A father in Utah is demanding justice after he said a soda from a local McDonald’s caused him to collapse in his home about two years ago.
According to CBS News, Trevor Walker described a terrifying experience upon taking a sip of a Diet Coke after a trip to the fast-food restaurant with his three young sons. He later found out a powerful prescription painkiller had been added to his cup.
“I started to feel unusual, I started to sense a lapse in time,” he said.
The increasingly frantic man initially believed he was having a panic attack and texted his wife in an attempt to get some help.
“I am having sensations in my arms and everything is moving slowly,” he wrote in one message at the time. “I’m feeling scared. I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared I’m trying to be calm. I need you.”
He recounted the experience in an interview with KUTV, explaining that the most frightening part of the incident was knowing his 1, 3, and 8-year-old sons were with him. After the incident, he said he often considered the fact that any one of his boys could have taken a sip of his contaminated soda.
“There was this panic that came over me, there was this surge of adrenaline,” he said of the experience. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Walker blacked out but survived the experience and started working to understand what happened to him.
“It was kind of like getting punched in the face without knowing it’s on the way,” he said.
Analysis of his beverage later showed that it contained the potent painkiller buprenorphine. The drug is used to replace opioids and heroin in some cases.
While he was relieved that the experience was not indicative of a more serious health issue, Walker said he has since struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Law enforcement never identified a suspect in the case and all staff members working that day denied any involvement in spiking the drink.
Walker had been negotiating a settlement with McDonald’s, though they apparently stalled recently, prompting him to file a lawsuit against the fast-food chain and Coca-Cola.
A spokesman for the beverage company said safety is a “top priority” and the company is “working with our customer on this matter to understand the facts.”
Through the lawsuit, Walker says he wants to see McDonald’s accept responsibility for the incident. He is also seeking unspecified damages.
“I would like there to be some justice for what has taken place,” he said. “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.”
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