What do Wawa and McDonald’s have in common?  They each sell coffee.  And it’s hot. 

You may have read about the North Jersey couple who filed suit against a chain of Wawa convenience stores.  Tracy Hanson was burned by hot coffee nearly a year ago and is now demanding a jury trial to determine compensation for her:

“…severe physical injury, including but not limited to permanent scarring, disfigurement and deformity, as well as psychological and emotional anguish, grief and torment.”

Compensatory and punitive damages, legal costs, and “any additional relief” are also being sought. 

Businesses frequently remind us that frivolous lawsuits affect the way they do business.  As many as one third of New Jersey business owners surveyed last year said they were likely to make changes to their business following the Supreme Court’s decision in Voss v. Tranquilino, which found that a restaurant may be liable for injuries a drunk patron may sustain. 

One may deduce that irrespective of consumer coordination and skill, coffee can’t burn you if it’s not hot.  Let’s hope that Wawa won’t attempt to ward off frivolous lawsuits by producing a lukewarm blend.