QuikTrip to pay Buford woman for burn injury

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

BUFORD -- A Cobb County jury awarded a Buford woman $1.2 million in damages for burn injuries she suffered from a cappuccino machine at a QuikTrip convenience store in 2007, her attorney said Wednesday.

Cynthia Nance, 52, was scalded Halloween night 2007 at a store in Jackson County when 190-degree water shot from the coffee machine because a part had been removed for cleaning. Nance was burned on her hand and arm as she held a cup below the nozzle, said her attorney, Nelson Tyrone III.

Tyrone said his client now suffers from a permanent nerve disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy syndrome and could suffer lifelong repercussions. The suit was heard in Cobb State Court because QT is headquartered in that county, a representative of Tyrone's firm said.

A jury awarded $1.2 million in compensatory damages in late December, and the parties settled punitive damages out of court for an undisclosed amount. Tyrone said the company offered to settle with his client before trial for $88,000.

"I believe that QuikTrip never understood the severity of Nance's condition until the trial," he said.

Atlanta civil litigation attorney Valerie Pinkett, who represented QT, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

Nance must receive regular nerve treatment, take narcotic pain medication and could require an electronic implant to correct nerve damage caused by the burning, her attorney said.

Tyrone said the settlement will allow his client treatment "by the best doctors in the United States who are working with patients with her condition."