Man sues McDonald’s after heroin substitute ends up in his diet coke; company won’t settle

DCNFSteve Birr, DCNF

A man from Utah who alleges a McDonald’s employee spiked his diet Coke with a heroin substitute that caused a severe reaction is suing the fast-food giant.

Emergency crews were called to a Salt Lake City McDonald’s in August 2016 after 33-year-old Trevor Walker lost feeling in his limbs and his vision became blurry as he was eating with his three young sons. Officials found the diet Coke contained buprenorphine, a heroin substitute, which Walker assumes an employee slipped into his drink, reports CBS News.

Despite an investigation by local police, no charges were ever filed and all employees denied involvement.

“I would like there to be some justice for what has taken place,” Walker told CBS News. “I don’t want to see somebody else go through what we’ve gone through. It could have been my son. If one of my sons had drank my drink, the outcome could have been worse.”

Walker filed the lawsuit Monday, which also targets Coca-Cola, after failing to reach a settlement with McDonald’s. He is seeking damages along with an acknowledgment from the company that it was at fault.

“The safety and integrity of our products are our top priority,” said Ben Sheidler, a spokesman for Coca-Cola, according to CBS News. “We’re working with our customer on this matter to understand the facts.”

Due to widespread abuse of opioids like heroin and fentanyl, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans younger than 50.

Data released by officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 11 shows the majority of opioid-linked deaths are now the result of synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The report shows synthetic opioids killed roughly 27,000 people across the U.S. over the 12-month period ending November 2017, up from roughly 19,413 lives in 2016 and 9,580 lives in 2015.

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