Man sues insurer after incident at Ohio McDonald's

By Cara Bailey | Feb 1, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Jackson County man has filed a suit against an insurance company after he was injured when he bit into a foreign object in his food at McDonald's.

Francis W. McCauley filed the suit Jan. 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Employers Insurance of Wausau, the insurer for the McDonald's restaurant where he was injured.

The case also names Barbara Dodd as a defendant. Dodd was the claims case manager for Employers Insurance of Wausau and was assigned to McCauley's case.

According to the suit, McCauley went to a McDonald's in Caldwell, Ohio, and ordered breakfast, which included hash browns, Aug. 7, 2007.

"When Mr. McCauley began to consume the hash browns served to him, he bit down on a foreign object (also described as a 'brown capsule') which was embedded within the hash browns," the suit says. "Immediately, a 'hot liquid' of unknown origin and contained within the foreign object secreted into Mr. McCauley's mouth causing him to ingest the same and instantaneously burning and causing injury to the areas in and around his mouth, throat and other areas of his body."

McCauley claims he went to employees to tell them of the injury, and an employee threw away McCauley's hash browns and the foreign object. However, another employee retrieved the items from the trash.

McDonald's personnel informed McCauley that the items were sent to Wausau for testing.

According to the suit, shortly after the injury occurred, McCauley began to experience sudden and unexplained medical problems, of which physicians have been unable to determine. McCauley claims his physicians have repeatedly asked for information about the origin of the foreign object.

McCauley said he has repeatedly requested and written several letters to Wausau to learn the results of the tests, which were conducted by an unknown manufacturer. However, he claims the results were unsuccessful.

According to the suit, Dodd called Dec. 5, 2007, and left a voicemail for McCauley, which said she had the results, but did not offer any additional information. She also informed McCauley that Wausau was denying liability for the accident.

In the three-count suit, McCauley seeks actual and compensatory damages for the severe emotional distress and injuries he suffered.

Attorney Pamela C. Deem is representing McCauley. The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-45

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