Family of woman found dead in Arby’s freezer files lawsuit

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:21 PM CDT
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New Iberia, LA (KPLC) - The family of the woman who died after being trapped in a walk-in freezer at the Arby’s in New Iberia is suing the fast food company.

Nguyet Le, 63, of Houston, was found deceased in the freezer of an Arby’s in New Iberia on the night of May 11. She was the acting manager of the restaurant.

A Lafayette news station spoke with the family’s lawyer, Paul Skrabanek, who said the preliminary findings from the Iberia Parish coroner’s office are that she died of hypothermia.

The lawsuit filed by the family revealed new details in Le’s case.

According to Skrabanek, the police report conveyed after being trapped inside, Le tried to beat on the freezer door until her hands were bloody, before she collapsed into a fetal position on the floor.

A former employee of Arby’s in New Iberia told Skrabanek the latch on the cooler had been broken since at least August of 2022, and management was aware the latch on the cooler was not working correctly and ignored the problem.

A screwdriver was used to open and close the latch for the cooler, and sometimes a box of oil was propped in the door to keep it open, according to the former employee.

To make matters look worse, the lawsuit said Le was filling a temporary role for the New Iberia Arby’s. She was the general manager of an Arby’s in Houston, but she was asked by her supervisor to help out at the New Iberia store for four weeks.

It was Le’s son Nguyen, who also worked for the New Iberia Arby’s, that found his mother’s body in the freezer.

Skrabanek said the family is suing partly because no one from Arby’s would respond to his inquiries.