Francine Powers is suing Chick-fil-A and one of its franchise owners after her teenage son suffered anaphylaxis from chicken nuggets believed to contain milk.
According to Today, Chick-fil-A notified consumers that milk was “unintentionally” added to the chain’s grilled nuggets and filets by a supplier back in August 2022. The statement on their page warned:
When a supplier notified us they had unintentionally added an undeclared dairy allergen in the recipe for our Grilled Filets and Grilled Nuggets, we took immediate steps to notify guests of this temporary issue.
Their products remained contaminated until October 28, 2022, when the company announced it had completely removed milk trace from their nuggets and filets.
Powers recently filed a lawsuit alleging her son suffered a severe reaction on August 13 last year, ten days before Chick-fil-A issued their warning regarding dairy.
Powers claims she informed the counter staff at the Erie outlet of her son’s milk allergy and was reassured the nuggets contained no dairy. She bought two servings of 24 grilled nuggets for her son, identified in the filing as ‘JP’.
After consuming the nuggets, JP’s throat began to close, and he started “foaming at the mouth” while he was at a pool party.
Upon arriving at the hospital, “his face had swollen, he was in pain, and it was clear that he was experiencing a dangerous allergic reaction,” according to the lawsuit.
He required emergency medical treatment and suffered injuries that left him unable to continue normal activities. According to Powers, it took a couple of hours “to bring him back” and reverse JP’s throat closure.
She told Insider the ten days between her son’s reaction and Chick-fil-A’s dairy disclosure were “horrible” because she feared he had developed another allergy to a food other than milk. She was reassured after Chick-fil-A made their announcement.
Powers also stated JP had suffered severe emotional distress after the incident, leaving him to attend counseling and uncomfortable eating at restaurants. She is seeking a trial by jury and substantial damages.
I hope it brings significant awareness. When a child with a food allergy goes out to eat, they bring their family with them. The industry has to be very clear in the communication with its customers.