A video released Friday by lawyers representing two clients suing Taco Bell shows a man behind a counter in a Dallas store brandishing a bucket of steaming liquid at them.
The couple say they suffered severe burns when a store manager poured water on them when they complained about an incomplete order, their lawsuit says.
The CCTV video, which has no sound and was released as an edited cutbook and in an unedited hour-long version, appears to show a worker pouring water while customers and employees exchange words.
The video was provided by the client’s legal team, civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Paul A. Greenke, who obtained it by court order.
“The actions of Taco Bell management and employees in these videos are cruel, heartless and unforgivable,” Grinke said Friday. “KT and her aunt Brittany, themselves restaurant workers, are calmly asking for food they paid for with their hard-earned money. Instead of just solving the problem, the Taco Bell employees taunt the 16-year-old and the manager pours boiling water on them.”
The lawsuit, released this week by Crump, alleges that Brittany Davis and a minor identified in the lawsuit as CT received permanent skin damage and a life-long change in their appearance following the incident. According to Greenke, CT is Davis’ niece.
The images, which are said to show the plaintiffs after the confrontation, show large blisters and severe discoloration. The photos were released on Friday along with the video.
The lawsuit, which was filed on July 13 in Dallas County District Court, alleges that Taco Bell and restaurant employees were grossly negligent and negligent in their hiring, leading to the alleged assault. He is seeking over $1 million in legal fees and damages.
In a statement Wednesday, Taco Bell said it takes the safety of workers and customers seriously and has contacted the franchise owner and operator named in the lawsuit. The company declined to comment further at the time, citing a pending lawsuit, but did respond to a request for its response to the release of the video.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe at Taco Bell restaurants,” the chain said. “We are taking this very seriously and are working with our local franchisee to investigate.”
The parent company of Taco Bell Yum! Brands and regional franchisee North Texas Bells, who are also named in the lawsuit, did not respond to previous requests for comment, and the same was true when they were briefed about the coverage based on this security video. Taco Bell and North Texas Bells also did not respond to requests for comment from two unnamed employees listed in the lawsuit.
The June 17 incident came after Davis, CT and another family member received the wrong order and, according to the lawsuit, drove past a second and third time to try to fix it. When they failed, they went to a locked door and were let into the dining room, the lawsuit says.
After discussion, the staff refused to correct the order, and the manager, who was not involved in the negotiations, came out and poured a bucket of hot water over the two, dousing CT’s face and hitting both plaintiffs on the chest. , said the suit.
Video of the meeting shows that CT and Davis were thrown into the water when one of the customers, identified by one of their lawyers as Davis, walks through a hole in the counter that appears to lead to the kitchen.
CT appears to be following them, but they don’t cross the back edge of the counter – and it’s unclear if that was their intention – before the water hits them, as shown in the video. The view of the couple, including their hands and faces, is obscured by the camera angle.
The couple attempted to flee and were briefly stopped by a door that was locked behind them, but escaped before the manager could return with a second bucket of water, the documentation claims.
Davis and her niece were rushed to the hospital and later transferred to a second hospital for additional treatment, the lawsuit says.
The CT showed burns to the face, chest, legs, arms and abdomen. According to the lawsuit, Davis also suffered burns to his chest and abdomen, as well as damage to brain function that caused multiple seizures.
The Dallas Police Department said it was investigating the incident.
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