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They've (Maybe) Done it Again: McDonald's Sued in Hot Coffee Spill

In a case that closely echoes one from nearly two decades ago, a woman is suing McDonald's after hot coffee was spilled in her lap.

Paulette Carr claims to have been injured on January 12, 2012 while she was at a drive-through window of a McDonald's in Los Angeles. As described in her lawsuit, a coffee that had been closed “negligently, carelessly, and improperly” spilled onto her.

Carr now seeks unspecified monetary damages. Her attorney has ignored requests for comments.

A McDonald’s spokesperson, too, has ignored requests for comments.

In the infamous 1994 hot coffee case, which sparked demands for legal reform, a woman was awarded $2.9 million after she spilled a hot coffee into her own lap at a McDonald’s in Albuquerque. This sum was later reduced to $640,000, and the case closed for an undisclosed amount.

Relatives of the woman injured in the great spill of ’92 stated that the woman had suffered third-degree burns that required skin graft surgery. They also noted that McDonald’s served its coffee at “dangerously hot levels.”

Meanwhile, Carr has not specified the extent of her injuries.

If the 1994 trial is any indication, the public might have more than just a trial and verdict to look for in upcoming news: the former verdict was received with great enthusiasm and varying degrees of humor by radio and television talk-show hosts, and even inspired an episode of the television series “Seinfeld.”

Sources: LA Times, Fox 5 San Diego

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