Visitor Question

Burned by Coffee Machine at Work…

Submitted 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?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

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.

Learn more here: Burned at Work

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Burned by Coffee Machine at Work…

  1. Antonio says:

    Trying to see if I am due any compensation for being burned at work. It happened 11/10/2017 & the manager didn’t think it was serious enough to even fill out an accident report until 11/13/2017. It looks like first degree burns, but I may be left with scars.

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