McDonald's sued over hot water allegedly burning a customer

A teenager was badly burned after being served hot water at an "unreasonably dangerous temperature" at a McDonald's restaurant in Oregon, according to a lawsuit by the teen's mother.

The suit filed last week seeks nearly $1.6 million for an incident that allegedly occurred last summer at one of the fast-food chain's restaurants in Madras, Oregon. 

Fourteen-year-old Christina Thomas suffered severe physical injury after hot water spilled in her lap while she was a patron at the outlet on July 29, 2017, according to the suit, filed in Multonomah County Circuit Court.

The teen ended up with "partial thickness burns" to her abdomen, groin and inner thighs, states the suit, which seeks to cover past and future medical expenses along with $1.5 million for pain and suffering.

McDonald's did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the legal action, which comes more than 25 years after a 79-year-old woman nearly died after scalding herself with hot coffee served by a McDonald's drive thru in New Mexico. 

That woman, Stella Liebeck, acknowledged she accidentally spilled the coffee on herself but argued the beverage's temperature of between 180 to 190 degrees was dangerously hot and endangered the public. Awarded nearly $2.9 million by a jury, the amount was reportedly later scaled back to about $500,000.

The suit became fodder for popular culture, with the sitcom Seinfeld having one of its characters file suit against a coffee shop after burning himself in a 1995 episode while hiding hot coffee in his pants going into a movie theater.

A separate legal case had a woman filing suit against Dunkin' Donuts in New Jersey after falling in a parking lot and spilling hot coffee and burning herself. She reportedly settled with the chain for $522,000 in 2015.