A US man with a life-threatening milk allergy is suing McDonald’s claiming that a slice of American cheese on his burger caused him to have a severe allergic reaction. According to the New York Post, Charles Olsen, 28, placed an order for a Big Mac meal without cheese through the food delivery platform DoorDash in February 2021 from a New York City McDonald’s outlet. In his legal complaint filed Friday, he included a copy of his online order, which showed he had checked “No American Cheese” when he placed it. However, when he took a bite from the burger, Mr Olsen claimed that he suffered an anaphylaxis reaction.
According to his lawsuit, the 28-year-old “felt like something wasn’t right,” soon after taking a bite out of the famed McDonald’s burger. “His throat began to itch and swell. He felt a burning sensation throughout his body. He looked at his girlfriend, Alexandra, and coughed ‘There’s milk in this!” the lawsuit claims, as per the Post.
Within minutes, Mr Olsen’s body was covered in hives and his breathing became laboured, the lawsuit adds. It says that as Mr Olsen gasped for air, his girlfriend rushed him to the hospital, where he was “on the brink of needing intubation to save his life” and was admitted for anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that can be deadly if not treated immediately. Doctors were able to stabilize and discharge Mr Olsen after several hours, the lawsuit says.
In a statement, the 28-year-old said that he wants to hold joints responsible for the ingredients they place in their meals. In his lawsuit, he also notes that there was allegedly no allergy warning or cross-contamination warning when he made his order. “There was no option for him in there indicating about an allergy,” Mr Olsen’s attorney, Scott Harford, said, as per NBC News.
Mr Olsen’s other lawyer, Jory Lange, called the incident “completely avoidable” and a “traumatic experience” for his client. He said that Mr Olsen had recovered physically but that “this is something that still causes him concern, still causes anxiety, when it comes to getting food from restaurants”.
Mr Olsen’s lawsuit accuses McDonald’s of breaching its duty to “produce food that was safe to it”. He seeks monetary damages and a jury trial.