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Fries with that? Maybe; but no used condoms, thanks

Have you ever stopped to think about the relative state of those McDonald's play areas? Are they clean, or are they major transmitters of who knows what? We're sure that regardless of whether the facility is in Pittsburgh or somewhere else, McDonald's and its franchisees have specific standards for management and security on their premises.

But who is riding herd on individual managers to make sure the standards are being followed to the nth degree? If one recent lawsuit is any indication, it may be a really valid question. And it may suggest a reason for parents to be a bit more cautious about sending their children into such fast-food restaurant play pens.

The particulars of the case are these. Back in February 2012, a mother took her two sons to a McDonald's on Chicago's South Side. In the course of the visit, she says her then-2-year-old son found a used condom on the floor of the play area. Before she knew what was what, the child had ingested the thing. She discovered that fact when he coughed up a piece of it.

Her suit, filed last month, says both children required medical attention and have endured long-term suffering and pain as a result. Reports related to the filing of the suit don't offer any further details related to the matter.

The woman's suit accuses the Illinois franchise owner and McDonald's Corp. of negligence and inadequate security. It says the play area was not properly cleaned and that the restaurant should have had better security and surveillance to prevent the apparent activities that resulted in the condom being left in the area in the first place.

She seeks at least $50,000 in damages and is also demanding compensation for the medical treatments her two sons have had to undergo because of the hazardous waste.

McDonald's hasn't commented.

Source: Reuters, "Lawsuit says two-year-old boy ate condom at Chicago McDonald's," Jonathan Stempel, March 14, 2013

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