By Christina Carrega
The past seven days for a Springfield Gardens family have been “unbearable” after their 17-month-old baby was severely burned by scalding hot water that was served by an Applebee’s employee.
Little Caiden Gaffney continues to have sleepless nights at Weill Cornell Medical Center since he reached for a glass of piping hot water that spilled all over his body.
The 17-month-old baby suffered second-degree burns on his chest and legs.
“The pain is unbearable for him. He’s in a lot of pain and the doctors can’t give him a lot of medication because he is just a baby,” said Craig Scott Gaffney, the infant’s father told the Eagle on Thursday.
On Oct. 5, Caiden sat at a table at a Rosedale Applebee’s with his mother, Chervon Williams, grandmother and 19-year-old sister when an employee handed them utensils that were not wrapped in a napkin.
“His mother asked for water to sterilize the utensils. The manager who brought the utensils brought the water back and the baby then thought it was his drink so he pulled the drink down onto himself,” said Kourtnei Patterson, a friend of the family who was not present for the incident.
Patterson said at a press conference held by attorney Sanford Rubenstein that as the family panicked, the workers scrambled to get ice and ointment for Caiden instead of immediately calling for an ambulance.
“It wasn’t until the other patrons in the Applebee’s told the employees to call 911 that they finally called,” said Patterson. “The doctors said the water should of never been that hot.”
Caiden was taken to the hospital where his parents take shifts to be by his bedside.
“His mom stays by his side all the time and I sleep in the car because only one parent is allowed to be in the room with him at a time,” said Gaffney, 40.
Caiden, who normally sleeps on his stomach, is expected to have scars on his body for the rest of his life, said Rubenstein.
Brian Lowe, a spokesman from Applebee’s, gave a statement to The New York Daily News sending their “thoughts and prayers” to the family. “The safety and security of our guests is always our top priority. We are working closely with authorities and will continue to fully cooperate with their investigation,” said Lowe.
Rubenstein anticipates taking legal action against the restaurant chain.