Verdict for Coffee Burns in Nursing Home
Jane Doe was an 80-year-old resident of St. Johns Terrace, an assisted living facility. As everyone bowed their heads for grace before supper, a server paused with her coffee pot held over Mrs. Doe’ place. Because of an undetected crack, the glass pot burst and hot coffee spilled out onto the table and down Jane Doe’ right leg. She received second-degree burns from her thigh to her ankle and had to be hospitalized for two weeks. Pajcic & Pajcic offered to settle for $95,000 before trial, but the insurance company for St. Johns Terrace would only offer $5,000. During voir dire, prospective jurors expressed concern not only about runaway verdicts such as the McDonald’s case, but also about poor care in many nursing homes. Balancing those concerns in the context of this case, the jury returned a verdict of $23,893.30 for medical expenses, $100,000 for past pain and suffering and $100,000 for future pain and suffering. Since the case was brought under the statutes governing assisted living facilities, Pajcic & Pajcic was able to obtain a post-judgment award for attorney’s fees and costs of $166,921.21 for a total judgment of $396,814.51.