A woman in her 80s is suing a San Francisco McDonald’s for allegedly failing to assist her after she received “severe burns” from a hot cup of coffee.
According to court papers obtained by NBC News, Mable Childress filed a case in San Francisco Superior Court on September 14. The complaint claims that the workers at the San Francisco branch owed the plaintiff a “duty of care” and failed to uphold it by failing to secure the lip of the coffee cup she purchased via the drive-thru, among other things.
As a result of the incident, Childress alleges she suffered major burns, disfigurement, emotional suffering, and medical expenditures.
Peter Ou, the franchise’s owner and operator in San Francisco, shared his concerns with TODAY.com.
“My restaurants have strong food safety standards in place, including educating employees to ensure lids on hot beverages are secure,” he says in an official statement. When Ms. Childress notified us about her experience later that day, our staff and management team reached back to her within minutes, as we do with every customer complaint. We are actively investigating this new legal allegation.
According to Childress’ complaint, an incident occurred on June 13 at 1100 Fillmore Street in San Francisco. According to the lawsuit, when Childress attempted to take a drink, the lid sprung apart and “scalding coffee poured out of the cup,” leaving her with major burns and scars in her crotch.
In her case, Childress alleges she told three McDonald’s employees, including managers, what transpired. According to the lawsuit, the three defendants “ignored” her and “refused to help her” until she left to seek medical care for her injuries.
When TODAY.com contacted Childress’ lawyer for comment, they did not respond right away. Dylan Hackett, her attorney, told the San Francisco publication SFGate that the coffee was boiling hot because the cup wasn’t “properly” covered.
“She’s an elderly lady, and she was waiting for over an hour to speak to a manager, and a manager never spoke to her,” Hackett told SFGate. “They treated her as if she didn’t exist. No one moved forward to assist her. She needed to go to the emergency department.
According to Childress’ court records, this is a civil case with possible damages in excess of $25,000.
Which McDonald’s coffee lawsuit has received the most attention?
This is not the first time McDonald’s has been sued over its coffee. Stella Liebeck is one of the most well-known McDonald’s lawsuits.
In 1992, a McDonald’s coffee spilled on Stella Liebeck’s lap, inflicting third-degree burns, according to NBC News. She was hospitalized for more than a week after suffering severe burns to her crotch and legs. Liebeck first requested $20,000 from McDonald’s. This amount was intended to support her medical expenses. When McDonald’s refused to settle, she brought the case to court, where a jury awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages.
A jury once ruled that McDonald’s coffee was served at a temperature nearly 40 degrees higher than that of rival restaurants, according to the American Museum of Tort Law.
The parties struck a confidential settlement after the court reduced Liebeck’s initial $2.7 million award to $480,000.
Was McDonald’s ever sued over a sizzling chicken nugget?
The family of a 4-year-old girl who allegedly received major burns from a Chicken McNugget at a McDonald’s restaurant in Florida was awarded $800,000 in July.
The parents of 4-year-old Olivia Caraballo, Philana Holmes and Humberto Caraballo Estevez, have launched a lawsuit against McDonald’s and its franchise owner, Upchurch Food. Olivia’s leg was allegedly burnt to a second degree after a “unreasonably and dangerously” wedged nugget in her car seat caught fire.
Both McDonald’s and Upchurch blamed the sufferer for the burns.