First McDonald’s, Now QuikTrip: Another Hot Coffee Case?

Case CaptionNance v. QuikTrip Corporation, Civil Action No: 2008A13621-5
Court:  Cobb County State Court
Justice:  Honorable David P. Darden
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Nelson O. Tyrone, III, Tyrone Law Firm
Defendants’ Attorneys
: Valerie Pinkett, Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP
Alleged Damages: Permanent nerve damage to hand; $25,000 medical expenses
Verdict: Plaintiff awarded $1.25 million
Date of Verdict: December, 2010

A 52-year-old woman was injured when hot water from a self-service cappuccino machine shot out at her instead of into the waiting cup.  Plaintiff sued QuikTrip, alleging that store employees negligently allowed customers to use the machine while it was missing a key part: the mixing chamber which blends the hot water with coffee powder.   

Defendant QuikTrip admitted liability but challenged Plaintiff’s damages.  Plaintiff alleged that after the initial burns, her fingers began to curl and that she suffered continuous severe pain from what was ultimately diagnosed as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome.

The jury returned a verdict of $1.25 million for the Plaintiff prompting the parties to reach a settlement agreement on the punitive damages claim before the punitive phase of the trial began.
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