79-year-old Stella Liebeck ordered a cup of coffee from the passenger's seat of her grandson's car at this McDonald's drive-thru on February 27, 1992. Her grandson stopped the car so she could add cream and sugar and in the process of removing the lid, Stella spilled the entire drink into her lap. The coffee, which was served at a temperature over 180 degrees, caused third-degree burns and scalding over 6% of her body including her thighs, groin and buttocks. Stella was taken to the hospital where she stayed for eight days while undergoing a number of painful skin graft operations.
Stella Liebeck initially sought $20,000 to cover her medical expenses, but McDonald's refused to settle. A product liability lawsuit was then brought against McDonald's and in 1994 a jury awarded Liebeck $160,000 plus an additional $2.7 million in punitive damages. The final figure was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
5001 Gibson Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2007