Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Brief History of McDonald’s Customers’ Wacky Incidents and Lawsuits

Some days, you’re just not loving it. That is the case for many specifically disgruntled McDonald’s customers over the years. There’s been 911 calls and lawsuits and media reports.

We would like to commemorate these people. They may be brave fighters of innocuous causes, but that does not dismiss their attempted heroics. And so we have constructed this list of common folk battling McDonald’s in various, trivial ways.

Before we do, however, we have to say one thing: Most of you folks should’ve known what you’re getting into when you walk into a McDonald’s. It is not Nobu. When you enter a McDonald’s, you’re also accepting that something not-great can happen. A blue plastic ball might hit you in the face. Your McDouble with Cheese might look like someone sat on it. Pretending these are not possibilities within McDonald’s is a lie to only one person: Yourself.

A 911 McNugget emergency

Florida woman Latreasa Goodman lost it when she ordered a 10-piece McNuggets, paid for her meal, then was told they were out of McNuggets and refused a refund. Furious, she called 911 three times to help recover her money, despite employees apparently offering her a McDouble.

“This is an emergency,” Goodman told a Fort Pierce police dispatcher in one of the calls.

She was eventually received a citation for misusing 911. Meanwhile, McDonald’s offered her a full refund and a free meal of her choosing.

Crunchy McChicken’s

A bite into a spicy McChicken sandwich could be described in the following ways: savory, juicy, spicy, salty, not good for you. But one woman experienced a crunch and discovered a shard of glass inside.

According to Reuter’s, “Vjollca Lecaj said she suffered severe and permanent oral injuries, as well as ‘great pain and anguish’ after biting into and chewing the glass.”

The cause of the contamination? Apparently an overheated coffee pot that had exploded in the kitchen.

Customers paying in fake money

A McDonald’s employee hosted a Reddit AMA a few years ago, revealing some horror and comedic stories alike. Huffington Post has a full recap if you’re interested, but one worthy bit was the time a customer attempted to pay in board game money. The employee suspected it was Life.


via GIPHY

Vegetarians vs. Beefy McFries

Back in 2002, McDonald’s labeled it fries and hash browns as a vegetarian menu item. The fast-food chain had made a switch to using pure vegetable oil to fry their fries, removing the beef fat the previously cooked with.

But it was discovered McDonald’s wasn’t using pure oil as they claimed. They were still including a form of beef flavoring for their fries. This raised some serious ire among the vegetarian and Hindu communities, the latter of which considers the cow a sacred animal.

The company eventually settled with the plaintiffs and donated $10 million to Hindu and other groups.

Hey McDonald’s, Don’t Supersize me

The first lawsuit of its kind, Caesar Barber sued McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. His claim: Their food was making them fat. He sought damages for the medical conditions consuming their food had wrought, including his obesity, diabetes, and both of his heart attacks.

“Those people in the advertisements don’t tell you what’s in the food,” Barber told the Guardian. “It’s all fat, fat and more fat. Now I’m obese. The fast-food industry has wrecked my life. They said 100% beef. I thought that meant it was good for you.”

His case was dismissed “without prejudice” back in 2003 and he didn’t re-file.

Napkin Please?

One man filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against McDonald’s after receiving just one napkin with his meal.

Webster Lucas alleged that he returned to the counter asking for more, but was refused. According to the New York Daily News, “Lucas alleges the debate took a racist turn when the Mexican-American boss mumbled something about ‘you people’—which Lucas took to be a reference to him being black.”

When offered free burgers as an apology, Lucas took it as an insult, and claimed the incident caused him “undue mental anguish.”

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