SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A lawsuit has been filed by a woman who says she bought coffee from a San Francisco McDonald’s and was left with severe burns after the lid was not properly sealed over the drink.
Mable Childress, 85, says she visited the McDonald’s at 1100 Fillmore St. on June 13, 2023. She bought the coffee at the drive-thru, according to the lawsuit, and the lid opened when she tried to drink it.
“It burned,” she told Nexstar’s KRON. “It was so hot from my chest on down.”
The lawsuit claims that Childress suffered “severe burns and emotional distress.” She has scarring on her groin area and is still feeling pain, though Childress’ lawyer told KRON she is recovering nicely and the burns are mostly healed.
Furthermore, Childress said that after attending a doctor’s appointment, she was advised by the doctor to return to McDonald’s and report the incident to a manager. She says she went back, asked to speak to a manager, and the workers went into the manager’s office and never returned.
“I didn’t know what to do. I just kept standing there for a while. The cashier started laughing. He just shook his head. I just turned around and walked away,” she said.
In a statement sent to KRON, restaurant owner Peter Ou said that employees did offer assistance.
“My restaurants have strict food safety protocols in place, including training crew to ensure lids on hot beverages are secure. We take every customer complaint seriously – and when Ms. Childress reported her experience to us later that day, our employees and management team spoke to her within a few minutes and offered assistance. We’re reviewing this new legal claim in detail,” Ou said.
The civil lawsuit was filed for general negligence against McDonald’s Restaurants of California. Childress asked for an amount of money more than $25,000.
McDonald’s was sued over a similar incident in the 1990s when a woman was scalded by hot McDonald’s coffee that pulled into her lap. A New Mexico jury awarded the victim $2.7 million, which was later reduced to $480,000.
Earlier this year, a Florida jury awarded $800,000 in damages to a family that alleged hot chicken McNuggets left a 4-year-old girl with severe burns. The jury found McDonald’s and the franchise owner liable for the girl’s burns, but not negligent.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.