A California woman is suing McDonald’s for more than $2 million over hot coffee she spilled on her lap.
Joan Fino, 74, says she ordered coffee from a McDonald’s drive-through and it spilled on her lap, causing second-degree burns to her groin area. Although the incident happened in August 2012, Fino claims it still hurts.
“I have trouble because the burning sensation doesn’t go away,” Fino told the Fresno Bee. She is now seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain, emotional and mental distress and pain and suffering.
The lawsuit claims McDonald’s intentionally overheats its coffee to keep it fresher for longer, saving the company money.
If you think this is the first time McDonald’s has been sued over spilled hot coffee, think again.
The suit comes 21 years after 79-year-old Stella Liebeck from New Mexico ordered coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through, spilled coffee and suffered third-degree burns. She sued the fast food chain restaurant and was given a jury award of $2.9 million but it was later reduced to $500,000.
Liebeck v. McDonald’s attracted a media frenzy and a score of critics and comments, most of them negative towards Liebeck and the judicial system, KTRK reports.
“People are calling me a crazy old lady and they’re making it sound like [I] should buy ice tea,” Fino said. “They make it sound like I went in and bought a coffee and spilled it on myself. I didn’t do that. I went to get coffee and you know, it’s their fault. It was too hot and the lids weren’t on right.”
Fino’s lawyer believes her case is stronger than Liebeck’s because a McDonald’s worker handed Fino the coffee while Lieback was in the passenger seat in a parked car in the restaurant's parking lot when she was burned.
Sources: Fresno Bee, KTRK, New York Times