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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's
    8/8/2007 8:48 AM
    By Cara Bailey -Monongalia Bureau
    The West Virginia Record

    MORGANTOWN - A Monongalia County man is seeking $10 million from McDonald's after an employee put cheese on his sandwich.

    Jeromy Jackson, his mother Trela Jackson and his friend Andrew Ellifritz filed a suit July 18 in Monongalia Circuit Court against the popular fast-food chain because Jeromy Jackson is allergic to cheese.

    According to the suit, Jackson, his mother and friend went to the drive-thru at the McDonald's on Chaplin Road in Morgantown on Oct. 30, 2005. Jackson claims he ordered two "Quarter Pounders" without cheese, stating he was allergic to cheese.

    "From this point forward, Mr. Jackson repeatedly asked as to the status of his food and whether it had no cheese, and took multiple preventive steps to assure his food did not contain cheese," the suit says.

    The suit says Jackson received his food, bit into one of his sandwiches and immediately began to have a severe allergic reaction. He was rushed to United Hospital Center in Clarksburg.

    "Mr. Jackson was only moments from death and/or seriously debilitation injury when hospital staff intervened," the suit says.

    Jeromy Jackson suffered injuries to his body and mind and has incurred medical expenses. Jackson, his mother and friend claim to have suffered mental anguish, pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life.

    The lawsuit claims the negligence of McDonald's put the lives of Trela Jackson and Ellifritz in danger also, because they were forced to rush Jeromy Jackton to the hospital under dangerous conditions.

    In the four-count suit, the plaintiffs seek $10 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

    In addition to McDonald's Corporation, the McDonald's Restaurants of West Virginia, Golden Arch Inc., McDonald's of Star City West Virginia, two Jane Does and two John Does are named in the suit.

    Attorney Timothy D. Houston represents the plaintiffs.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    I heard this on the radio this morning.....I hope the lawyers in the world feel embarassment over such cases.
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  3. #3
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    I am not sure that i agree utter. Should he have checked before he bit into the quarter pounder to be sure it didnt have cheese? Yes. However, if you believe that he asked multiple times to make sure that it didnt have cheese (which is a question of fact for the jury) than i think that it is negligence for the mcdonalds to ignore that request, especially if as alleged mcdonalds had notice that this wasnt just a personnel preference issue for taste, it was a health issue, and a life threatening one at that.

    Should the damages be 10 million? I doubt it. But i think if the facts are as alleged, he should be entitled to real money. McDonalds has a duty to the customer to provide the food as ordered, and if they knew of the health risk, they have an even higher duty to be sure.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    I am not sure that i agree utter. Should he have checked before he bit into the quarter pounder to be sure it didnt have cheese? Yes. However, if you believe that he asked multiple times to make sure that it didnt have cheese (which is a question of fact for the jury) than i think that it is negligence for the mcdonalds to ignore that request, especially if as alleged mcdonalds had notice that this wasnt just a personnel preference issue for taste, it was a health issue, and a life threatening one at that.

    Should the damages be 10 million? I doubt it. But i think if the facts are as alleged, he should be entitled to real money. McDonalds has a duty to the customer to provide the food as ordered, and if they knew of the health risk, they have an even higher duty to be sure.

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    Is being allergic to cheese a life threatening condition for real? I know of people who are allergic to shrimp and others who are allergic to mangos, but they don't die if they eat them. There are physical manifestations of the allergic reactions, but they are not life threatening.

  5. #5
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Sounds like a case with a grain of truth and a whole lot of exaggeration. Of course, if someone can get a big settlement from McDonalds because their coffee was too hot, why should anyone be surprised?

    This is why people (like me) hate (most) lawyers.

  6. #6
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Okay, McDonalds should not have put cheese on the Quarter Pounder, and if things went down as reported in the story, they should be held liable. But...if this guy took all these "multiple preventative steps" to assure his food did not contain cheese and then didn't check to see if there was poison on his burger before he took a bite, he's liable too. I don't know if Mr. Jackson is just plain stupid or was trying to pull a scam. Why do I get the feeling he went to several McDonalds before he was able to get a burger with cheese after throwing the allergic card out there??

    As for his mother and friend deserving any damages, that's hogwash.

  7. #7
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Depends on the allergy, but you could die from eating cheese, the same way you could die from eating peanuts if you were allergic to them. However, whether you can die or not isnt the standard for negligence.

    The key here is whether the story is true. I am not saying mcdonalds should hand over a check. I will say this. If you were allergic and had that kind of reaction after asking multiple times to make sure that the restaurant didnt put that food item into what you ordered and as a result you had to go to the hospital, you would want damages also.

    Its easy to check whether the cheese was on the burger, and i do believe that impacts the damage award, but its also to some degree a blame the victim defense and i dont think it makes mcdonalds less negligent.

    Avenger, back me up here. Mcdonalds has a duty to provide safe food, they were aware of the risk (if the story is true), the behavior was both the cause and the proximate cause of the injury, and thus, the issue is how much the victim is entitled to in terms of damages, since they are guilty of negligence. Simple bar exam 101. You take the plaintiff as you find him.

    Again, before all you non lawyers jump on me, I am NOT saying the story is true, only pointing out that if it is true, the claim is not pure fantasy, but rather is legit, albeit not for 10 million

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  8. #8
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Assuming the claims and negligence are true, why would any damages besides medical bills and compensation for lost work time be paid?

  9. #9
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    I have to admit I don't have much sympathy for this guy. Everyone knows that sometimes fast food restaurants get orders mixed up. This isn't a pre-packaged product with quality assurance to make sure the product isn't contaminated when it gets shipped. And like people have said, it's hard to make a case that someone else was negligent when you yourself neglected to lift the bun up.

  10. #10
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    Does McDonald's have a warning somewhere that says "Your order may not be exactly as you asked" or something like that? If so, they'll get out of it.
    Do they record the orders? If the man does not say "no cheese" or it's hard to hear, than they should get out of it.
    But if the man clearly said "no cheese," and on more than one occasion it was audible, I can understand where he is coming from. But shouldn't he have checked anyway?

    Common sense could save tons of wasted time and money in the country.

  11. #11
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    I believe the intent of the plaintiff (and his lawyer) will be explained as wanting enough monies in punitive damages so as to diminish the chances of a recurrence of the incident in question.

    When a corporation is all about making money (which one isn't) the best way to institute safeguards is to hit them in the pocketbook. Hard.

    The biggest complaint I actually have is the restaurant fist offered to cover only 1/2 the medical bills (according to the first report I read on this incident) which means they were willing to accept at least some responsibility but not all which might be regarded as thinking the plaintiff needed to accept partial blame for not checking his burger before ingesting it.

    Also, what sort of compensation is the lawyer taking on this? Is it an hourly rate or will he only get paid if he wins the case for the plaintiff? I cannot come up with the term at this time for when the lawyer is compensated for winning... but in exchange is generally granted up to 60% or more of the judgement.. or maybe I have heard wrong on that not having been in court since the custody hearing when I was 6 or 7.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    I think people should be able to be arrested for being stupid.

    Lift up the dang bun.

  13. #13
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    McDonalds has deep pockets that can easily be picked by clever people with a story to tell.

    If I was allergic to cheese, deadly allergic, there is no way you would find me ordering a burger ever, especially from a fast food joint that is worried about speed over service....or course if I was just looking to sue for big money, any of the big chains would work.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    He should have gone to Burger King. " Special Orders don't upset us"

  15. #15
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Man allergic to cheese seeks $10 million from McDonald's

    This article is making me want to head to the Chaplin Road McDonalds right now, actually...
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