Scalding hot coffee that wound up in someone's lap cost McDonald's $480,000, but a similar mishap is not worth a dime in the New York Court of Claims. Judge James J. Lack dismissed a case in which a woman visiting her sister at a state hospital was burned when a wheel mysteriously fell off a cart and the hot coffee she had placed there spilled in her lap. Because the claimant couldn't establish one prong of res ipsa loquitur -- that the cart was in the defendant's exclusive control -- no recovery was due.
N.Y. Judge Cool to Injury Claims Over Spilled Coffee
New York Law Journal
November 2, 2006