McDonald's Is Being Sued For Its McNuggets. Here's Why

McDonald's is the target of yet another lawsuit. Alexei Stolfat of Florida is asking for $1.1 million in damages, claiming a bone hidden inside a chicken McNugget cracked his tooth. Part of the award would be used to pay his dental bill, and some would compensate him for mental and emotional distress, according to Today. Stolfat told the South Florida Sun Sentinel he would donate $1 million to charity.

If Stolfat wins any amount of damages, it won't come soon. A 79-year-old woman in Albuquerque spilled a scalding-hot cup of McDonald's coffee on herself in 1992, and two years went by before a jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages (via Consumer Attorneys of California). She probably ended up with less than that. She and McDonald's settled for an undisclosed sum to avoid seeing the lawsuit drag on in appeals.

Stolfat told Today he wasn't looking for hot-coffee-lady celebrity. He said he only wants "to help other people, to protect them and tell them to be very careful with McNuggets." Stolfat's lawsuit also seeks a recall of McDonald's nuggets to prevent other injuries. While Stolfat claims his dentist told him he needs a root canal and implant surgery, he is keeping the damaged tooth in his mouth for now. "I want to be able to show the court," he told the Sun Sentinel. McDonald's told the Florida newspaper it takes these sorts of claims seriously but won't comment on an active lawsuit.

This isn't the first time McDonald's has been sued over its McNuggets

This isn't the first time a bone inside a McNugget led to legal action. Chicago-area resident Zebadiah Anderson sued McDonald's in 2015 after claiming that bones in a chicken nugget he had swallowed two years earlier caused "severe injury" — severe enough to require an ambulance ride to the emergency room (via the Chicago Tribune). No word on how that particular case played out, or even if it's been resolved yet.

The idea of a McNugget recall isn't new to McDonald's, either. In 2015, McDonald's Japan recalled 1 million nuggets from a factory in Thailand after two separate customers found plastic or vinyl in their orders (via Mother Jones). Some other famous cases against McDonald's include the "defective" pickle that allegedly burned a woman's chin in 1999. She and her husband sued, and the couple settled two years later without receiving a monetary award (via Mental Floss). A judge threw out a 2002 case in which teenagers sued McDonald's for making them obese. "Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald's," except maybe the parents of McDonald's-loving children, the judge said, explaining his decision (via The New York Times).

According to a 2014 attorney profile from Thomson Reuters Practical Law, McDonald's employed 213 attorneys, including 12 devoted specifically to lawsuits. Despite the many famous claims made against the burger chain, these lawyers usually work on less headline-grabbing issues: real-estate disputes and problems with franchisees.