A Brisbane mum was left in shock when an Aldi staff member told her that her son “would be better off dead”.

The Courier Mail reports, Renee Duggan said while the “cruel” words had left her in shock, the lack of urgency and sensitivity from the supermarket chain had added insult to injury.

Andrew Duggan, 12, has profound cerebral palsy. His parents describe him as a “beautiful boy with a terrific personality and good intelligence”.

Mrs Duggan and her son were going through the checkout when the staff member looked at Andrew and said that people like him would be better off dead.

When Mrs Duggan jumped to her son’s defence in the store saying he moved in a power wheelchair, sometimes used a walking frame and was able to use computers, the worker said she had a baby that had died and “it’s better that way”.

Mrs Duggan and husband, Howard, said their grief was not with the woman who had made the comment but with the company for failing to address a serious incident.

“As parents of disability we understand some people aren’t equipped to deal with gross disability,” Mr Duggan said.

Mrs Duggan made a complaint on the day of the incident. When she did not hear anything, she contacted Aldi and was advised there was no record of the incident.

An Aldi Australia spokesman said yesterday the incident was being taken “extremely seriously”.

Share your comments below.

Image via Courier Mail

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  • Even if you think that, you have no right to express it to someone you don’t know.


  • How disgraceful! The poor family!


  • Wow what a horrible thing to say, the old saying springs to mind if you cant say something nice dont say anything at all


  • I hope she gets fired. You just don’t say things like that! :(


  • How appalling – and pathetic of Aldi not to do something about it.


  • Think what you like but keep those thoughts to yourself.
    What a sad and classless girl who has a lot to learn.
    Aldi really need to make sure that no staff member ever comment on a customer or a customers family. It is none of their business and not part of their job to decide if people would be better of dead or not. So rude and sad that she doesnt have better manners.


  • I wonder if they employ disabled people at all. I know of one gentleman who owned a supermarket and actually contacted an organization which trained disabled people and was able to employ some. Word soon got around and more people shop there as a show of recognition of his care in employing those who were suitable for the jobs. He even created a job for two hard workers who were determined to achieve their goals. He homself has a disabled child was school age so too young to legally employ.


  • How disgusting! I would of asked to speak to a manager and called head office right there and then! It is so wrong that she has had this response and that this worker has gotten away with it!


  • heartless woman.. she should be sacked.


  • Astonishing!! I wouldn’t want such a person to work for me!!


  • My first response when I read this story was total shock. The employee who made that comment is a total waste of space and the world would be better off without people like her. I hope Aldi sack this person – she is not a good representative for their company and generally not a good representative for the human race.


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