NJ family sues Wawa over hot water, says 3-year-old was burned

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A New Jersey family is suing convenience store Wawa over burns they allege their 3-year-old daughter sustained when a cashier knocked over a cup of hot water at the checkout.

The federal suit filed Monday claims that the store dispenses water at a "highly dangerous temperature."

David Mazie, an attorney for the family, released a video of the April 25 spill in Neptune. It shows the clerk bagging the family's purchases, and accidentally knocking over a water bottle, which then hits and topples the cup of hot water.

The child can be seen jumping and writhing in seeming pain.

“It was so hot that as soon as the water was spilled on this little girl, her clothing fused to her skin,” Mazie says. “When they took off her clothing, her skin was just falling off."

Mazie says that the hot water was heated to 190 or more degrees, which he says is too hot for a beverage.

“It guarantees that if somebody spills water, they'll have second- or third-degree burns,” he says. 

Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce says she can't comment on litigation, but adds, “At Wawa, we are committed to the safety of our customers. We are devastated by this unfortunate accident and our hearts go out to the child and her family.”

Mazie says that two days after the incident, he hired an engineer to visit the same Neptune Wawa to test how hot the water was from the same machine. He claims the store did not make any changes and that the water still tested over 180 degrees. 

The lawsuit seeks more than $150,000 in damages. The girl is being treated by a burn specialist.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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