Remember 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?