Burned by Coffee Machine at Work...

by Anonymous
(USA)

Three weeks ago a waitress was making coffee and got burned when coffee grinds fell on her hand and elbow. She had 3rd degree burns. Today, my daughter pulled out the coffee urn and it caught on the basket, spilling the grinds on her. She now has 2nd degree burns.

The manager did not know to tell her to put it in water immediately (even after the last event) and then sent us to the ER telling us "all his info was there" rather than giving us information to bring. This resulted in us waiting unnecessarily. My daughter will not be able to work for 3 or 4 days.

So, 2 accidents and the managers are still completely unprepared and have not made any changes to prevent another accident from happening, simply saying "Be more careful".

Do you have any thoughts on what we should do?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Burned by Coffee Machine at Work...":

Anonymous (USA):

From the facts you present it would appear your daughter worked at the same restaurant as the previously injured waitress. Depending on the state in which you live, Workers Compensation laws may apply. The number of people employed by the restaurant will also determine if your daughter is eligible for Workers Comp benefits.

Normally restaurants have what are called “Commercial Grade” coffee makers. They are meant to last a lifetime and require minimum maintenance.

Because these injuries occurred within a reasonable amount of time from each other there seems to be something to consider. Looking at the manufacturer of the machine would be the first action you want to take. In your daughter’s case these incidents may indicate some degree of Product Liability.

If the coffee machine has some sort of a defect which causes people to be unnecessarily burned when attempting to make or pour coffee the coffee machine may be defective.

Not too many years ago a customer purchased a cup of coffee from a McDonald’s restaurant. She put it in her cup holder in her car. As she drove into traffic the coffee spilled onto her leg causing 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

She sued McDonalds claiming they were negligent in allowing their coffee to be hot enough to burn someone. She won her lawsuit and was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The point is, no matter how long a machine has been in use, and how many times it has not caused someone to be burned, if it burns only one person that may be enough to bring into serious question whether the manufacturer was negligent in the design of the machine.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Burned at Work Questions

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION