February 1, 2023

B.C. man burned by ‘scalding hot’ McDonald’s coffee with unsecured lid, lawsuit alleges


A mental health support worker from B.C.’s Lower Mainland has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s Canada alleging he was injured by a “scalding hot” coffee while stopped at a drive-thru window.


An employee working at the McDonald’s on Still Creek Drive in Burnaby handed Lok Fai Fung the beverage without properly securing the lid, according to the customer’s civil claim, which was filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court.


The lawsuit alleges the worker also “let go of the cup” before Fung could grip it, and that the contents then spilled into his lap, leaving him with burns to his thigh and wrist.


The extent of his injuries are not detailed in the court documents.


Fung has accused McDonald’s of serving the coffee too hot, of failing to warn him about the temperature of the beverage, and of failing to properly train its employees, among other things.


He’s seeking unspecified compensation for health-care costs, loss of earning capacity and other damages in connection with the incident.


None of Fung’s claims have been proven in court. McDonald’s Canada has yet to file a statement of defence in the case, or respond to a request for comment from CTV News.


The alleged incident happened in January 2021 – approximately 29 years after Stella Liebeck was famously injured by a McDonald’s coffee in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was awarded millions of dollars in compensation.


Despite her victory, and the fact that she suffered third-degree burns, Liebeck’s case was widely mocked in popular culture, labelled an example of a frivolous lawsuit, and used to promote tort reform in the U.S.


That case and the common mischaracterizations of its merits have since been re-examined in a number of documentaries and podcasts.

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