Girl severely burned by food after fall in school cafeteria, lawsuit claims

A kindergarten student was burned so badly by food at a Tennessee school that she had to be treated at a local hospital, according to a lawsuit filed in Shelby County.

The lawsuit, which is filed on behalf of the girl by her mother, names Shelby County Schools as the defendant.

The alleged incident happened on Oct. 23 at Double Tree Elementary School in Memphis. The child was getting lunch – mashed potatoes – at the on-site cafeteria.

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After getting her food, she was walking toward a table when she slipped on a wet spot on the cafeteria floor. The hot food landed on her arm and “resulted in severe burns … that required medical treatment,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims the kindergartner did not know the mashed potatoes were that hot – and she did not see the wet spot on the floor. It claims Shelby County Schools is liable for the incident and that every aspect could have been prevented.

The family is seeking compensation for damages that include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Post-judgement interest
  • Statutory and discretionary costs
  • And all such further relief to which she may be entitled

WHBQ reached out to SCS regarding the lawsuit, and officials said they cannot comment on "pending lawsuits."

WHBQ's Greg Coy spoke with the family's attorney.

"A child should not suffer second-degree burns at a school," said attorney Thomas Greer of Bailey and Greer Law Firm. "I don't think anybody would expect a burn like to happen. It’s just something that should not happen.

"Our kids should not be burned with the food that has been served."

Greer told WHBQ that the girl has returned to school, but she brings her lunch now and avoids the cafeteria line.

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