Chick-fil-A has already faced major backlash several times in 2023. There was the controversial Cauliflower Sandwich and then a wildly unpopular decision to discontinue the beloved side salad (which was ultimately kept on the menu due to customer complaints). Now, the chicken chain is once again under scrutiny, this time over a popular menu item that allegedly sent a child to the hospital.
Francine Powers is suing the company over an incident where her son consumed Chick-fil-A's Grilled Nuggets and then had to be rushed to the hospital, Insider reported. Powers believes that the nuggets contained dairy—which her son is allergic to—even though Chick-fil-A repeatedly assured her that that was not the case.
The incident at the center of the lawsuit took place in August 2022 when Powers and her son visited a Chick-fil-A in Erie, N.Y. The lawsuit states that Powers checked the nutrition information and allergen disclosures on the chain's website beforehand to ensure that the Grilled Nuggets didn't contain any dairy, TODAY.com reported. After informing a server at the Erie Chick-fil-A about her son's allergy, the worker also reassured her that the nuggets didn't contain any dairy.
Powers went ahead and purchased the menu item for her son, but he became ill sometime after consuming them. His throat started to close up, he began to foam at the mouth, his face was swollen, and he was in pain from a "dangerous allergic reaction," according to the lawsuit. After rushing him to the hospital, Powers said it took multiple hours to treat her son and stop his throat from closing.
Even after the incident, Chick-fil-A continued to reassure Powers that the nuggets didn't contain any dairy. But 10 days after the allergic reaction occurred, Chick-fil-A announced that its grilled nuggets and grilled filets had been contaminated with an undeclared dairy allergen due to a "supplier mishap," CNN reported.
The lawsuit alleges that Chick-fil-A changed the nutrition and allergen disclosures on its website to show that the nuggets contained dairy more than 10 days after the hospital visit, per TODAY.com. Chick-fil-A has since announced that all traces of dairy have been removed from the grilled chicken items and the supplier "has implemented corrective actions to ensure this does not happen again."
Chick-fil-A did not say exactly when the supplier mishap occurred, so it can't be said for certain that Powers' son ingested one of the contaminated nuggets. Still, Powers maintains that the Chick-fil-A item was to blame for her son's health scare. She's seeking a trial by jury and damages.
Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to our queries for comment on the lawsuit.