The temperature of the coffee served at restaurants like McDonald’s has been in the public’s mind for nearly two decades. In a famous coffee case from 1994, the plaintiff won her lawsuit after suffering burns from McDonald’s coffee. The coffee’s temperature was so high that it caused third degree burns when it spilled on her lap.
Two recently filed lawsuits indicate that McDonald’s coffee might still being served hot enough to cause severe injury. In one, a man went to the emergency room after suffering second-degree burns on his lap. He claims that the lid was not secured properly, which caused the coffee to spill and burn him. Similarly, ABC reports that a California woman has filed suit after being served coffee with an unsecured lid. She too suffered from severe injury from burns on her lap when coffee spilled.
As a Providence personal injury lawyer, I can see how these new lawsuits are comparable to the famous McDonald’s coffee case. The Huffington Post reports that McDonald’s has lowered the temperature of coffee since the 1994 suit. But it is still higher than the temperatures brewed at home, and according to these new lawsuits is still hot enough to cause severe injuries.
It is important that business make their products safe so that consumers do not get injured by a product. It is also important that consumers protect themselves from injury. The lawsuits suggest that the lids on coffees are not always secure. So the most important thing that consumers can do to protect themselves from the danger of hot coffee is to make sure the lid is on tight as soon as they receive it.