Find out if you can sue if your child is scalded at school, a hotel, an apartment (sue the owner/landlord) or elsewhere. Scald-burn injuries can cause serious injury and wrongful death. Contact our lawyers and request a free consultation.
“These tragic scald injuries can be prevented,” said attorney Fred Pritzker, who recently won $10 million for one client. “Our job is to find out what happened and hold those responsible accountable.”
It takes only a few seconds for scalding hot water or steam to give third-degree burns, and these burns may become infected, causing additional harm. Children, the elderly and the disabled are most at risk. Most cases of fatal scald injuries are children.
When our lawyers handle these types of cases, they gather evidence regarding the source of the injury, the temperature to which the skin was exposed, the length of time it was exposed and what could have been done to prevent it. Companies that are legally responsible can include a hotel or motel, restaurant, daycare or landlord. A school or homeowner could also be responsible.
When liquid is at 140 degrees, it takes 5 seconds or less of exposure on the skin for a serious, disfiguring burn to develop. A few years ago, a woman sued McDonald’s restaurant when hot coffee spilled on her (Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants). She won over two million dollars. Since then, restaurants and coffee houses have lowered the temperature of beverages, but they are still very hot and capable of causing damage.
A defective product can be the source of injury. A few years ago, there was a recall of coffee machines because the liquid, single-serving discs used to make coffee could explode when hot. At least 37 people suffered second-degree burns.
Hot water in bathtubs, showers and sinks can cause severe harm because of the length of time the skin is exposed to the heat. A child falling into a tub filled with scalding hot water can cause fatal injuries. Even at 120 degrees, water can scald with 5 minutes of exposure. Tap water causes about 5,000 burns per year.