Source: – June 3, 2008

Wichita, KS – The family of a 3-year-old Wichita boy who was run over and killed at a McDonald’s restaurant drive-through lane last year has filed a wrongful death suit against the company that owns the restaurant and McDonald’s Corp.

The boy was killed on Feb. 15, 2007, when he walked out of the restaurant and stepped into the path of a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup.

The lawsuit said the accident occurred in a ‘blind spot’ where the design of the restaurant and an attached indoor play area make it impossible for drivers and pedestrians to see one another.

The lawsuit said the accident occurred as the boy was trying to catch up with his twin brother as they were leaving the restaurant with their grandparents.

Less than a year before, an accident in the same spot resulted in a broken leg for a 2-year-old boy who ran into the side of a van that was traveling through the drive-through lane, the lawsuit said.

The Wichita lawyer, who filed the lawsuit Friday in Sedgwick County District Court, said the driver of the van called the owner of the McDonald’s franchise shortly afterward to voice her concerns about safety. According to the Wichita lawyer, the woman was told that no changes were necessary.

‘He claimed this was the first incident, so it would be ‘years’ before the next incident,’ the lawsuit said.

‘Make no mistake, nothing is more important to me than the safety and security of my customers. I want to assure my customers that my restaurant was built to city code in 1997, met all required city ordinances, and received all the appropriate permits based upon official on-site inspections before opening.’

The boy’s family is claiming in the lawsuit that the restaurant was negligent because the owner refused to install signs warning motorists and pedestrians about the blind spot and faded paint made it hard for drivers to see the crosswalk where the boy was run over. The suit also claims the restaurant removed speed bumps that had once slowed parking lot traffic.

A stop sign was put up to stop traffic at the crosswalk more than three months after the young boy was killed.

The family’s lawyer says that McDonald’s Corporation had a duty to inspect and monitor the operations of its restaurants.

The lawsuit seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages each for the boy who was killed, for his twin brother and for the 2-year-old whose leg was broken in the 2006 accident.

Added: July 24, 2009