Tough Flight

Texas passenger smacks United Airlines with hot coffee lawsuit

Texas passenger smacks United Airlines with hot coffee lawsuit

cup of coffee on airline tray
Harris County resident Lourdes Cervantes claims she was severely burned by hot coffee on a Continental Airlines flight. Photo by Jeremy Foo/Flickr

First it was fast food chain McDonald's in hot water over hot coffee. Now it's United Airlines that's the subject of a suit over spilling the beans. 

In a lawsuit filed against United Continental Holdings Inc. in U.S. District Court, Harris County resident Lourdes Cervantes claims she was severely burned by hot coffee on a Continental Airlines flight.

The incident in question occurred somewhere between Madrid and Newark on August 1, 2011, when a flight attendant placed a cup of coffee on the tray table in front of her just as the passenger sitting in the attached seat decided to recline. 

Cervantes alleges that the coffee spilled onto her lap, resulting in second-degree burns on her inner thighs, plus severe pain, medical treatment and permanent scarring.

Represented by Houston personal injury attorney Shaw Clifford, Cervantes is seeking a jury trial and approximately $170,550 in compensation for bodily and emotional injuries and other damages, the maximum allowed under the Montreal Convention