CHARLESTON – A Lincoln County woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she drank poisoned sweet tea at McDonald's.

Crystal Roberts of Akol filed the complaint Aug. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court against McDonald's Restaurants of West Virginia Inc.

According to the complaint, Roberts was dining at the McDonald's located at 2535 Mountaineer Blvd. in South Charleston's Southridge Center shopping area on Aug. 26, 2012, when she ordered a sweet tea.

She claims the drink she ordered was contaminated and that the workers at the restaurant admitted "it was not sweet tea that plaintiff was given, but instead a cleaning solution."

"Plaintiff took a large gulp of this contaminated drink and immediately started choking and coughing, and her throat became sore," the complaint states.

Roberts required medical treatment, and she claims McDonald's is negligent by failing to provide a contaminated-free sweet tea, by failing to properly maintain and clean the sweet tea maker and/or ice maker, by failing to train staff properly, by failing to warn of hazards, and by failing to exercise due care.

"This young lady has had a real horrible time," said attorney Kathy A. Brown, who is representing Roberts. "When you go to McDonald's, you expect to get what you ordered. You don't expect to get a cup of poisoning."

Roberts says she suffered injuries, some of which could be permanent. She seeks damages for her injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, diminution in her ability to enjoy life and other general damages. She seeks compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, expenses and costs.

The case is similar to one that made national headlines earlier this month when a Utah woman was poisoned by tea at a restaurant. She was hospitalized in critical condition with severe burns after her drink was laced with a lye-based cleaner.

Roberts is being represented by Charleston attorney Kathy A. Brown of Kathy Brown Law. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1490




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