Hot Coffee

Home » Legally Speaking Posts » Hot Coffee

Q: I don’t know why, but I slipped and fell in a restaurant, while carrying my coffee.  As I fell, the coffee splashed on me, and I was badly burned.

A: Perhaps further investigation will reveal the cause of your fall, and will indicate that the cause is one for which the restaurant can be held responsible.  Otherwise, you cannot prevail on a cause of action alleging that the restaurant negligently allowed a dangerous condition on the floor to exist.  This is because a finding that the restaurant’s negligence, if any, proximately caused your injuries would be based merely on speculation.

However, you may be able to prevail on a cause of action alleging that the restaurant negligently served you coffee at an unreasonably or excessively hot temperature.  Under New York law, a restaurant may be held liable for personal injuries caused by the service of a beverage that, because of its excessive temperature, was unreasonably dangerous for its intended use: i.e. the drinking or other use presented a danger that was not reasonably contemplated by the consumer.

The burning you experienced supports the inference that the coffee was heated beyond reasonably expected limits.  Your attorney is entitled to an inspection of the machine from which the coffee was dispensed.  Perhaps it was not in good working order or was being operated outside the acceptable temperature parameters.  The restaurant will need to present proof that, on the contrary, the coffee’s temperature was within the proper range.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

Copyright © 2016-2020 Scott Baron & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved. 159-49 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, New York 11414 1750 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, NY 10710 718-738-9800, 914-337-9800, 1-866-927-4878