As cooler temperatures begin to move in, one of life’s simplest pleasures is sitting in a coffee shop with a warm, toasty beverage and catching up with a friend. However, no one expects to be injured by their favorite hot drink, especially when the injury was caused by a defective cup or negligence on the part of the coffee shop. When these unfortunate accidents happen, those responsible can be held accountable through a New Hampshire personal injury lawsuit.
In a recent appellate opinion, a plaintiff sued a major coffee retailer after spilling a cup of hot tea she purchased from the retailer’s store, suffering significant second-degree burns. Under a theory of product liability and negligence, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s cup was defective.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff ordered two cups of hot tea for herself and a friend on the day of the incident. When the drinks were ready, each drink had a lid and was “double-cupped,” meaning the cup containing the drink was inserted into a second empty cup. Neither drink had a sleeve around the outside cup. When the plaintiff picked up the drinks, she noticed that they were extremely hot, and attempted to drink from the cup while seated and leaning forward to take a sip. Unfortunately, her chair pushed forward unexpectedly, and she grabbed onto the table to maintain her balance, resulting in the drink spilling onto her thighs. The lower court ruled in favor of the defendant coffee retailer, and the plaintiff appealed.