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Suit Threatened After Tot Scalded at Restaurant

Q: Is a hot water burn accident grounds to sue a restaurant?

Every single day, countless cups of hot scalding water or coffee are served by waitstaff to patrons in restaurants across the country.

Personal injury lawsuits arise when accidents occur and people get burned. But to prevail in your lawsuit, you must establish liability–which essentially means you have to prove that your injury was someone else’s fault. State laws differ, and sometimes more than one party may be held responsible for a percentage of the damages.

One family says things were not so good in their neighborhood the night they visited a local Applebee’s restaurant with their toddler. After reportedly asking for and receiving a cup of “scalding hot water to sterilize utensils”, the couple’s toddler allegedly grabbed the cup, spilled the water on himself, and received “severe burns”.

The parents reportedly intend to sue the restaurant claiming “employees did not call 911 for over 20 minutes”. In its defense, the restaurant claims that staff acted “with urgency” in response to the situation, by “calling for medical assistance while helping the family”. It claims emergency response teams were “on site within minutes” and that video footage will prove that to be the case.

Some witnesses reportedly questioned why the parents did not call 911 themselves and why they didn’t prevent the toddler from reaching the cup of water, intimating it was their responsibility as parents.

In order to prove liability in a personal injury action, the victim’s parents will have to establish that their child was harmed due to the restaurant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or failure to act. Some factors that may be considered in determining liability could be: the temperature of the water, how close the cup was placed to the child, how long it sat there before the injury, how it spilled on the toddler, and how the parents and staff acted throughout the evening—before, during, and immediately after the incident.

If liability can be established, compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits may include such things as the victim’s current and future medical and/or rehabilitation expenses, current and future lost income or diminished earning capacity, pain and psychological damages, and more, depending on the particular circumstances of each case.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of someone else’s actions, the personal injury experts at the Noland Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. While we can’t undo the accident, we can help relieve the financial burden it has caused. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our office in Liberty, Missouri, we represent injured people and their families throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area and western Missouri, including Clay County, Liberty, Blue Springs, Independence, and Gladstone.

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