U.S. NEWS

Family Sues McDonald's, Claiming Teen Was Burned By Hot Water

The Thomas family is seeking $1.56 million for the teen's pain and suffering.

A family in Oregon is suing McDonald’s for $1.56 million after their teen daughter allegedly suffered serious burns from a cup of hot water. 

According to a lawsuit filed last week by the girl’s mother, Shirelle Thomas, the 14-year-old suffered second-degree burns on her abdomen and lower body in July 2017 after she was served water at an “unreasonably dangerous temperature.”

The alleged incident is believed to have occurred at a franchise in the Madras area, southeast of Portland, The Willamette Week reported.

In a statement that McDonald’s provided to HuffPost, owner Paul Rodby said that while there would be no further comment “on pending litigation,” “the health and safety of our crew and customers are a top priority.”

Many in the media have drawn comparisons between the incident and the 1992 case of Liebeck v. McDonald’s, in which 79-year-old Stella Liebeck sued the fast food chain after she was severely burned by a cup of coffee purchased at a drive-through.

In that case, McDonald’s admitted to keeping their coffee at a temperature between 180 and 190 degrees, which was found to be significantly higher than other restaurants. Though Liebeck later settled for a confidential amount, she was initially awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages after a jury trial.

This story has been updated with a statement from McDonald’s.

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