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Hot Coffee and Hot Food Can Lead to Real Injuries

Hot Coffee and Hot Food Can Lead to Real Injuries

When it comes to dangerous foods, often, it isn’t the food that a restaurant or business is serving you that is dangerous. Often, it’s the temperature of that food. And yes, while we all expect hot food to be hot, there’s a difference between hot food and food that is so scalding hot that it can do damage to our bodies.

The McDonald’s Coffee Case

The poster child for these kinds of cases was the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case. For those of you that don’t remember, the case became famous when a woman sued, because she spilled McDonald’s coffee on her, in a McDonalds drive through.

Or at least, that’s what the media and McDonald’s wanted people to think. There was much more to that story that nobody ever knew, and which highlighted the dangers of food that is served too hot.

The coffee that was given to the woman wasn’t just “hot coffee.” It was coffee so hot that it caused 3rd degree burns to her body — liquids at that temperature will burn through the skin in only seconds of contact.

The victim needed multiple skin grafts and was disfigured.

During the lawsuit, it was learned that thousands of people had also been burned by McDonalds’ coffee and that Mcdonalds corporate manuals required that coffee be served at that unreasonably dangerously hot temperature. The required temperature was only about 20-30 degrees below the boiling point of water.

And despite people blaming the woman who spilled the coffee on herself, she was parked at the time, and she wasn’t the driver of the vehicle.

Other Hot Food Cases

This isn’t the only case like this. Just last year, McDonalds was sued and was forced to pay $800,000 to the family of a young girl whose thigh was severely scarred, when a Chicken McNugget fell on her and became lodged between her thigh and the seat belt.

The same thing happened at a Dunkin Donuts, in 2021 when a woman needed skin grafts after coffee spilled on her lap after the lid was not properly secured.

Foreseeability and Liability

The bottom line with food injuries such as these is that restaurants can certainly serve hot food, but the food shouldn’t be so hot that it requires skin grafts on just seconds of contact — and this is especially true in drive-throughs.

Much of the legal analysis focuses on foreseeability — putting any liquid in someone’s car makes it foreseeable that spills can happen. Knowing that spills are way more likely to happen in a vehicle than they may be sitting at a restaurant table, restaurants need to take special care to make sure that what they are putting in people’s cars, is not hot enough to burn their skin off.

Injured by food with foreign objects in it, or by food that is just too hot? Are you a victim of food poisoning? Get help now. Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Cameron Law today.

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