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Burn Injuries From Beverage Carts On Flights

Anyone who sits in an aisle seat on the airplane is likely to have encountered a run-in with the beverage cart. In most cases, it is a surprise when the cart brushes against a shoulder, foot, or arm, but they can also seriously injure an elbow, foot, or knee. The hot coffee or scalding water on beverage carts can also cause serious burn injuries.

The airlines are responsible to make sure passengers are not injured by negligent use of the beverage cart on a plane. Airlines may be liable if an injury on the plane is caused by a negligent employee. Passengers injured on the plane may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages after an airline accident. 

Child Burned by a Tipped Coffee Pot

On June 16, 2016, the flight attendants on United Airlines flight 430 were pushing the beverage cart down the aisles, serving passengers a variety of beverages and snacks. Suddenly, a coffee pot fell off the cart and onto a child. A doctor on board rushed to provide emergency first aid on the child. 

The crew declared a medical emergency and the flight had to be diverted to Little Rock so the child could be treated for the burn injuries. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation found the improper placement of the coffee pot and failure to use a safe pour lid were the cause of the child’s injury. 

Baby Burned by Hot Tea  

A family was traveling to Australia from London to visit relatives, including mother Rachel, 6-year-old Riley, and 14-month old Lily-Mae. During beverage service, brother Riley asked for a cup of tea. When the flight attendant handed the child a scalding cup of tea, the toddler grabbed for the cup, spilling the hot liquid on her lap. Both children began screaming. 

The mother took off their pants and saw red blistering marks on her son’s legs and swollen blisters on the young girl’s thighs. After asking for the help of a doctor on board, someone came forward to continue pouring cold water over the legs. When they landed the child was transported in an ambulance. The child suffered second-degree burns

Scalding Water Down the Legs

A passenger was flying from Portugal to Scotland on a Ryanair flight with his partner. Shortly after takeoff, the flight attendants came through with a beverage cart. According to the news report, when the attendant was next to the man, he suddenly jumped up and screamed it was burning. The attendant had reportedly spilled 4 or 5 cups of scalding water on the front of his legs and feet. The man got up to try and put cold water on the burns. The man suffered blisters across his legs and feet from the burn injury. 

What to Do After a Burn Injury on a Plane

Immediately after a scalding burn injury, the injury victim should have the source of the burn taken away and irrigated with cool water. Cool running water should be kept over the burn injury for some time. If the burn is extensive, emergency treatment may be required to help the victim from going into shock. This may be more difficult in an enclosed environment like an airplane, and flight attendants should do all they can to help provide assistance. 

Burn Injuries and Airline Injuries in Philadelphia 

Scalding injuries can be more harmful to infants, young children, and the elderly. The Gilman & Bedigian team is fully equipped to handle the complex process of bringing a personal injury claim against those who were responsible for the injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Charles GilmanCharles Gilman
Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.


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