Plaintiffs move to compel in St. Louis Bread Co. coffee spill suit

Amelia Flood Aug. 26, 2009, 9:00am

The plaintiffs in a negligence suit involving hot coffee spilled on an infant at a St. Louis Bread Co. store have filed a motion to compel the defendants to comply with discovery.

An Aug. 11 motion asks the St. Clair County court to make defendants Daniel Williams and Panera Bread Company Inc., the store's owner, to hand over answers. The plaintiffs argue that answers they had previously requested were improper and filled with objections.

Those answers had been obtained under a previous order to compel signed by St. Clair County Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot on July 29.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien is assigned to the case.

Jatonya Hopkins and her husband Larry Hopkins Sr. sued the Bread Company and its employee after they claimed the company's negligence caused burns to their infant son, Larry Hopkins Jr.

According to the Hopkins' complaint, Jatonya Hopkins was taking her son out of his car seat when Williams brought her the coffee she ordered after she told him not to. The coffee was put on the table behind her, the table was jarred and the coffee spilled on the baby, the Hopkins claim.

The couple is suing for Larry Jr.'s alleged disfigurement, pain, suffering, mental anguish and loss of a normal life in addition to medical bills the couple incurred.

The defendants deny the charges and contend that Jatonya Hopkins contributed to the accident.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $100,000 and costs.

The Hopkins are represented by Matthew Marlen of Belleville.

The defendants are represented by Beth Boggs of St. Louis.

Lopinot's order also states that a status conference is set in the case for November.

The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-195.

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