Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Elderly woman sues McDonald's for 'severe burns from scalding coffee spill'

An elderly woman is suing a McDonald’s restaurant after a scalding cup of coffee spilled and allegedly burned her severely on her groin and legs.

Mable Childress, who is in her 80s, claims she bought a cup of coffee from a McDonald’s at 1100 Fillmore Street in San Francisco, California, and that the drive-thru employees did not secure the lid.

Childress alleges in her lawsuit filed on Thursday that the worker’s failure to properly fasten the lid resulted in the drink spilling over her lap and ’caused her to suffer from severe burns and emotional distress’. She ‘continues to experience pain’ and scarring on her groin area from the June incident, the suit states.

‘She was injured severely from McDonald’s negligence,’ Childress’ lawyer Dylan Hackett told SFGATE. ‘They did not properly cover the cup of coffee, and the coffee was also scalding.’

Additionally, the suit alleges that workers ignored Childress’ cries for help and did not assist her.

‘She was standing there for quite some time, around 20 to 25 minutes, asking for a manager,’ Childress’ lawyer Dylan Hackett told The San Francisco Standard. 

Childress seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

But the owner and operator of the franchise, Peter Ou, stated that Childress reported the incident later that day and that his employees and management ‘spoke to her within a few minutes and offered assistance’.

‘My restaurants have strict food safety protocols in place, including training crew to ensure lids on hot beverages are secure,’ Ou told SFGATE. ‘We take every customer complaint seriously.’

Childress’ complaint is far from the first of its kind against McDonald’s.

In 1992, Stella Liebeck, then 79, sued McDonald’s after the company refused to pay $20,000 for her hospital expenses after hot coffee allegedly spilled on her lap and caused third-degree burns.

A jury found that employees at the franchise in New Mexico was served Liebeck coffee that was 40 degrees hotter than usual and awarded her $2.7million in punitive damages. A judge reduced the amount to $480,000 and the settlement amount remained confidential.

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