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01/02/03 . n/a . Independent article . n/a
Mother seeks compensation for child seriously injured in fall at a McDonald's playground
On 5th July 1995, Kagan Akdogan was 5 years old. He fell and was seriously injured whilst climbing on an unsafe 'Jungle Gym' at a McDonald's store in Istanbul, Turkey. He required complex surgery, fell into a coma and had to be mechanically ventilated. For weeks he had to wear a neck brace, and for months he suffered traumas. In 2001 a surgical specialist produced a report [see below], calling the accident 'avoidable'.
His mother, Linda Paulsen, has tried to get McDonald's to investigate and accept responsibility. In January 2003, following Ms Paulsen's efforts to get media publicity about the matter, McDonalds called her to say that they were going to investigate the case. She is demanding compensation and welcomes further publicity, as well as contacts from parents whose children may have suffered a similar experience.
Linda Paulsen, has recently spoken out:
"After contacting some of the major news media in the States Mcdonalds has finally contacted me only to say that they will be investigating the case. McDonalds has been successful in covering it up since I couldn't afford a lawyer."
"Now that I am told that my son is going to have growing problems and that he has to carry this ugly scar on his young stomach, I feel that I have to speak out. I know the media can help me to make Mcdonalds stand up to their responsibilities. My son should get at least some kind of settlement. Any practical help with this would be appreciated."
Linda Paulsen "L P" firstname.lastname@example.org
EXTRACTS FROM THE REPORT, 13th February 2001
According to a medical report in 2001 by a Vancouver surgical specialist, Kagan was approximately three metres off the ground when he slipped and fell onto a hard surface. There was no cushioning whatsoever, nor was there a bed of pea gravel. Apparently on landing, Kagan's scalp suffered a laceration due to a nail that was exposed. He also complained of abdominal pain immediately thereafter. Kagan was rapidly transported to hospital in Istanbul where he had emergency surgery, at which time his lacerated spleen was repaired but not removed.
Kagan was discharged from hospital and he made steady progress. However, he suffered from night terrors for several months after the accident and also had a very pervasive fear of heights secondary to the trauma. Kagan has a 13 cm transverse incision across his mid-abdomen.
The specialist concluded that 'there may be some long-term psychological problems as a direct result of this avoidable accident'.
Source: Linda Paulsen, 2003