St. Louis Bread Co. sued over hot coffee spill

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 20, 2009

A St. Clair County couple claims their infant son was severely injured after a cup of hot coffee spilled on him.

Jatonya Hopkins and Larry Hopkins Sr., filed suit against Daniel Williams and St. Louis Bread Company on April 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

They say Jatonya Hopkins ordered food at the restaurant on July 23. Part of her order included coffee, the complaint says.

After placing her order, Jatonya Hopkins grabbed her infant son, Larry Hopkins Jr., and found a table. While she was sitting at the table, Daniel Williams approached Jatonya Hopkins and offered to get her coffee from the coffee machine, the complaint says.

However, Jatonya Hopkins denied the request, saying she first wanted to feed her baby. Instead of listening to Jatonya Hopkins, Williams took the coffee cup from the tray and placed a filled coffee cup on the table with no lid on it while Jatonya Hopkins was unlocking the car seat straps to get her son out, according to court records.

"Being unaware of the coffee cup, the Plaintiff continued unlocking the infant from the car seat when she knocked the coffee cup over, which spilled coffee upon the table and upon the infant," the suit states. "The infant screamed and Mrs. Hopkins pulled him from the car seat and witnessed steam coming from the infant's clothes."

Because of the incident, Larry Hopkins Jr. suffered burns, disability, disfigurement, physical pain, mental anguish and loss of a normal life. He and the Hopkins also incurred medical expenses, the Hopkins say.

In the two-count suit, the Hopkins are seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

Matthew J. Marlen of Belleville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-195.

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