11.11.2011 – Pressemitteilung 10/11
Germans have been reminded this week of the Stella Liebeck case, or their memories of it, in which McDonalds eventually settled the case where a woman received third-degree burns from coffee spilt on her legs.
The Landgericht (Regional Court) in Munich did not award damages to a German woman, the passenger in a car at a drive-through restaurant. In this case she seems to have been contributorily negligent to a greater degree than Stella Liebeck, and had second-degree burns. Possibly the lid was put on the cup too loosely. The plaintiff sued for damages of about 1500 euros. The court thought she should have checked that the lid was on properly before she put the coffee between her thighs to hold it while she took the driver’s coffee too.
German article with photo of plaintiff and lawyer.
Court press report in German
LATER NOTE: mentioning Stella Liebeck always leads to discussions (see the German comments on law blog). The Wikipedia article says she spilt the coffee in her lap and it soaked into her sweatpants – she was burnt on her thighs, buttocks and groin.