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Soup Cup Design Causes Severe Child Burn Injuries, Lawsuit Alleges

Last year, a three-year-old boy in Lancaster, California suffered severe burns after his sister left a cup of boiled water on the counter. In the few minutes that the teenage sister left her brother alone with the cup of hot soup, the boiling contents spilled onto the child's head. The incident left the child with second and third degree burns. His mother described the injury, "He was in tremendous pain. By the time I got to the hospital he was on a morphine drip and the skin had peeled and rolled off so that it was just pink and raw." The boy spent 15 days in the hospital after the accident.

Sadly, scalding injuries to small children are very common in the United States. In fact, scalds are the most common type of burn injury treated by doctors in specialized burn treatment centers across the nation. Although young children can easily suffer burns from boiling water in pots and pans, a surprising percentage of child scald injuries involve hot soup. According to a spokeswoman from Stroger Hospital in Chicago, an approximate 30% to 40% of children admitted to the hospital for burn injuries were hurt by hot soup. "These cases remain all too common in our burn unit," she said.

Another study showed that 8% of all burn admissions to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Northern California were caused by hot soup. Some researchers believe that fewer children would sustain serious scald injuries if instant soup manufacturers redesigned their top-heavy cups. Research also indicated that certain brands, such as Cup Noodles (previously called Cup O' Noodles), are more likely to tip over and scald children than other designs. During one test, Cup Noodle's soup cups had a tipping point of 21 degrees. Safer cups tipped at 64 degrees.

The survey said that "The most significant contributor to the ease of tipping over was height. Simple redesigning of instant soup packaging with a wider base and shorter height, along with the requirement for warnings about the risks of burns, would reduce the frequency of soup burns." Nissin Foods, the manufacturer responsible for Cup Noodles, said that the cups show a clear label warning parents to keep children away from the hot soup. "We urge parents to never leave hot products of any kind in reach of their young children," the company stated.

According to an attorney for the three-year-old burn victim, Nissin Foods has marketed a defective foam soup cup for almost four decades. "All indications from all sources is that lots and lots of kids are getting burned by this product," the lawyer said. Every burn center in the country is seeing cases every week from a company marketing this top-heavy cup with a narrow base. According to a burn specialist at Loyola University Medical Center, "Children have thinner skin and a greater susceptibility to burn injury." Additionally, children are more likely to suffer serious burns from soup because the noodles can stick to their skin.

Representing Victims of Defective Products

Defective product injuries can be devastating. That's why our firm is committed to seeking justice and compensation for victims of avoidable accidents. Burn injuries are very painful and can easily cause a variety of medical complications. If you or a loved one suffered a serious burn injury because of a defective product, contact our team of California defective product lawyers today. Our team is currently handling a similar case – let us put this experience to work for you. Contact The Senators Firm today for the sound, compassionate and skilled legal representation that you need.

Categories: Product Liability
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