Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

In Hot Water: Best Hot Coffee Lawsuits

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

The news hit the Internet like a Grande Caramel Ribbon Crunch Creme Frappuccino Blended Creme: Starbucks is now offering its cold brewed coffee nationwide. (And they're also raising their prices again, even though the cost of raw coffee beans is dropping.)

This will be welcome news to some who have been burned, literally, by hot coffee in the past. With more chill options available this summer, let's reminisce on some of the most (in)famous hot coffee lawsuits:

Stella Liebeck v. McDonald's

The original hot coffee case from 1994 that launched a thousand jokes, a movie, and one Toby Keith lyric. Liebeck was a passenger in a car who suffered third-degree burns to her inner thighs, genitals, and groin and required skin graft surgeries after spilling coffee in her lap.

In the previous ten years, more than 700 others had claimed they'd been burned by McDonald's coffee, which was kept at a scalding 185 degrees by company policy. Liebeck offered to settle for $20,000, but after McDonald's balked, a jury awarded her $2.7 million. A judge reduced the jury award, and the two eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Edwards v. McDonald's

Selena Edwards suffered serious burns to her hands after a lid came off her coffee and she had the photos to prove it. Until she didn't. Turns out those photos were lifted from a hospital website, so instead of getting $10,000 for her injuries, she was charged with 21 felony counts of insurance fraud.

Keller v. Southwest

Those front row seats on Southwest always look great, with all that leg room and a quick exit. But the lack of a tray table can be painful, as Angelica Keller found out when the cup of tea she'd been given spilled in her lap, causing severe blistering. Keller was awarded $500,000 for her injuries.

While some of these stories may sound humorous, the effects of hot coffee and hot tea burns can be horrific. If you have suffered legitimate injuries due to hot coffee or food products, you may want to consult with an experienced injury attorney near you.

Related Resources:

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard