R.E., a special education teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, enjoyed watching Atlanta Falcons games and going out to lunch with her family. One summer afternoon, she and her family decided to eat lunch at a mexican restaurant.
While dining at the restaurant with her brother, son, and nephew, a server passed by the table and dropped a sizzling hot platter of fajitas,which fell between R.E. and her seat. Stunned, R.E. was knocked to the floor. Upon being helped off of the floor, R.E. went to the bathroom in excruciating pain to treat the large handle-shaped burn that had formed on her lower back. When R.E. returned, the server admitted that the platter was “too hot” and apologized for the incident. A manager was called to the table and promptly paid for the cost of their meal and asked R.E. if he could examine her injuries. Due to the location of the burn (very low back), R.E. was very self-conscious and refused to show the manager. She reported being “in pain, shock, and disbelief.” After getting the manager’s information, R.E. gathered her belongings and drove herself to the emergency room for treatment of the burns. The hospital diagnosed R.E. with second-degree burns. The ER physician dressed the wound, prescribed pain medication and instructed R.E. to follow up with a burn care center for additional treatment.
Three days after her injury, R.E. presented to a burn care center. The physician changed R.E.’s dressings, applied a topical ointment, and prescribed additional medications. R.E. was discharged and instructed to continue treatment with this physician once a month until her wound had healed. R.E. was unable to work during this time period, and described the pain level as “over a 10.” She had difficulties bending over, sitting, and even walking up and down stairs. Sleeping at night was especially difficult, as only certain sleep positions would provide any pain relief.
R.E. retained Kaufman Law several weeks after the incident. Although the restaurant had admitted fault, they refused to adequately compensate R.E. for her injuries. Kaufman Law calculated R.E.’s expected costs as a result of the burn, including loss of wages and scar revision surgery. Seven months following the incident, Kaufman Law was able to settle R.E.’s case for $115,000.00.