Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Another “Hot Coffee” Case

You probably remember the McDonald’s case. Here’s a report of a new Starbucks case. Based on the limited facts here, I would favor the plaintiff:

Starbucks Corp. beat back an appeal by a woman who alleged she was severely burned by hot coffee that spilled onto her legs when the lid separated from the cup.

Bettye Erchul, a passenger, got a large coffee from a Starbucks drive through. When she first picked up the cup, coffee came out between the lid and the cup, spilling onto her lap.

Erchul said she was “shocked” and either dropped the entire cup of coffee onto her lap or crushed the cup in her hand, causing the rest to spill onto her thighs. The spill caused severe burns on her legs that required surgery.

A written warning on the cup said: “Careful the beverage you’re about to enjoy is extremely hot.” Erchul said she knew the coffee was hot, but alleged Starbucks was liable because its employee had failed to properly secure the lid.

You can read more here.


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My two cents: It was an appeal of a jury verdict for Starbucks. Absent something weird not appearing on the face of the opinion, the decision seems sound. Here's a version of the decision not behind a paywall.

Posted by: Boring grammar nerd. | Sep 28, 2018 3:11:59 AM

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