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Injuries from spilled coffee prompt woman to take Sonic to court

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jul 2, 2013

GALVESTON - After a hot cup of coffee fell on her at a local fast food restaurant last year, area resident Helen Julian has filed a lawsuit. 

Recent court papers filed June 28 in Galveston County District Court assert that S.M. Watford Group LLC, doing business as Sonic Drive-In Restaurant, is responsible for the injuries Julian purportedly sustained to the lower portion of her body on May 11, 2012.

Julian was a customer at the defendant's eatery in Santa Fe at the time of the events in question.

She purchased the beverage that is the focus of the litigation, and when the server handed it to her, "it was tendered in a way that made the improperly placed lid pop off, causing the steaming hot coffee to spill onto the lap and inner thighs of the plaintiff," the original petition says.

According to Julian, the apparent mess left her with second and third degree burns with "painful and unsightly" scarring.

The suit blames the respondent for:

  • The employee's supposedly wrong placement of the lid;

  • Said employee's "lack of due care" when serving hot coffee;

  • Its supervisors and managers' improper training of the workers; and

  • The improper maintenance and control of the coffee temperature, making it dangerously hot.

Consequently, the complainant seeks at least $100,000 in damages.

Attorney Jonathan Kieschnick of The Crim Law Firm P.C. in Houston is representing Julian, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 13-CV-842

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