Lawyers release video of boiling water incident at Dallas Taco Bell
Lawyers for a woman and her niece who say they were seriously injured when an employee of a Dallas Taco Bell poured boiling water on them released video footage of the incident on Friday.
Attorneys Paul Grinke and Ben Crump filed a lawsuit in Dallas County on July 13 on behalf of Brittany Davis and her niece, identified in court documents as CT, alleging Taco Bell failed to properly train or controlled its employees. The lawsuit – which lists as defendants Taco Bell, parent company Yum! Brands, local North Texas Bells franchisee and two unnamed employees — are seeking more than $1 million in damages.
The incident happened on June 17 after the pair drove through a Taco Bell drive-thru in the 11800 block of Abrams Road, just off Interstate 635 in Lake Highlands, and received the wrong order three times, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement Saturday, Taco Bell said the company takes “the safety and well-being of team members and customers seriously.” The company said it was in contact with the franchise owner and location operator, but could not comment on any details of the lawsuit.
A 2.5-minute video released by plaintiffs’ attorneys shows 12 different camera angles inside and outside the restaurant. As the footage begins, Davis and his niece are standing at the counter and Davis is talking to a woman behind the cash register.
Two minutes later, a kitchen worker grabs a transparent pitcher and fills it with water. The employee sets it down briefly on a counter as steam rises from the pitcher.
This employee, who appears to be talking on the phone, then walks over to the counter and throws the water at Davis and his niece.
Davis and his niece fall to the ground before getting up and running for the exit. The employee returns to the kitchen and appears to refill the pitcher.
Davis and the girl run to a car before the clip ends.
The lawsuit says they suffered second- and third-degree burns that left permanent scars. Davis went into shock on the way to the ER and suffered 10 seizures that caused “significant” brain damage, according to the lawsuit.
“The actions of Taco Bell management and employees in these videos are violent, callous and inexcusable,” Grinke said in a written statement. “Rather than just fix the problem, Taco Bell employees taunt a 16-year-old and the manager ambushes them with boiling water. … I’m appalled that Taco Bell treats anyone this way.
An additional 30-second video released by the lawyers shows two different employees in the kitchen. Lawyers say an employee hid a handgun under his shirt before passing it to another employee seconds later.
The exchange occurs as water is thrown on Davis and his niece. A handgun is not clearly visible in the images.
The defendants did not file a response with the court.
Dallas police previously said officers responded to reports of a serious assault and assault at the Taco Bell on June 17. A minor called the police the next day to report an assault related to the same incident.
No arrests were made. Police spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez said Friday that all three cases were being sent to a grand jury.