Society

Woman With Second-Degree Burns Sues In-N-Out Burger For Not Calling 911

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A California woman is suing In-N-Out Burger after employees at an Oakland restaurant allegedly refused to call 911 after she burned herself with “excessively hot” coffee.

Hedy Chen says workers gave her an ice-pack after she dropped the hot cup of coffee, which had no sleeve, on her lap while sitting in the drive-through in April 2013.

Chen’s attorney says that had they dialed 911, a dispatcher would have told them never to put ice on a second-degree burn.

Chen says the ice pack may have made her scars worse, according to the suit filed in Alameda County Superior Court.

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"It's just scalding," said her attorney, Kirk Boyd. "She took it in her hand, but it was so hot she couldn't hold onto it.”

He said employees just wanted her to move along, "she's got second-degree burns and all they are worried about is her moving her car so they could get to the next person in line.

"What they were supposed to do was call 911 because the operators know that ice should not be used," Boyd added.

A friend of Chen’s later called paramedics. She was treated for second-degree burns at Bothin Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital for three days.

"They said there is a policy of not calling 911,” Boyd said. “That policy violates their duty of care to customers.”

A restaurant spokesman refused to comment on the lawsuit.

"However, all In-N-Out Burger associates are authorized to assist our customers and to call 911 in emergency situations," Arnie Wensinger, the In-N-Out executive vice president, told the San Francisco Chronicle in an email.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, New York Daily News