McDonald’s Refuses To Apologize After Spilling Hot Coffee On 11-Month-Old Baby

After a McDonald’s employee spilled hot coffee on her 11-month-old baby in December 2018, a Saskatoon mother says she is still waiting for an apology from the company.

According to Yvonne Pihach, while she was at the Walmart McDonald's in Stonebridge, a crew member accidentally tipped two cups of coffee over when she put the tray on the counter. The hot beverage ended up spilling on her daughter Noell’s snowsuit and clothes, completely soaking her. Thankfully, other customers rushed over with napkins and ice to help prevent further injuries.

The baby, who was taken to the emergency room, suffered scarring on her feet and blisters on her back. Although she has since recovered, Pihach believes she is owed an apology by the fast-food chain. The entire experience has been stressful and frustrating.

After the baby was soaked, the employee, who had offered to bring a cloth, returned only with a mop and began cleaning the floor. When she went to the front counter and requested a cold cloth from a cashier, the manager who was standing nearby checking her phone, simply shook her head no.

Doctors at the emergency room told Pihach that Noell had suffered second-degree burns to her feet. “She was in a lot of pain; it was uncomfortable whenever anything touched her feet. Which is unfortunate because she was just starting to walk,” her mother said.

Pihach, who has two other children, added that as a result of her injuries, Noell had to be carried around for a month after the accident and also had trouble sleeping. “It was painful if you laid her down and the blankets were touching her feet, she wouldn’t go to sleep,” she said.

After speaking to the regional manager and the owner of the franchise, Pihach asked for a formal apology and expressed her disbelief about how the staff reacted and their lack of first aid training. She also requested that she be compensated for the cost of the ruined snowsuit, which the company promised to do. “I was on maternity leave, to be honest, I didn’t have the money at the time to go buy a new snowsuit, that was my diaper money,” she said.

Almost a year later, Pihach is still waiting for an apology and has not been reimbursed for the ruined snowsuit. “They got my money and they burned my daughter and it doesn’t really matter,” she said.

In a statement to CTV News, the owner of the franchise, Raj Baines, said he only recently found out that the issue had not been dealt with. “I've invited her to follow up with me, and I'm looking forward to connecting further so I can ensure this is properly resolved,” Baines said in the statement.

A Saskatoon lawyer specialized in criminal law and civil litigation said he isn't surprised that McDonald’s has yet to apologize to Pihach.

“Generally if a client is in a situation where a lawsuit is threatened or a possibility of legal liability, any lawyer will tell his client to not make statements out of court that could be used as evidence,” Andrew Mason said. “You can’t go out an admit liability and expect the insurer to be happy about having to cover that.”

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Pihach said she welcomes further discussions with the owner but she also wants the issues she expressed concern about to be dealt with immediately.

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