A sign for the U.S. fast food restaurant chain McDonald's is seen outside one of their restaurants in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, near Brussels, Belgium Dec. 3, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman


  • A McDonald's chicken nugget allegedly burned the leg of the child, then 4, after she opened a Happy Meal
  • The girl's parents sued McDonald's and one of its franchisees
  • The parents alleged the Tamarac, Florida, restaurant served them "dangerously hot" chicken nuggets

A Broward County, Florida, jury has awarded a young girl and her family $800,000 in damages in a civil lawsuit filed after the child was allegedly burned by hot McDonald's chicken nuggets in 2019.

In May, McDonald's and one of its franchisees were found at fault for the hot McNuggets dispensed at a Tamarac, Florida, drive-thru that left then-4-year-old Olivia Caraballo severely burned, NBC6 South Florida reported.

After two hours of deliberation Wednesday, the jury decided that the girl's family should receive $800,000 for pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, CNN reported.

The sum includes $400,000 for injuries sustained in the past and $400,000 for damages the jury determined will be sustained in the future.

The girl's family had asked for an award of $15 million in the lawsuit.

The girl's mother, Philana Holmes, told reporters outside the courtroom Wednesday that she was "happy" with the jury's decision.

"I'm actually just happy they listened to Olivia's voice, and the jury was able to decide a fair judgment. I'm happy with that," Holmes was quoted as saying by NBC6.

Holmes also told reporters that she "had no expectations" and that the verdict was "more than fair" for her, according to the Daily Mail.

Holmes and the girl's father, Humberto Caraballo Estevez, filed a lawsuit in Broward County against McDonald's and franchisee Upchurch Foods in August 2019.

The suit claimed that their daughter, now 8, suffered second-degree burns from the "unreasonably and dangerously" hot McNuggets in her Happy Meal.

Holmes said she took Olivia to the McDonald's at 7600 NW 57th Street in Tamarac and ordered a six-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal from the drive-thru.

The mother said that after receiving the Happy Meal from an employee at the restaurant, she handed the box directly to her young daughter, who was sitting in a child's seat in the backseat of their car.

The lawsuit alleged that one chicken nugget fell on the girl's lap and got stuck between her car seat and leg for a few minutes, the New York Post reported.

The chicken nugget allegedly left Olivia's thigh "disfigured and scarred" from burns, according to the suit.

Both McDonald's and Upchurch Foods said that they were not at fault.

Upchurch Foods said in earlier court filings cited by NBC6 that it bears "no responsibility for any injuries or damages" that the child "may have sustained."

But the jury found in May that the fast food giant and the franchisee failed to put warnings or reasonable instructions on the possible harm from the hot food and that led to the child's injury.

McDonald's was found not negligent for causing the burns.

According to NBC6, McDonald's and the franchise owner have not responded to requests for comment on the Wednesday verdict.

In a previous statement obtained by the outlet, the fast food chain said its "customers should continue to rely on McDonald's to follow policies and procedures for serving Chicken McNuggets safely."

Franchise owner Brent Upchurch also said in a previous statement obtained by NBC6 that the Tamarac restaurant followed protocols when cooking and serving the child's McNuggets and that it "will continue serving safe and high-quality meals."

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