Here's a not-so-happy meal: A mother who treated her children to a meal at a Chicago McDonald’s is suing the fast food conglomerate, after she claims her young son ate a used condom found in the play area.
In the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Anishi Spencer charges that both of her sons, Jonathan and Jacquel Hines, were forced to undergo medical treatment after they discovered a used condom in the restaurant’s indoor PlayPlace. The incident took place on Feb. 4, 2012, at a McDonald’s at 5733 S. Kezie Ave in the Gage park neighborhood.
Spencer alleges that her sons were playing together when they picked up the condom off the ground and Jacquel, then 2, ingested it. Spencer said she had to bring both children to the hospital when Jacquel began coughing up bits of the condom.
In the suit, Spencer accuses both McDonalds Corp. and McDonalds of Illinois of three counts of negligence, including failing to clean the play area of hazardous debris. Spencer also accuses the defendants of failing to use surveillance or proper inspections to prevent customers from engaging in “deviant activities” on their property.
The CBS affiliate in Chicago STMW reported that Spencer’s suit is seeking $50,000 in damages, including reimbursement for both of the toddlers’ medical treatment. The news outlet reported that spokespersons for the company had not returned a call at the time of the article’s publication on Wednesday night.
The alarming incident is not the first time that parents have complained about sanitary standards in the play areas at popular fast food chains. According to a Huffington Post report from 2011, Dr. Erin Carr-Jordan, a developmental psychologist and mother of four, discovered evidence of 13 different disease-causing pathogens when she collected cultures from the designated play areas of various Burger King, McDonald’s and Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. Carr-Jordan sent the samples to a lab, where they tested positive for “coliform, four different kinds of staph, likely meningitis and gonorrhea and more.”