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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Personal Injury / California Woman Sues McDonald’s After Hot Coffee Burn Injury

California Woman Sues McDonald’s After Hot Coffee Burn Injury


This case hearkens back to a case that made national headlines in 1994 when a woman spilled hot coffee on herself at McDonald’s. As a result of the spill, the woman sustained third-degree burns and required skin grafts. She successfully argued that McDonald’s served its coffee “too hot” creating an inherent danger to all of its customers. At the time, McDonald’s served its coffee at 180 degrees, far hotter than your standard coffee. She won the lawsuit, much to the consternation of several members of the public who thought that the verdict was a ludicrous example of plaintiff’s lawsuits gone wrong. She did, after all, spill the coffee on herself. Nonetheless, as a result of the lawsuit, McDonald’s began serving its coffee much cooler.

A recent lawsuit filed in the state of California is making similar allegations to the 1994 lawsuit. However, plaintiffs can no longer argue that McDonald’s serves its coffee too hot. Hot coffee burn lawsuits now must allege some form of negligence against the restaurant or coffee shop that serves the coffee. Such lawsuits are frequently filed against Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and other popular coffee shops across the nation. In these cases, plaintiffs allege that the coffee shop employee failed to secure the lid properly on top of the coffee cup. This is still a valid argument under the law and numerous personal injury lawsuits have made such claims.

Analyzing the lawsuit

According to the plaintiff, she was on her way to her foot doctor when she stopped at McDonald’s drive-thru for a cup of coffee. She paid for the coffee and proceeded to put it in the cupholder of her car. When she finally got to her podiatrist, she took the coffee out of the cupholder and immediately, it spilled all over her, causing burn injuries. She alleges that the employee failed to secure the lid to the top of the cup.

According to the suit, the hot coffee burned the plaintiff on her stomach, groin, and leg. She alleges that the injuries she sustained to her groin area left permanent scarring. She claims that the McDonald’s employee who served her coffee was negligent for failing to secure the lid to the top of the cup. She further claims that she continues to experience pain and suffering as a result of the burns.

The injuries sustained to this plaintiff are not nearly as substantial as the injuries sustained by the plaintiff in the 1994 case. In that case, the plaintiff required skin grafts and had to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. McDonald’s no longer serves coffee hot enough to cause that extensive damage. Nonetheless, the plaintiff does allege that permanent scarring resulted from the burn injuries. She will likely be entitled to recover damages related to her medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Talk to an Oakland, CA Personal Injury Attorney Today

Venardi Zurada represents the interests of plaintiffs in Oakland personal injury lawsuits. Call our Oakland personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin reviewing your case immediately.



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