A Morgantown man, his mother and his friend are suing McDonald's for
The man says he bit into a hamburger and had a severe allergic
reaction to the cheese melted on it.
Jeromy Jackson, who is in his early
20s, says he clearly ordered two Quarter Pounders without cheese at the
McDonald's restaurant in Star City before heading to Clarksburg.
Trela Jackson and friend Andrew Ellifritz are parties to the lawsuit because
they say they risked their lives rushing Jeromy to United Hospital Center in
The lawsuit alleges Jeromy "was only moments from death" or
serious injury by the time he reached the hospital.
"We're interested in
seeing McDonald's take responsibility and change a systemic quality control
problem that endangers the lives of up to 12 million Americans with allergies,"
said Timothy Houston, the Morgantown lawyer representing the plaintiffs.
Houston said his clients were in Morgantown in October 2005 and stopped at
the Star City McDonald's on the way home to Clarksburg. Jeromy Jackson was
living with his mother at the time.
Jeromy did his part to make it known he
didn't want cheese on the hamburgers because he is allergic, Houston said.
He told a worker through the ordering speaker and then two workers
face-to-face at the pay and pick-up windows that he couldn't eat cheese, Houston
"By my count, he took at least five independent steps to make sure
that thing had no cheese on it," Houston said. "And it did and almost cost him
After getting the food, the three 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 having the reaction, Houston
said. One of the three immediately called the McDonald's to let restaurant
employees know they had messed up the order, but had to cut the call short when
Jeromy started having a bad reaction, Houston said.
At least two managers at
the McDonald's called the Jacksons afterward to apologize for what happened,
McDonald's representatives offered to pay half of Jeromy's
medical bills -- which totaled about $700. When Houston became involved, he said
the company offered to pay all the medical costs.
The plaintiffs weren't
interested, and McDonald's wasn't offering anything more than medical costs.
The Jacksons and Ellifritz filed the lawsuit on July 18 in Monongalia
Houston didn't know if McDonald's had yet been served with
The lawsuit seeks damages on two counts of negligence, one
count of intentional infliction of emotional distress and one count of punitive
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Do You Want Fries With That?
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