Arby’s walk-in freezer where employee was found dead had been broken for NINE MONTHS: Staff ‘used a screwdriver to open and close the door which was held open with a can of cooking oil’
- Nguyet Le froze to death in a Louisiana Arby’s walk-in freezer
- His children are seeking over $1 million in damages over the tragic death
- The door Le was stuck behind had been defective for nine months, and staff had to use a screwdriver to open and close it and use an oil can to hold it open.
The manager of an Arby who froze to death in a walk-in freezer was trapped behind a door that had been broken down for nearly a year, according to a new bomb complaint.
Nguyet Le, 63, was preparing for the opening of the store in New Iberia, Louisiana, around 9 a.m. on May 11, when she became trapped inside the freezing container.
Her devastated son discovered her in the fetal position an hour later, and police said there were bloodstains left on the doors from her frantic attempts to escape.
The lawsuit claims the walk-in freezer latch had been broken since at least August 2022 and employees used a screwdriver to open and close it and a can of oil to hold the door open.
Nguyet Le, 63, froze to death in an Arby’s freezer on May 11
Shocking new lawsuit claims freezer door had been broken for nearly a year and employees were forced to use a screwdriver to open and close it
A former male employee, who did not want to be identified, said KATC News that several work orders have been submitted to repair the broken latch.
He had also taken pictures inside the freezer from previous complaints.
“They know about it,” he said. “The workers complained.”
According to the lawsuit, Le was usually the general manager of an Arby location in Houston, but had moved to Louisiana to temporarily take over one of the restaurants in February.
Her son, Nguyen, had also moved in with her because he has an unspecified disability, according to the lawsuit.
Her tenure as head of the New Iberia store was supposed to last just four weeks, but it was extended for another two weeks, during which she suffered a chilling death.
Nguyet Le is pictured with her son, who also worked at Arby’s in New Iberia, and the person who discovered his mother’s body
The court filing claimed she arrived at the restaurant around 9 a.m. on May 11, an hour earlier than her staff, including her son, were due to arrive.
While alone in the restaurant, she found herself trapped inside the walk-in freezer, which was usually kept at -10 degrees.
She was tragically discovered by her son when he arrived at work, and the responding officer reported that the inside of the freezer door was bloody, likely from his escape attempts.
A preliminary report from the coroner’s office confirmed that the mother of four died of hypothermia.
Lawyer Paul Skrabanek, who represents the family, is calling for a formal investigation into the restaurant’s alleged freezer malfunctions. He was told by a former employee that the cooler latch hadn’t worked properly since August and the problem was known and ignored by management.
He said the family is suing, in part, because their inquiries with Arby allegedly went unanswered. The family is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
The was discovered inside the walk-in freezer of an Arby’s in New Iberia, Louisiana, pictured
The incident led Le’s children to file a lawsuit against Turbo Restaurants, Sun Holdings and Arby’s Corporate for negligence and gross negligence.
The family is seeking damages of at least $1 million.
Turbo Restaurants and Sun Holdings have more than a thousand franchisees in 12 states, under the Applebee’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Golden Corral, IHOP, McAlister’s, Papa Johns and Taco Buenos brands.
DailyMail.com has contacted Arby’s and Sun Holdings for comment.