It has been some time since it happened, but the United States (if not, the world) will all still remember one of the most famous personal injury cases of all time – the McDonald’s “hot coffee” incident. In this case, a woman sued the fast food company after she was severely burned from spilling their hot coffee on her lap. It was a media circus with much of it shaming the victim because, well, coffee is supposed to be hot, right?
What they failed to address is that McDonald’s keeps their coffee at a temperature of up to 190 degrees, making it way too hot for human consumption and way hotter than it needs to be. Essentially, by creating coffee that was too hot to drink, this lady had herself a case.
Initially, the woman offered to settle for $20,000 to keep the case out of court. This would have been enough to cover her significant medical bills and some lost wages from a time where she couldn’t work due to the injury. McDonald’s counter it with an insult of $800. After her attorneys pushed forwards to court and made the case of McDonald’s negligent and reckless behavior, she ended up with $3 million dollars in punitive damages.
In a burn injury case, the injured party can and should seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering they had to endure for such a horrific injury. When the other party has shown negligence and recklessness, that McDonald’s case sets the precedence for punitive damage as well.
If you have been the victim of a severe burn injury and aren’t sure what you are entitled to, contact us today.