A mother has filed a lawsuit against Chick-fil-A on behalf of her teenage son, alleging that an order of chicken nuggets sent him to the hospital with a severe allergic reaction.
On Aug. 16, a complaint was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the county Of Erie over eight causes of action, including negligence, infliction of emotional distress and unfair and deceptive business practices, as first reported by Insider. The plaintiffs, J.P. and his mother, Francine Powers, allege that a misrepresented order of chicken nuggets ordered from a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Erie sent the boy, who has a “life-threatening dairy allergy,” into anaphylaxis.
Chick-fil-A declined to comment for this story.
“J.P’s mother, Ms. Powers, trusted Defendants products were safe for her son,” the lawsuit reads, adding that before ordering food from the Chick-fil-A, Powers checked the nutrition and allergen disclosures on its website to confirm that the Grilled Chicken Nuggets didn’t contain dairy, and it said they didn’t.
The plaintiffs say that on Aug. 13, 2022, they visited the Chick-fil-A located on Transit Road in Depew, New York, which is owned and operated by co-defendants the Privitera family. The store operators did not respond to a request for comment from TODAY.com.
“Prior to placing an order, Ms. Powers disclosed J.P.’s life-threatening dairy allergy to the Chick-fil-A employee, who responded that the Grilled Nuggets did not contain dairy,” the lawsuit reads, adding that because of the employee’s response, she ordered the nuggets as well as an order of waffle fries for her son.
The suit states that soon after eating the order of nuggets from the Chick-fil-A restaurant, J.P. started to feel ill, so Powers contacted the store in question and “was again told there was no dairy in either the Grilled Nuggets or Chick-fil-A Waffle Potato Fries” that he had consumed. Powers says she was also told that there had been no recent changes to the ingredients in either of those items.
“J.P. then began foaming at the mouth, excreting excessive saliva and mucus from his mouth and nose, and felt his throat start to close,” the lawsuit continues. Plaintiffs state that the teen was then rushed to a nearby pediatric emergency facility, and by the time he arrived, he had a swollen face and was in pain from experiencing what they say was a “dangerous allergic reaction.”
Powers says, 10 days later, she spoke with the Chick-fil-A location two times about the possibility of dairy being in the items that J.P. consumed, claiming both times she was told that neither item contained dairy.
Then, Powers claims, on Aug. 29, 2022, she saw a post in a food allergy support group alerting members that the Grilled Nuggets served at Chick-fil-A restaurants “did in fact contain dairy.”
The suit claims that more than 10 days after J.P’s anaphylactic reaction and hospital visit, Chick-fil-A changed its nutrition and allergen disclosure on its website so show that the product contains dairy.
Powers is seeking a trial by jury and substantial damages.
In August 2022, Chick-fil-A announced in a statement that its Grilled Nuggets and Grilled Filets contained an undeclared dairy allergen due to a “supplier mishap,” adding that it was actively working with its supplier to ensure the allergen would be removed. The chain also said that the issue wouldn’t happen again, saying at the time, “Our priority is that our impacted guests can enjoy these products again soon.”
As for whether or not dairy is still listed as one of the allergens for those menu items, the Chick-fil-A website now reads, “We are happy to inform you that the dairy ingredient has been fully removed from both the Grilled Filets and the Grilled Nuggets.”