Burned by coffee machine that was held together with masking tape!

by Carmen
(Clearwater, FL)

I was getting coffee/Cappuccino from a machine at a WAWA convenience store. The top of the machine fell onto may hand and knocked the cup of coffee over. The boiling hot water continued to dispense onto my hand. I yelled to the guy at the food station that I was burnt and the machine fell on my hand.

He gave me some burn heal and called the manager. I came to find out the problem was the machine was being held together with masking tape of all things! I was furious. He acted like it was nothing. I asked him why would a coffee machine be taped together and he said because it didn't latch properly.

Then a women came to get coffee and I was furious that he let her use the machine. I pulled out my camera and snapped a picture. I ordered him to put an out of order sign on the machine. He said well I was trying to file your complaint. His attitude was all wrong. He was trying to minimize what happened.

I was burnt, but nothing worth going to the hospital about. I reported it to the corporate office, and I'm in shock how could they knowingly allow people to use this machine? Do I have a case? Can anything be done legally about this hazardous practice? What are some legal options here? Thank you.

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 that was held together with masking tape!":

Carmen (Clearwater, FL):

Unless you sustained an injury serious enough to require medical treatment, you likely do not have the basis of a personal injury claim. You certainly have a right to be shocked at the actions of the store manager, but absent compensable injuries, your recourse is limited, and with no basis in fact for a lawsuit.

Additionally, while you "ordered" the manager to put out an out-of-order sign, he was not legally bound to do so.

You were certainly right in contacting the corporate office. While WAWA has chain stores throughout much of the country, WAWA does not offer franchises. Instead the WAWA cooperation owns and manages its own stores.

WAWA has a website where customers and other interested parties can file suggestions or make comments about WAWA operations.

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

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