Spilling the ‘Hot Coffee’ on Personal Injury Lawsuits and Food Poisoning Claims

A fender bender was the catalyst for Cody Grant Moen’s battle in the British Columbia Supreme Court. His truck was rear-ended by a vehicle, caving in his bumper.

A learner driver reversed into him two days later. Fast forward to 2018 and again he was rear-ended – a sharp pain shot down his left leg. 

It was the moment his life spiraled out of control. Depression. Chronic back pain. Inability to work.  The incidents took their toll on Moen who made a living from his excavation business.

He decided to take the legal route. Moen sued the drivers for damages. But the road to victory wasn’t an easy one. Moen was asking for $ 5 million in his personal injury lawsuit. The defendants offered between $385,000 to $475,000.

During the two-week hearing in 2024, he testified for four days. In his ruling, Justice Nigel P. Kent ruled in Moen’s favor and awarded him $2.5 million.

Hold the Hot Coffee

The McDonald’s Hot Coffee lawsuit made it into pop culture history. It became the most famous lawsuit due to its trivial nature.

Stella Liebeck sued the fast-food giant in 1992 after buying coffee at the drive-thru and spilling it on her lap. The hot beverage allegedly caused third-degree burns. A jury awarded her almost $3 million in damages.

A 2011 HBO documentary, Hot Coffee, revisited the Liebeck case. Filmmaker Susan Saladoff tried to dispel the basis for Liebeck’s claim as false. Saladoff also argued against the narrative she believed in how people viewed the US civil justice system.

A Guide to Personal Injury Law

As the term suggests, personal injury law applies when someone harms you. 

This is when you’re allowed to claim legal damages against a person/persons who have caused you injury or loss. Such cases are prevalent across the US. In this article, we will consider the statistics for Atlanta, Georgia. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal work injuries increased to over 200 in Georgia in 2022 alone. Cottoned onto this, private transportation and the warehousing industry experienced the highest number of fatalities in the state.

Victims can approach a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta to seek rightful compensation for their injuries when caused by someone else’s negligence. 

In Atlanta, GA, personal injury law and legal services are crucial for handling various types of personal injury cases, notes Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm.  

Atlanta personal injury cases require specialized legal counsel to ensure proper compensation and care related to injuries.

It’s true, personal injury verdicts often make for exciting headlines. But not everyone is afforded the same outcome as Moen. 

In most cases, personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. Only 4 to 5% of these cases go to trial, cited stats from the US Department of Justice.

Don’t let the data deter you from taking your lawsuit further. The following aspects underline the gravity of cases:

Intentional wrongs

According to the consumer advocacy organization, Consumer Notice, this refers to intentional injuries. It doesn’t always include physical harm.


Negligence would warrant a careless driver or medical malpractice. The CDC reported that motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the US. It’s the reason why negligence is claimed in most personal injury lawsuits.

Strict Liability

When applied to tort law, Cornell Law School explained there are two categories: abnormally dangerous liabilities and product liability. An example can be a defective product sold by a manufacturer.

Is Food Poisoning Grounds for a Lawsuit?

Car crashes, falls and workplace injuries are the most common personal injury cases. So, what about food poisoning?

The CDC reported that about 48 million people a year are affected by foodborne diseases. Approximately 128,000 are hospitalized.

To answer your question, knowing the potential causes of food poisoning is important. These are:

  • Cross-contamination
  • Bacteria
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Expired food

Secondly, have you identified the right parties to sue? Lastly, can you prove your claim?

According to Forbes Advisor, you have to prove the following:

  • The restaurant had a duty to you as a patron
  • They failed to fulfill that duty
  • You suffered harm as a direct result of said failure
  • You should be compensated for the harm

Restaurant Worker Accused of Contaminating Food

Kansas City restaurant Hereford House recently made the news. 

A Johnson Country couple sued the eatery after falling ill. A worker had allegedly contaminated food that was served to customers.

It’s the fourth lawsuit to be filed against the restaurant. The accused, Jace Christian Hanson, allegedly posted videos online. The footage showed a man urinating in food bins, and rubbing food on his genitals.

Hanson was later charged with one felony count of criminal threat. He confessed to the disturbing behavior a week after starting his job. Frustrated with his new role, he started contaminating food.

Choosing the Best Lawyer

Food poisoning claims aside, you need a good team representing you. Consider the following factors when choosing a personal injury lawyer:

  • Highly recommended
  • Specializes in an area of expertise
  • Proven track record
  • Prioritizes client success

Remember, your case is unique. But you share a common goal with other claimants. Yes, it’s about a favorable outcome. It’s also about restoring your life. It’s about advocating for justice. 

Choose a law firm that understands an injury’s emotional, physical and financial implications. 

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