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By Darren A. Nichols
November 29, 2007
DETROIT -- A homeless man, who claimed he was doused with scalding water for panhandling at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, sued the company today in Wayne County Circuit Court.
William Zimmerman, 50, alleges he was seriously injured when manager Kimberly Mallory poured the water on him at the store on Woodward near the Davison Freeway in Highland Park in July.
Zimmerman, who served in the U.S. Navy, was crouched on the side of the building when he was suddenly hit, his attorney Mark Bernstein said. The injuries on his face, back and left side of his body caused him to spend 13 days in the burn unit of the Detroit Medical Center, Bernstein said.
"We want people to realize this is a serious injury. This is not a minor scratch," said Bernstein, who is based in Farmington Hills. "This case for us is about human dignity and how we treat each other. We don't dump boiling water on people any more. He didn't deserve this."
The lawsuit also names YUM Brands and Kazi Foods of Michigan in the case.
Bernstein said while the incident happened in July, he was cautious about filing until he compiled enough evidence to support the claim.
"We wanted to confirm everything," Bernstein said. "We have a police report and medical record that support (what happened)."
The suit seeks at least $25,000. Mallory and corporate spokespeople weren't immediately available for comment.
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