Wawa pays $3M after NJ toddler is severely burned by hot tea water
Wawa has agreed to pay $3 million after a toddler was burned by hot water that spilled out of a tea cup at a Neptune City convenience store.
The settlement — of which $2.55 million will go to the girl and another $450,000 will go to the mother before expenses and attorney fees — ends a federal lawsuit filed a month after the April 2018 incident.
The lawsuit faulted the company for providing water that was too hot for drinking at 180 degrees.
The lawyer for the family compared the girl's scalding to "being napalmed," saying that the 3-year-old's skin melted and fused into her clothes. The girl suffered serious second-degree and third-degree burns across 15% of her body.
The water burned the girl after a clerk accidentally knocked over a water bottle that then toppled the cup of hot water on the check-out counter.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that home water heaters be set to a maximum of 120 degrees because adults can get a third-degree burn — the most severe kind — after 2 seconds of exposure to 150-degree water.
The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge Tonianne Bongiovanni on March 30 and news of the settlement was first reported by the New Jersey Law Journal.
The family was represented by David Mazie of the Roseland firm Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.