What Really Happened in that McDonald’s Burn Injury Case?

Posted January 5th, 2017 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

burn-injury-coffee-case-anthony-carboneIt happened more than a couple of decades ago, but it’s still fresh in the minds of many.  Remember the lady who was severely burned after buying coffee from McDonald’s?  She pursued a lawsuit against the fast food giant based on the extremely hot temperature of the coffee.  Although the burn victim was awarded a couple of million dollars, the case subsequently settled for a lesser amount.

The plaintiff was sitting in a parked car while she attempted to remove the cup’s lid.  As she did so, scalding liquid spilled onto her body.  The victim received third-degree burns over sixteen percent of her body.  Expert testimony revealed that at that time, McDonald’s coffee was delivered to customers at too high a temperature.  At the court hearing, the jury assigned a portion of blame to the victim.

You might enjoy reading this article and watching the accompanying video about the details of the McDonald’s case.  Many were astounded that there was any kind of award and placed the fault on the victim.  Unfortunately, she was even the butt of many jokes.  But, something very real came out of this case.   It’s something that all accident victims should be aware of when they are injured due to someone else’s negligence.

The Basics of the McDonald’s Burn Injury Case

Although the McDonald’s case didn’t happen here in New Jersey, some of its principles apply to those injured in New Jersey.  Anyone who sells a product has a duty to consumers.  In this instance, it was that the coffee temperature was found to be unreasonably dangerous.  Subsequent to this lawsuit, McDonald’s lowered the temperature on the coffee it served to its customers.

We mentioned that the plaintiff received third-degree burns.  This is quite a severe burn and means that the burn extended through all of the layers of the skin.  Third-degree burns cause discoloration and infection is a huge concern.  Skin grafting is often a necessity.  In some cases, people may also lose limbs because of severe burns.

The fact that the burn victim was found to be partly responsible?  We’ve written before about accidents where an injured party may be partially to blame.  In New Jersey, as long as your culpability is found to be less than half, you would be entitled to compensation.  Any award would be broken down according to the percentage of negligent behavior.

Why bring up this old case now?  We wanted you to understand what happened here.  This isn’t just about a food establishment and issues with their service.  Perhaps you have been injured at work on a machine because the manufacturer failed to place a safety guard.  You might be able to pursue a products liability claim for a defective or dangerous product.

Contact Us

If you have been injured and believe someone else’s negligence contributed to your injuries, we would like to provide you with legal advice.  At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have handled personal injury cases for over twenty-seven years.  Contact us to see how we can assist you.

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