Woman’s family sues company after Louisiana Arby’s death

NEW IBERIA, Louisiana (KLFY) – The family of the woman who died at New Iberia Arby’s on May 11 is suing the fast food company, the family’s attorney has confirmed.

Nguyet Le, 63, of Houston, the restaurant’s acting manager, was found dead in a cooler, according to the New Iberia Police Department. Paul Skrabanek, the family’s Houston-based attorney, told us the preliminary findings from the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office are that she died of hypothermia.

Skrabanek said the family is suing, in part, because no one from Arby would respond to their demands.

He also gave new details about what happened on the night of May 11.

“I think once you see the police report, you’ll see how awful it was and how it was portrayed to me,” Skrabanek said. “She got caught in that freezer and tried to knock on the door until her hands were bloody. There was blood all over the door, then she collapsed into a fetal position before freezing face down.

Le was general manager at Arby’s in Houston, Skrabanek said, and was asked by franchise headquarters to go to New Iberia and help that store out for a little while. The incident happened towards the end of her temporary assignment, after she had been in New Iberia for 4-6 weeks.

Skrabanek said he spoke to someone who said he knew the cooler latch wasn’t working properly and the problem was known and ignored by management.

“Apparently, according to this former employee, they had a problem and it was broken since August of last year,” Skrabanek said. “The company even passed by the restaurant between August last year and the incident and personally witnessed it and saw this broken latch.”

The lawsuit alleges that after talking to the former employee, they used a screwdriver to open and close the cold room latch. He also alleges that the employees used to open the door with a can of oil because they didn’t want it to close completely.

You can read the lawsuit below.


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