Woman Sues Fast Food Chain After Getting Burned by Hot Coffee (Sound Familiar?)

Say What!? 23

coffeeRemember how back in 1994, a patron named Stella Liebeck sued McDonald's for serving hot coffee, and it became the punchline of just about every joke about ludicrous lawsuits? The illustrated example of how out-of-control litigious Americans have gotten? Well, all the silly buzz hasn't kept other fast food chain patrons from following in Liebeck's footsteps.

Most recently, a Louisiana woman named Kathleen Perez decided to sue Burger King for injuries she claims are related to a spilled cup of scalding coffee she purchased at a drive-through location. And as easy as it is to read Perez's story and roll our eyes, chalking it up to a "copycat" lawsuit, I actually feel pretty sympathetic to her case ...

Perez says an employee failed to properly secure the coffee cup's lid, which caused the coffee inside -- which she says was heated to an extreme temperature -- to spill. In turn, she allegedly suffered serious burns to her arm, chest and stomach, permanent scarring and discoloration. Wow ... Really, if that's all true, it's no wonder she's suing for "pain and suffering, disability, embarrassment and mental anguish."

Of course, it could have been her own darn fault. Maybe she's clumsy. I know I have a propensity to spill anything and everything I get my hands on. But at the same time, her point about how hot the coffee was is one that is up for debate. Although this can be a totally subjective thing, restaurants do need to be aware of how hot the beverages they're serving are, especially in light of what happened with Liebeck!

I don't know guys, this is a tough one. But in the end, my heart definitely goes out to this woman if she suffered the injuries she said she did ... and I don't blame her for feeling there's hell to pay.

What do you make of this case?


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sand008 sand008

If that happened to me I'd be more pissed for dropping it on myself.


Coffee is hot

Craft... CraftyJenna

The first one was actually a valid suit- the coffee was over 200 degrees and that woman sued for medial bills and was awarded more. It is possible the coffee was too hot and this other woman was injured, who knows. 


What happened to the first poster?

MissF... MissFrenchie

Coffee is hot. I repeat: COFFEE IS HOT!! The brewing temperature of the average coffee maker is around 200 degrees fahrenheit. There shouldn't be a person on earth who doesn't understand that coffee is hot. Also, the fact that the lid was supposedly not properly secured is not justification for this lawsuit. If this woman had removed the lid to add sugar or cream and then spilled on herself she would still be suing. Sometimes the litigious nature of this country is appalling!

Liane... Lianetherider

Like CraftyJenna said, the woman in the first suit had a valid complaint. The coffee was heated much higher than it was supposed to be, and spilled over her abdomen and crotch in her car as it was handed to her. She was burned so badly that she had to have skin grafts. While there are a LOT of ridiculous lawsuits out there, the first one (and perhaps this one!) are valid.

Babyg... Babygirlsmom112

Something simular to this  happened to me 4 yrs ago at Mcdonald's, the cashier turned too quickly with a pot of coffee because she was in a rush to refill a dine in customer's cup. That crap splashed all over my hand, I had a jaw breaker size blister on my hand, I settled with the manager right there for medical bill payment and a $100 gift card. No need for the news and a lawsuit in my case. :)

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Fast food coffee can be ludicrously hot. If I order a cup from BK or dunkin donuts it's always crazy hot because they expect customers to add cold milk. I drink my coffee hot, if I make it at home I can drink it as soon as it's brewed, but if we go to dunkin donuts I'm lucky if I can take a sip without scalding my tongue before everyone is done eating. If I ordered a cup at the drive thru and they didn't put the lid on properly or they dropped it in my lap then I'd consider legal action too. I'd accept out of court settlement like paying medical bills and some compensation by way of apology but if I'm scalded because of someone else's mistake I expect them to put things right.

jalaz77 jalaz77

People are so dumb. I always ALWAYS look at the lid of a cup before drinking because its usually teens working in the fast food chains and they don't think about that. The other thing is I see people grab cups from the top and not the side. Would love to see how much she wants looking at all of her 'injuries' not just physical. Yes they should probably pay medical fees but if the bottom of the cup didn't fall out she is really the only one to blame. Suing seems to be everyone answer anymore.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

I always every morning got a cup of coffee at my local McDonalds. The same gal would fix it up and press the cap on top and send me on my way... this morning... the cup rim had a defect so the lid did not "snap" on securely... lid popped off and I got burned a little... I didn't go crying to them for money... I simply asked for another cup so the lid would fit. She felt horrible... I was a bit uncomfortable where my skin was red and irritated but I didn't worry. It was an accident. And I'm sure if I made a fuss I would have had my fave coffee chick fired... even though it wasn't her fault... its the damn cheap defective cup they supply.

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