A woman claims that she and a young girl who went to a Taco Bell in Dallas, Texas, were left feeling like they were "burning from the inside out" after a store manager allegedly covered them in boiling water.
A lawsuit filed July 13 in Dallas County Circuit Court claims that Brittany Davis and the daughter of Kira Davis identified only as "C.T." complained repeatedly that their order had not been prepared properly, when an employee threatened to fight them before the manager doused them in hot water, causing significant pain and disfigurement.
"Due to the scalding water that remained in their clothes against their bodies, C.T. and Brittany felt like they were ‘burning from the inside out,’" the complaint states. "The store they believed would be [a] place of service and safety quickly turned into [a] place of horrors."
The alleged incident took place on June 17, when the plaintiffs ordered food from the Taco Bell. The complaint says they went through the drive-thru three times in an attempt to get the food they ordered, claiming that the bag they initially received was missing items they had requested. The plaintiffs claim that after showing the receipt and the contents of their bag, the employees refused to fix the error or continue helping them at the drive-thru.
At this point, the lawsuit says, Brittany Davis and C.T. parked and approached the front door of the Taco Bell, which was locked. An employee let them in right away and locked the door behind them, but after ten minutes of discussing the issue, employees allegedly "became combative" and refused to get them the food they asked for.
It was at this point, the complaint states, that the manager, who they claim was not involved in the situation until this point, "came from behind the counter with scalding bucket of water and poured it onto C.T. and Brittany." The two customers immediately tried to flee, they claim, but the locked door made it difficult to do so. Eventually, they got out and got into a car, and family members took them to a local emergency room. They allege that before they got out, the manager had returned with another bucket of hot water, but they left before she was able to pour it on them.
As they fled, they claim, one Taco Bell employee laughed and clapped.
Due to the hot water soaking into their clothes, the complaint says, the pain and damage were exacerbated. C.T. immediately started taking her clothes off upon getting to the car, but Brittany started having seizures, the complaint states. When they got to the hospital, they claim, C.T. "ran naked into the emergency room to get help for Brittany[.]" When hospital staff eventually cut Brittany’s clothes off, some of her skin came off with it, the complaint says, and she had to be sedated and intubated before being airlifted to an ICU burn unit.
By the time she reached the burn unit, the complaint claims, Brittany had at least ten seizures. Her injuries allegedly include "deep burns on her chest and stomach with significant damage to her brain function due to the seizures causing her to lose some of her memory." C.T., meanwhile, had "severe burns to her face, chest, legs, arms, and stomach," which are expected to result in facial discoloration and scarring, according to the complaint, with the skin on her body bubbling.
In a statement, Taco Bell said they "take the safety and wellbeing of team members and customers seriously," that they are in contact with the owner that particular franchise, and that they would not comment on the specifics of the litigation.
Fox Business reached out to parent company Yum! Brands for comment but they did not immediately respond.
The plaintiffs are being represented by attorney Ben Crump –best known for representing the family of George Floyd – and local counsel Paul Grinke.
"Our hearts break for these two victims whose lives are forever changed because of the horrific and damaging actions by the Taco Bell manager and the larger entities that failed to protect the safety of their customers," the attorneys said in a statement, adding that "[c]orporations have a duty to employ quality and stable employees who hold safety as the highest priority."
On Friday, a judge ordered that all photos and video surveillance footage of the location be turned over to the plaintiffs by July 22, with an injunction prohibiting the defendants from taking any actions that might alter or damage the footage.