Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A woman is suing a McDonald’s restaurant after she was severely burned by a hot beverage.
Two years ago, Las Vegas resident Sandra Cureton suffered first- and second-degree burns across her torso and leg after an employee didn’t properly secure the lid on a cup of hot tea before handing it to her at a McDonald’s inside the Walmart at 5200 S. Fort Apache Road, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Clark County District Court.
If this story sounds familiar, you may be thinking of the 1994 lawsuit filed against McDonald’s after a 79-year-old New Mexico woman spilled a cup of coffee in her lap, causing third-degree burns that required skin grafts.
A jury awarded the woman about $2.8 million in punitive and compensatory damages, but a judge reduced the award, and she eventually settled for an undisclosed sum that was under $600,000.
Water heated to 140 degrees can cause scald burns in five seconds or less, according to the American Burn Association, but hot beverages are usually served between 160 and 180 degrees, which can cause “almost instantaneous burns that will require surgery.”
Cureton’s suit names the McDonald’s inside the Walmart and Thomas Enterprises Management, the Nevada corporation that operates 10 local McDonald’s restaurants, as defendants in the case.
Thomas Enterprises did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Cureton suffered “severe and debilitating injuries” to her stomach, middle torso and left thigh, causing severe scarring, the complaint states, and had to seek medical treatment.
She is seeking upward of $15,000 in damages, including the cost of medical bills and attorney’s fees.