Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Jury awards woman $100,000 in Starbucks coffee burn case

Burn injuries can be immensely painful and even disfiguring. And between the immediate treatment that burns demand and the ongoing measures necessary to minimize scarring and repair the damage, there is a considerable amount of medical care required. There is also a considerable amount of pain and suffering burn victims experience.

For instance, jury recently awarded $100,000 to a woman who claimed that Starbucks was responsible for the first- and second-degree burns she suffered when her coffee spilled. The case did not argue that the coffee was too hot, which was the argument made in the widely publicized case against McDonald's in the 1990s. Rather, it claimed that the faulty lids Starbucks uses on their coffee should come with warnings.

According to the lawsuit, the coffee giant knew about -- and continued to use -- lids on their coffee that pop off unexpectedly. In fact, the company receives 80 complaints per month about their lids. Though, it is likely that more people have experienced spills from faulty lids, but have not filed complaints.

When the lids come popping off, the 190-degree coffee can spill and cause serious injuries, as was the case here. The woman was burned on her midsection and accumulated $15,000 in medical bills.

The jury in this case awarded the woman $15,000 to cover those medical bills. They also awarded $85,000 for the pain and disfigurement she suffered.

Anyone who has been seriously injured in similar situations may feel tempted to just deal with the pain or accept a minimal settlement from the party at fault for the injuries. These can both be costly mistakes, though, as there could be the potential for higher payouts, acknowledgment of damages and public accountability through legal action.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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