A worker at Arby’s who died in the restaurant freezer “beat her hands bloody” while screaming for help, a lawsuit alleges.
Videos by Rare
Nguyet Le, 63, was temporarily managing the Arby’s in New Iberia, Louisiana, when she was discovered dead in the freezer as the result of an accident. Her body was discovered by her son, per the family’s lawsuit. One of Le’s children also worked at the Arby’s.
“The investigating officer relayed that inside of the door of the freezer had been bloodied leading him to conclude Ms. Le panicked once locked inside and beat her hands bloody trying to escape or get someone’s attention,” the lawsuit reads. “Ultimately, she collapsed into a fetal position face down on the frozen floor. The preliminary autopsy findings were hypothermia as the cause of death.”
No foul play is suspected, with the police saying in a news release from the family attorney that the incident “seems like an accident.”
This particular Arby’s is not owned by Arby’s corporate, but rather Turbo Restaurants, part of franchise management company Sun Holdings. The family is suing all three companies, as well as Arby’s parent company Inspire Brands.
According to the suit, the walk-in freezer latch at this Arby’s had been broken since at least August 2022. It alleges that employees need to use a screwdriver to help open and close the door and a box of oil to prop it open.
Le worked at an Arby’s in Texas but was asked by her supervisor to act as the general manager of the New Iberia location in February 2023. Per CBS News, she was only supposed to serve as GM of the New Iberia location for a month — but her stay was extended by two weeks.
“We are aware of the tragic incident that took place at our franchised location in New Iberia, LA. The franchisee is cooperating fully with local authorities as they conduct their investigation. Due to this being an active investigation, we defer any further comment to the state police department,” an Arby’s spokesperson told CBS News.
Le’s family is seeking damages for wrongful death, loss of consortium, past and future anguish, pain and suffering, loss of support and loss of love and affection, according to the suit.
They are also seeking a jury trial and more than $1 million in damages.