Double lawsuits filed against San Antonio McDonald’s and franchisee after hot coffee spills

One lawsuit seeking $1 million in damages and the other seeking $250,000 in damages

A McDonalds sign (.)

SAN ANTONIO – The McDonald’s Corporation and San Antonio franchisee Acosta, Inc. are facing two lawsuits filed in Bexar County this month over hot coffee spills.

Court documents allege that on two separate occasions at different restaurants, two people had coffee handed to them with loose lids. The coffee spilled on both individuals while they were at the drive-thru windows.

The first lawsuit was filed on Oct. 5 by Jorge Chaires on behalf of the estate of Evangelina Chaires, his wife who has since passed away.

According to court documents, the incident happened on Oct. 5, 2019, at a McDonald’s on Potranco and Loop 1604.

While an employee there was handing Evangelina Chaires a cup of coffee through the drive-thru window the cup fell on her lap.

The court filing states Chaires suffered serious and permanent injuries from the incident. However, the lawsuit does not insinuate that her death was a result of the injuries.

The lawsuit also claims the restaurant was negligent in letting customers know the dangers of hot coffee being spilled, a failure to warn that the coffee lid was not firmly secure and failure to warn that the coffee would become a “lethal instrument,” causing death or permanent and disabling injury.

This lawsuit is seeking $250,000 in damages.

The second lawsuit was filed on Oct. 11 by Martha Acevedo-Quezada.

The lawsuit claims that on Sept. 18, 2020, Acevedo-Quezada went to the McDonald’s at 6350 Old Pearsall Road and ordered a coffee from the drive-thru.

The lawsuit claims that when she was handed the cup, the lid was not secure and it spilled in her lap resulting in second-degree burns on her legs, groin and buttocks.

This lawsuit is citing negligence in failing to properly handle hot materials when delivering to customers, failing to maintain liquids at a temperature that would protect customers from suffering burns, failing to train employees in handling hot liquids and failing to act as a reasonable person using ordinary care in the same or similar circumstance.

Acevedo-Quezada is seeking $1 million in damages for past and future medical bills, physical pain, lost wages, physical impairment, physical disfigurement and mental anguish.

If these two lawsuits sound familiar, a similar one was filed in 1992 in New Mexico after a woman had coffee spilled on her lap and suffered third-degree burns. She was awarded nearly $3 million for the burns she suffered.

Below are copies of both local lawsuits.

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About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.