't have any on his two burgers. He told a worker through the ordering microphone and two workers face-to-face at the pay and pick-up windows.

"By my count, he took at least five independent steps to make sure that thing did not have any cheese on it. And it almost cost him his life," stated Timothy Houston, attorney for all three.

After getting their food, they drove to Clarksburg and started to eat the food in a darkened room where they were going to watch a movie. Jeromy took one bite and started to have a reaction. One of the three, I am going to guess that it wasn't Jeromy, called the McDonald's to let them know they had messed up the order. They cut the call short in order to rush Jeromy to the hospital. Houston represents all three, since Trella and Andrew it seems "risked their lives" in getting Jeromy to the hospital when he began having a reaction to the cheese.

At least two managers called the Jackson's afterwards to apologise for what happened. McDonald's representitives offered to pay half of Jeromy's medical bills, which totaled about $700. Houston states that they offered to pay the full $700 after he became involved in the case. McDonald's was only offering to pay the medical expenses and his clients weren't interested so they filed the lawsuit on July 18 2007. The lawsuit seeks damages on two counts of negligence ( I am assuming that is for both burgers, one not eaten), one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress and one count of punitive damages.

McDonald's has been sued before, most famously by Stella Liebeck after she claimed to have gotten third-degree burns from a spilled cup of coffee. The 79 year-old resident old Albequerque NM resident was awarded $2.9 million originally. Unfortunately, when looking deeper into this case, Stella, spilled the coffee when she opened the cup and then rode for some 90 seconds in a pool of hot coffee. The coffee also was not any hotter than what industry standards call for it to be at 170 degrees.

Interestingly, Stella originally asked for $20,000 and then later $300,000 to settle the case, while McDonald's offered only a token sum, since they hadn't really been at fault they felt for her having opened the cup and spilled it. The jury awarded her $2.9 originally, which was later lowered to $650,000 and eventually settled for an amount close to that after appeal.

While I do understand Jeromy's food allergy and the problems it can involve, I feel his case should be tossed faster than a "lost pair of pants." If he is in fact that allergic, as some 12 million American's are, he should have made the effort to walk inside, order it where he could possibly see them prepared and most importantly............ pulled up the buns right in front of the employees, in bright lights and seen if his order was correct. I don't care if he told twenty-five employees how allegic he was, or whether he made 100 verbal and face-to-face remarks about it............. he missed the most important one. He never looked at the food he was putting in his mouth and McDonalds is not at fault for that. I'm sorry Jeromy, take the $700 and peel up the buns next time.