McDonald’s Faces Lawsuit from Elderly Customer Over ‘Severe Burns’ from Hot Coffee

A woman in her 80s is suing a McDonald’s in San Francisco, claiming she received’severe burns’ from boiling hot coffee that dropped on her lap from an unsecured lid. 

Mable Childress filed the lawsuit against McDonald’s for bodily and mental suffering. She requests an undefined sum of money, but attorneys say it is in the’seven figures’ region. 

Employees at the 1100 Fillmore Street drive-through in San Francisco allegedly delivered her boiling hot coffee with the lid loosely closed in June. When she tried to drink the coffee, the top sprang open and landed all over her crotch and legs. 

Childress alleges she was burned in the crotch, legs, and abdomen as a result of the employees’ ‘failure to properly latch the coffee cup lid.’

According to the lawsuit, Childress waited 20-25 minutes for a manager to assist her, but no one at the Fillmore McDonald’s provided assistance.

Dylan Hackett, her lawyer, chastised McDonald’s for the event. 

‘She was gravely hurt as a result of McDonald’s recklessness,’ Hackett told SFGate. ‘They did not adequately cover the cup of coffee, and it was also hot.

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Elderly Woman Left Waiting Unattended for an Hour, Forced to Drive Herself to Hospital

‘She’s an older lady, and she waited for a management for almost an hour, and no manager ever spoke to her,’ Hackett explained. ‘They didn’t even give her a chance. Nobody assisted her in any way. She had to drive herself to the hospital.’ has contacted Hackett for further details on the complaint.  

‘My restaurants have stringent food safety processes in place, including educating employees to ensure lids on hot beverages are secure,’ said Peter Ou, owner and operator of the San Francisco franchise. 

‘We take every customer complaint seriously, and when Ms. Childress reported her experience to us later that day, our staff and management team spoke to her within a few minutes and provided her support. We are thoroughly analyzing this new legal claim.’

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has been sued for serving heated meals. 

McDonald’s paid $800,000 to a Florida mother in July 2023 after her daughter suffered second-degree burns from a sizzling hot McNugget that dropped on her lap in 2019.

After less than two hours of discussion, the jury returned a finding of $400,000 in damages for the previous four years and $400,000 for the future.

The family’s counsel had requested a $15 million compensation. 

Philana Holmes, the child’s mother, said she was pleased that the court listened to her daughter’s account and that the jury’s decision was fair.

‘I’m pleased with it. ‘I had no expectations, therefore this is more than fair for me,’ she said outside the courthouse.’

Holmes stated that her daughter Olivia, now eight years old, refers to the scar on her inner thigh as a ‘nugget’ and wishes to have it removed. 

However, Stella Liebeck filed the most famous lawsuit against McDonald’s in 1992. 

Stella Liebeck, aged 79, suffered third-degree burns after a hot coffee from a McDonald’s in New Mexico spilled into her lap. She was seriously burnt in the crotch and legs and was hospitalized for more than a week. Liebeck first asked McDonald’s for $20,000 to cover her medical fees. 

When McDonald’s refused, the matter went to trial, and she was awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages by a jury.

The verdict determined that the coffee was provided roughly 40 degrees hotter than other establishments at the time.

Finally, a court lowered Liebeck’s $2.7 million award to $480,000, and the two parties ultimately negotiated for an undisclosed sum.

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Source: Daily Mail

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