Family Sues Wendy’s Franchise for $20 Million After Daughter, 11, Left Critically Ill


The family of an 11-year-old girl, Aspen Lamfers, has filed a lawsuit seeking $20 million in damages against a Wendy’s franchise in Michigan. Aspen suffered permanent brain damage after consuming a meal at the restaurant.

In August 2022, Aspen visited the Wendy’s in Jenison with her family after a softball practice. She ordered a ‘Biggie Bag’ meal, which included a hamburger, chicken nuggets, and french fries. However, three days later, Aspen began experiencing severe symptoms including nausea, stomach pain, fever, and diarrhea, ultimately leading to her hospitalization. Doctors diagnosed her with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication arising from an infection of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli).

Critically Ill Child Gets Worse After Eating Wendy’s 

Aspen’s condition worsened rapidly, requiring dialysis and intensive care in the pediatric unit. The lawsuit revealed that Aspen also suffered from facial drooping, weakness on her left side, and numbness. She became nonverbal and partially paralyzed. Even after discharge, Aspen required extensive medical care including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nursing care, and counseling.

The lawsuit alleges that the Wendy’s franchise, operated by Meritage Hospitality Group, was negligent in maintaining proper food safety standards. Health inspections revealed numerous violations, including the presence of moldy strawberries and improperly stored food. Although the franchise has since changed management and improved its practices, the family seeks compensation for Aspen’s enduring health complications and academic setbacks, as her condition has led to hypertension, loss of strength, and diabetes.

The family’s attorney emphasized the significant impact on Aspen’s life, asserting that her future has been irreversibly altered due to the restaurant’s negligence.