Ugh: Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut & Liberty Mutual
Billion Dollar Companies Working Together
Abusing Victim of Negligent Injury

Liberty Mutual Liberty Mutual

Yum CEO Greg Creed, Pizza Hut CEO when Cheryl was injured
2016 compensation $15.4 million

David Long, CEO & Chairman Liberty Mutual Insurance Group
2017 compensation $20 million

Cheryl Harris, The Victim

On December 16, 2014, at a Pizza Hut in Detroit, Michigan, customer Cheryl Harris' left index fingertip was chopped off as she reached in for her order of a pan pizza from a pizza dispenser. The injury, pain and ongoing trauma she continues to suffer are clearly due to the negligence of Pizza Hut and only exacerbated by the shoddy treatment she is receiving from Yum! Brands/Pizza Hut and its insurer Liberty Mutual. Ms. Harris' ongoing saga for justice shows how poorly these companies treat customers seriously injured due to their negligence. Employees of these companies also receive unfair treatment.

Yum! Brands, Inc., owner of the brands Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Wingstreet raked in more than $6.3 billion in revenues in 2016. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, it has over 43,000 restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories. All the top executives of the fast foods conglomerate are richly rewarded while their thousands of employees exist on crummy pay and meager benefits.

According to a ground breaking report by the UC Berkely Labor Center entitled, "Fast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry," the fast-food Industry has the most extreme pay disparity of all sectors in the U.S. economy with CEO-to-worker pay ratio exceeding 1000 to 1.

The report also points out that 52% of fast food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, public assistance programs such as the food stamp program SNAP. The cost of public assistance to families of workers in the fast-food industry, is nearly $7 billion per year. Taxpayers, in effect, are subsidizing these multi-billion dollar companies and their multimillionaire executives that treat workers and personal injury victims due to their negligence shoddily.

Cheryl Harris Personal Injury Story & Quest for Justice

On December 16, 2014, I stopped at a Pizza Hut in Detroit to buy a pan pizza to take to my granddaughters as a surprise and enjoy an evening of fun with them. Instead the evening turned into a nightmare for myself, my daughter and granddaughters. Being left handed, I attempted to reach with my left hand to retrieve my pan pizza from the pizza dispenser. A Pizza Hut employee hit a button or pushed a lever activating the dispenser and suddenly terror came over me as the end of my index finger was chopped off and a bloody scene ensued.

A customer, who came to my aid, called my daughter who lived just blocks away. She rushed to the restaurant with my granddaughters who began crying when they found their traumatized grandmother sitting on a bench screaming in pain as blood was shooting out of my finger.

Pizza Hut employee Danyel Beanum placed the severed finger tip directly on ice without wrapping it first to prevent frostbite. Unfortunately, that action ruined any chance that the severed portion of my finger could be reattached. The fact that my writing hand's index finger would be permanently disfigured and dysfunctional was a very depressing realization for me.

Liberty Mutual

The Joy of Daily Living Will Never Be the Same

Since the incident almost two years ago, everyday is a reminder of how important the index finger on my dominant hand is to normal daily functioning. First there is the consistent, recurring pain and discomfort which only worsens the colder the weather. Because of pain and the inability to function normally while writing, wrapping gifts, typing, doing personal hygiene activities, sewing, preparing meals, peeling an orange, pumping gas, working out, etc., the impairment to the joy of daily living is not, and never will be, what it used to be!

I went to occupational therapy because the injury was so painful and I was unable to make a fist. The therapy helped with my range of motion but to make a fist was still very painful. I also had to have an invasive procedure, a stellate ganglion block, to keep the pain from traveling all the way up my arm and shoulder. The stellate ganglion block on July 13, 2015 took the pain out of my arm and shoulder but did nothing to stop the pain in my hand, wrist and finger. On August 24, 2015, I received a peripheral nerve block in my wrist. The procedure hurt so bad I almost jumped out of my seat. A few days later after the anesthetic wore off the pain in my wrist, hand and finger returned and continues to this day.

I have to keep my hand partially closed to protect the finger which seems like it is always in the way. For months after the accident, I was in intense pain. My hand and wrist right now, almost two years later, are very painful and the pain only gets worse when I go out in the cold. To this day, any hit on the finger sends pain shooting through my hand and wrist. To lessen the pain, the fingernail on my injured finger can not be allowed to grow out and must be kept trimmed just above the skin.

Daily Pain, Depression, Medications & Psychotherapy

The doctor at the Wayne State University Pain Clinic diagnosed me as suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is described as "a rare, chronic, and sometimes progressive condition. It involves a severe, burning pain, inflammation, and changes in the skin. It affects one of the arms, legs, hands, or feet."

On February 15, 2016, after suffering more than a year of pain, my medical records indicated that I was diagnosed with a history of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). RSD is a condition that features a group of typical symptoms, including pain (often "burning" type), tenderness, and swelling of an extremity associated with varying degrees of sweating, warmth and/or coolness, flushing, discoloration, and shiny skin.

After the trauma of the accident, and constant nausea from taking the strong percocet pain medication, I became very depressed. In November 2015, my primary care physician, Dr. Zachary Hale, sent me for neuropsychology testing because my equilibrium balance was off and I was sinking into deeper depression. I was then referred to the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and Depression Center. It took six months before I could actually get an appointment on July 13, 2016. After seeing them for more than two months and taking the drug Cymbalta for depression and chronic pain, I was referred to clinics closer to my home. I stopped taking the Cymbalta because of suffering side effects including dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, insomnia, nausea and weakness.

Just before the accident, and although I receive social security disability income, I had the opportunity to receive entrepreneurship training so that I could start my own business. I missed out on that opportunity because my injury prevented me from attending orientation to get started on my dream of setting up an organic juice bar.

A "Pinched Finger"...Billions in Profits & Liberty Mutual CEO David Long's $20 Million Pay

Since the accident and loss of the tip of my dominant index finger resulting from Pizza Hut's negligence, I feel outraged over the actions of Pizza Hut's insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual's insurance adjustors add insult to injury when they keep referring to my injury as a "pinched finger." How happy I would be if that were an accurate assessment of my injury. A pinched finger would not have resulted in recurring pain, disfigurement, embarrassment and loss of quality of life that this injury has caused and with no letup in sight.

Additionally, the paltry offers by Liberty Mutual to settle any injury claims, especially in light of the fact that Medicaid has placed a lien on any settlement I obtain to recoup medical expenses, is insulting to say the least.

I'm not seeking anymore of a settlement than what justice demands. But I'm also not going to sit by and watch Liberty Mutual, Pizza Hut or Yum Brands sell me and other victims of corporate negligence way short so they can rake in more billions in profits and increase executive compensation like that of Liberty Mutual's CEO & Chairman David Long. In 2017, Mr. Long was paid $20 million!

Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed was Pizza Hut's CEO when my tragic accident occurred. His 2016 compensation was $15.4 million and he owns 551,208 shares of Yum! Brands stock valued at more than $43 million on November 24, 2017.