HR Strange But True!
July 11, 2003

In Pennsylvania, Lafayette College and its dining services have been sued for $150,000 by a couple for the pain and suffering they say they endured after a waitress spilled two carafes of coffee on the husband during an event, the Express-Times of Easton, Penn., reports.

The suit alleges that the husband, Brent Zimmer, suffered second- and third-degree burns on his neck, back, and buttocks due to the defendants' negligence. The burns caused scarring and shock to Zimmer's nervous system and still cause severe discomfort, the suit says.

The couple's lawyer, Mark Sigmon, said that while he is not entirely clear on the chain of events, the waitress should not have been carrying two large carafes on a tray in such tight quarters.

"She never got to pour it," Sigmon told the Express-Times. "All of a sudden they got poured on him. You have a severe burn case here that could've been avoided by just being careful."

The suit accuses the defendants - which include Sodexho Marriot Services Inc. and Wood Business Dining Services Inc. - of carelessly permitting hot coffee to be transported in a hazardous manner, failing to warn patrons of the danger and failing to properly train and supervise employees.

The injuries prevented Zimmer from working for five weeks - resulting in an income loss of $3,250 - and left him unable to perform his usual daily activities, the suit says. It also says Virginia Zimmer has been and will continue to be deprived of her husband's assistance and companionship. She suffered emotional distress as "she heard the screams and moans of her husband as he was being burned," the suit says.

Source: The Express-Times

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