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    A COFFEE BURN MAY COST GREAT DEAL FOR McDONALD'S

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - The civil claim hearings against McDonald's for a burn caused by an overturned cup of coffee will continue in the Butyrsky court of Moscow on Tuesday. The claim is 100,000 rubles ($1 is 27.70 rubles), said Lawyer Maxim Dombrovitsky, who represents the interests of injured Olga Kuznetsova.

    He recalled that during the previous sitting the public prosecutor filed a request for additional materials and documents that can testify the ability of McDonald's employees to provide medical aid when necessary and the availability of medicines in the cafe's medicine chest.

    "If the defendant produces the necessary documents, the court may pronounce the case decision today," Mr. Dombrovitsky thinks.

    According to him, his client wants to get compensation for first- and second-degree burns caused by the spilt coffee. Ms. Kuznetsova demands reimbursement of 500 rubles for medical treatment and 100,000 rubles for moral damage. The lawyer specified that his client overturned her tray in the McDonald's in the town of Khimki, near Moscow, because of the entrance door blow and spilt the hot liquid on herself.

    The defendants disclaim their guilt because each cup of coffee contains a warning that the drink is hot, the lawyer said. The same statement was included in the McDonald's announcement given to RIA Novosti.

    "In the middle of a cup there is a warning in Russian 'Be careful, it's hot!' The sign is in blue," the statement said. "The presence of the above sign ensures the consumer safety of the commodity in accordance with Article 2 Point 7 of the consumer protection law," the McDonald's administration asserts.

    There are world precedents of actions filed against McDonald's. The most famous trial, called the McDonald's coffee case, started in February 1992 when 79-year-old Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, got a third-degree burn from hot coffee.

    She brought action against McDonald's, and the court awarded her $2.9 million in punitive damages, but the sum was later reduced to $640,000.

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