Improperly secured lid causes California woman’s burn injuries

Approximately 20 years ago, there was a personal injury lawsuit that caught national attention, drawing varied reactions. Many people still remember the basic details about the burn injury lawsuit. The party that was injured in this case was a woman who had purchased coffee that proved to be excessively hot at a McDonald’s restaurant. The coffee spilled into her lap, leaving her with very serious burns.

The jury determined in that case that the woman was entitled to damages for the third-degree burn injuries that were caused and the skin graft procedures that were required to treat the injury. Eventually, the case was brought to a final close in a settlement out of court. That lawsuit was put to rest several years ago, but a similar incident recently occurred in Los Angeles, California.

Similarities in this case include the fact that it was a woman who was seriously burned by scalding hot coffee served at a local McDonald’s restaurant. According to the complaint, the woman was injured on Jan. 12, 2012.

The issue in this case was not based soley on the temperature of the coffee. Instead, negligence was alleged in that the drive-through restaurant employee failed to properly secure the lid on the coffee cup. Then, when the cup was passed into the vehicle, the improperly secured lid fell off, causing the liquid to burn the woman.

The injuries in this case were not described in detail, but as the original lawsuit showed, scalding hot liquid can cause severe injuries. It is important to remember that media coverage is often limited in these cases, and the “facts” that are presented have not met the standard of admissibility required in a court of law. A California personal injury lawyer ensures that the jury hears all of the necessary details to make a fair ruling in a case.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “L.A. woman sues McDonald’s over hot coffee, 20 years after huge verdict,” Stuart Pfeifer, Jan. 9, 2014

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