Coquitlam woman sues McDonald’s over hot tea spill

By Will Young

A Coquitlam, BC-woman has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s claiming an employee spilled “scalding” hot tea on her causing her severe injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tamerin Elliott is seeking general damages, special damages and costs from the McDonald’s Restaurants Canada, according to a complaint filed at the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver.

The incident allegedly occurred in October 2015, when Elliott visited the McDonald’s at 515 North Road, Coquitlam.

A McDonald’s employee, named in the suit as defendant “Jane Doe”, allegedly poured the scalding hot tea negligently, spilling some on Elliott, according to the Statement of Claim.

The incident allegedly caused Elliott to to suffer third degree burns to her right foot and right leg as well as PTSD, the complaint states.

Elliott’s personal injury was allegedly caused by the negligence and breach of duty of care as set out in the Occupiers Liability Act, according to the complaint.

McDonald’s allegedly failed to warn Elliott “of the dangerous condition of the temperature of hot drinks,” the Statement of Claim states.

Elliot is also alleging in the lawsuit that McDonald’s failed to help her or provide her medical assistance after the incident.

The fresh complaint against McDonald’s brings to mind the 1994 lawsuit filed against the global chain by Stella Liebeck,e suffered severe burns after spilling scalding hot coffee on herself in a McDonald’s drive-through in Albuquerque, New Mexico two year earlier .[1]

The 79-year-old filed the suit after McDonald’s refusal to help her pay her medical bills estimated to be around $20,000 at the time.

A jury awarded Liebeck more than US$2.7 million in punitive damages after the case went to court, which a judge eventually lowered to $640,000.

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