McDonald’s is facing yet another lawsuit, this time from a San Francisco branch, where it is alleged that they served a cup of coffee that was excessively hot and had an improperly secured lid. This resulted in the coffee spilling onto the plaintiff, Mable Childress, causing severe burns when she attempted to drink it. The lawsuit, filed recently, claims that Childress has suffered physical pain, emotional distress, and other damages, and attributes her injuries substantially to the restaurant’s negligence.
Childress also asserted in the lawsuit that restaurant staff declined to assist her, a claim that McDonald’s disputes. Peter Ou, the McDonald’s franchise owner, stated that they take customer complaints seriously and promptly addressed Childress’s concerns when she reported them. Ou emphasized the strict food safety protocols in place at his restaurants, including training employees to ensure the secure attachment of lids on hot beverages, and stated that they are carefully reviewing the new legal claim.
This case draws parallels to the well-known McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit from several decades ago when another individual suffered third-degree burns from spilled coffee. In that case, a jury in 1992 agreed that the coffee was unreasonably hot, with temperatures significantly higher than coffee served by other companies. Initially awarded nearly $3 million, the plaintiff ultimately settled for around $480,000 after an appeal.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s was found liable in a separate case involving hot food, where a Florida jury awarded a family $800,000 in a civil lawsuit. This lawsuit implicated McDonald’s and one of its franchisees after a toddler sustained burns from hot chicken nuggets. The jury determined that the franchise owner was responsible for failing to adequately warn or provide reasonable instructions regarding the potential harm posed by the hot McNuggets served at a Miami-area location.