SoCal Woman Sues McDonald's Over Hot Coffee Spill

Lawsuit comes 20 years after a jury awarded another McDonald's customer $2.8 million in a similar case

By Samantha Tata
|  Friday, Jan 10, 2014  |  Updated 6:35 AM PDT
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A McDonald’s customer is suing the fast food chain after, she alleges, a cup of hot coffee spilled on her at a Southern California drive thru.

Paulette Carr said she was injured on Jan. 9, 2012, after ordering breakfast and coffee from a McDonald’s restaurant on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys.

According to the lawsuit, Carr pulled up to the drive-through window and when she reached out for her coffee, the hot drink spilled on her.

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“The lid for the hot coffee was negligently, carelessly and improperly placed on the coffee cup … in such a way so that it did not stay on the coffee cup resulting in the lid coming off the top of the coffee at the window causing the hot coffee to spill onto the plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges.

Filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the lawsuit does not describe the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. It seeks unspecified monetary damages for wage loss, hospital and medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and the need for future medical care.

Requests for comment from McDonald’s and the plaintiff’s attorney, Sheri Manning, were not returned by the time of publication.

Carr’s lawsuit comes nearly 20 years after a jury awarded a McDonald’s customer $2.8 million after a cup of coffee ordered at an Albuquerque drive thru spilled on her lap. A judge cut that award to $650,000 and the plaintiff ultimately settled with McDonald’s out of court for an undisclosed amount.

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