DALLAS (CN) — A Texas woman is demanding $50 million for being “literally cooked” when a floor collapsed at a Church’s Chicken restaurant and covered her in boiling fryer grease.
Erica Michelle Acevedo says she suffered “catastrophic injuries” at a Church’s restaurant in Livingston on Aug. 1 when the kitchen floor gave way and collapsed, causing her and two coworkers to fall in and be covered by boiling grease spilling from chicken fryers.
“Had a customer not come to her rescue, Ms. Acevedo would not have survived,” the complaint states. “Acevedo’s fried skin was pulled off her arms as she was dragged to safety.”
Acevedo was airlifted to the burn unit of Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, burned over nearly 65 percent of her body. “She has undergone numerous surgeries, and will undergo countless more. Ms. Acevedo is horribly disfigured and will require medical care for the balance of her life,” the complaint states.
Livingston is about 90 miles north of Houston.
Acevedo, 26, sued Triangle Capital Properties LLC, BAH Texas LLC, Store Master Funding VIII LLC and Cajun Global LLC on Sept. 9 in Dallas County Court.
She says that a chasm under the kitchen floor was a “ticking time bomb” and that her employer was aware of the sinking floor.
“Defendants also knew leaks from the roof and ceiling were further weakening the floor,” the complaint states. “The kitchen did not sit directly on foundation, but over several feet of empty space. Thousands of pounds of kitchen equipment rested on top of this unsecured floor as well.”
Dozens of gallons of boiling grease ran into the hole created by the collapse and collected there along with Acevedo.
Acevedo, a single mother, had recently began working at the restaurant as a second job to buy school clothes for her son.
Her attorney, Anthony Buzbee in Houston, said the restaurant knew about the dangerous floor.
“The manager got a bid, had somebody look at it to repair it, and they decided not to spend the money to do so,” Buzbee told ABC-affiliate KTRK on Tuesday.
Church’s did not immediately respond to an email message requesting comment Wednesday afternoon.
Acevedo seeks medical expenses and punitive damages for negligence, pain and suffering, physical disfigurement and loss of consortium.
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