The baby, identified as Cadien Scott Gaffney, grabbed for the cup — as most children would do — after a server placed it in front of him on the table, Courtnei Patterson, a family friend, told the New York Daily News, adding that the hot water was knocked over and “fell all over his chest, his legs, everything,” In a baffling twist, though, no one called 911 to get the baby an ambulance until a full 20 minutes had elapsed, according to the family’s lawyer. Instead, staffers scrambled to get paper towels and ointment, Patterson said, while family apparently tended to the baby.
“Everybody was just standing there, looking around trying to figure out what to do next,” she remembers. Finally, outraged patrons piped up, and the authorities were called. It seems they didn’t come quickly enough, though, as the child’s loved ones had already carried him out of the restaurant before paramedics could get there. In a photo posted on Twitter, Cadien’s entire abdomen is seen stripped of its top layer of skin, in a wound that looks indescribably painful. The boy’s family reports that he’ll sometimes forget about the injury and try to play like a normal child, but the pain eventually has him “screaming bloody murder” again.
“It hurts me so bad just to see that baby in that condition,” Patterson said, adding that it’s going to be a “long journey” toward healing. No one from Applebee’s has attempted to contact the family to check in on Cadien, Patterson told the Daily News. Brian Lowe, a spokesman for Doherty Enterprises, an Applebee’s franchisee, issued a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle on Thursday that read: “We are truly saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with the child and family. After a thorough investigation and review of security footage and call logs, we are confident that our team members acted with urgency, calling for medical assistance while helping the family.
We were unable to obtain the family’s contact information onsite but would like to assist in any way that we can as we continue to cooperate with authorities. As always, the safety of our guests is top priority.” The boy’s family has hired an attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, and is looking into a lawsuit. “The child has suffered horrible burns,” Rubenstein said. “Appropriate action will be instituted against Applebee’s for the actions of their employees.”
Just Tuesday, Yahoo Lifestyle reported on another incident involving a minor getting burned by hot water at a restaurant chain. This time it was a teen, whose family is suing after she was allegedly scalded and sustained second-degree burns at a McDonald’s in Oregon.