You probably remember the case in 1994 where a US resident, Stella Liebeck, sued McDonald’s and won $2.8 million after she spilled hot coffee on her lap, which resulted in 3rd degree burns. Now, Jessica Wishart, an Australian native, is issuing a similar claim.
Wishart claims that the company did not properly fasten the lid to her coffee before handing it to her, which resulted in the coffee spilling and second degree burns. In the claim, it’s stated “While sitting in the front passenger seat (of a car) she experienced a burning sensation to the fingers of her right hand, which was holding the cup. Due to the intense heat emanating from the cup and the failure of (McDonald’s) to properly secure the plastic lid, hot coffee spilled on to her thighs.” It continues “She experiences anxiety and revulsion and feels inhibited.” She is asking the court to find the company as negligent and award her compensation.
Wishart was taken to a hospital after the incident, where it was found that she had second-degree burns on her inner thigh, groin, and buttock.
A legal expert, Morry Bailes, does not believe that Wishart will be awarded nearly as much Liebeck was in the US case, stating “In SA, damages are assessed by judges alone … that tends to result in more conservative assessments.”