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Author Topic: The McDonald's Coffee Lawsuit
Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I'd like to resurrect it in light of the Taco Bell dog proceedings. I suppose that I am the only person in America who thinks that Mickey D's probably got what it deserved when they lost the lawsuit over the elderly woman pouring hot coffee all over herself. As this site points out:

quote:
McFact No. 1: For years, McDonald's had known they had a problem with the way they make their coffee - that their coffee was served much hotter (at least 20 degrees more so) than at other restaurants.

McFact No. 2: McDonald's knew its coffee sometimes caused serious injuries - more than 700 incidents of scalding coffee burns in the past decade have been settled by the Corporation - and yet they never so much as consulted a burn expert regarding the issue.

McFact No. 3: The woman involved in this infamous case suffered very serious injuries - third degree burns on her groin, thighs and buttocks that required skin grafts and a seven-day hospital stay.

McFact No. 4: The woman, an 81-year old former department store clerk who had never before filed suit against anyone, said she wouldn't have brought the lawsuit against McDonald's had the Corporation not dismissed her request for compensation for medical bills.

McFact No. 5: A McDonald's quality assurance manager testified in the case that the Corporation was aware of the risk of serving dangerously hot coffee and had no plans to either turn down the heat or to post warning about the possibility of severe burns, even though most customers wouldn't think it was possible.

McFact No. 6: After careful deliberation, the jury found McDonald's was liable because the facts were overwhelmingly against the company. When it came to the punitive damages, the jury found that McDonald's had engaged in willful, reckless, malicious, or wanton conduct, and rendered a punitive damage award of 2.7 million dollars. (The equivalent of just two days of coffee sales, McDonalds Corporation generates revenues in excess of 1.3 million dollars daily from the sale of its coffee, selling 1 billion cups each year.)

McFact No. 7: On appeal, a judge lowered the award to $480,000, a fact not widely publicized in the media.

McFact No. 8: A report in Liability Week, September 29, 1997, indicated that Kathleen Gilliam, 73, suffered first degree burns when a cup of coffee spilled onto her lap. Reports also indicate that McDonald's consistently keeps its coffee at 185 degrees, still approximately 20 degrees hotter than at other restaurants. Third degree burns occur at this temperature in just two to seven seconds, requiring skin grafting, debridement and whirlpool treatments that cost tens of thousands of dollars and result in permanent disfigurement, extreme pain and disability to the victims for many months, and in some cases, years.

John "My parents always call it McYucks" Craven

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Mr. Fed
Happy Holly Days


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You are definitely not the only person. I have brick-marks on my head and slurred speech from smacking my head into the wall over this one. It seems to pop up in every post complaining about the legal system. No matter how many times you explain it, next week it will be back again.

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Lilybet
Xboxing Day


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Here I am! I made it!

I've also always been troubled by the use of this case as the poster child for frivolous lawsuits. Not mentioned in the points you posted, John, is the reason I've read McDonald's kept the coffee so dangerously hot: a marketing policy of optimizing coffee aroma in the restaurant in order to generate greater sales.

Lily "don't move it again, okay? [pant] [pant] [pant]" bet

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Colonist of the North
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I am not so sure, when I was a kid I received direct (after my dad triped) a full McD's coffee in the face and chest. I recalled it hurted like hell but aside from my skin being red I was fine.

The accident was terrible and not to sound mean, but still was it worth a lawsuit?

She open a coffee betteew her legs in a car, I don't recall if the car was moving at the time. but common knowlege dictates that a full hot coffee in a car could spill (I never drink coffee in the car unless There is 1/4 already drank, one bump and you get chin burn).

I recall see in an article, for as many client who complained the coffee was too hot, there also complaint of clients saying the coffee became to cold the time it took to drive to their place of destination.

McD didn't just decide one day to say, "Gee's it's been boring let's maliciously pump are coffee hyper hot just for the heck of it and hope some old lady get's burned."

Also. For my case it's true in a stirophone (or carton cup) if I go to my Local McD by the time I get a coffee and head back it's luke warm. So I either drink it there (or drink 1/4).

Even a freshly served coffee, from a coffee machine will brun you. I once spilled an entire coffee pot on my leg when the handle broke. I too could haved sued!

But I though "Yeah the handle was loose last time I pourred coffee, My fault for not fixing (or replaringing it)"

I am im sure almost everyone has these stories of "oups!" that a little forethought would haved avoided. But only a few chose too sue.

Now there are little warning on the cup, Danger hot duh! No I din't know coffee was hot. What next a 3 page legal disclaimer you need to sign to get a cup of coffee.


Don't want to sound bad but that my 2 cents on it.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Colonist of the North:
I am not so sure, when I was a kid I received direct (after my dad triped) a full McD's coffee in the face and chest. I recalled it hurted like hell but aside from my skin being red I was fine.

The accident was terrible and not to sound mean, but still was it worth a lawsuit?



Judging from the extent of her injuries, the fact that McDonald's kept their coffee about 60 degrees warmer than you do at home, and that there had been 500 similar incidents in the 10 years previously, yes, I do think that it was worth a lawsuit. In fact, not only was it worth a lawsuit, it was worth a victory.

quote:
She open a coffee betteew her legs in a car, I don't recall if the car was moving at the time. but common knowlege dictates that a full hot coffee in a car could spill (I never drink coffee in the car unless There is 1/4 already drank, one bump and you get chin burn).
Yeah, because what this woman suffered was just basically chin burn to her legs. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
I recall see in an article, for as many client who complained the coffee was too hot, there also complaint of clients saying the coffee became to cold the time it took to drive to their place of destination.
Here's an idea as to how to solve that: use thicker cups. Oops, that would require McDonald's to spend money on something.

quote:
McD didn't just decide one day to say, "Gee's it's been boring let's maliciously pump are coffee hyper hot just for the heck of it and hope some old lady get's burned."
In fact, that's not far off from what they did do. There was a nationwide policy by the company to keep superheated coffee on tap, even though they knew of the risks associated with serving customers boiling water.

quote:
Also. For my case it's true in a stirophone (or carton cup) if I go to my Local McD by the time I get a coffee and head back it's luke warm. So I either drink it there (or drink 1/4).
Funny, but that's not my experience with Starbuck's. I wonder why that is... oh, I know! They don't use crappy cups!

quote:
Even a freshly served coffee, from a coffee machine will brun you. I once spilled an entire coffee pot on my leg when the handle broke. I too could haved sued!
Was the coffee superheated to near-boiling level? If so, was this because of long-standing company policy? When you spilled the coffee on yourself, did it result in third-degree burns across 6% of your body, and a lengthy skin-grafting and rehabilitation program that the store in question refused to even pay a nickel for?

quote:
But I though "Yeah the handle was loose last time I pourred coffee, My fault for not fixing (or replaringing it)"
Right, and this woman should have known that when McDonald's sells coffee, what they really sell is boiling water that one should not get within 10 feet of until 15 minutes after it has been served. It's all her fault, really.

quote:
Now there are little warning on the cup, Danger hot duh! No I din't know coffee was hot. What next a 3 page legal disclaimer you need to sign to get a cup of coffee.
The coffee you make at home is 135-140 degrees. The coffee McDonald's was serving was 180-190 degrees. 190 degrees is much, much warmer than 140. How hard is this to comprehend?

quote:
Don't want to sound bad but that my 2 cents on it.
It sounds more like somebody else's 2 cents that you are repeating, but your opinion is nonetheless noted.

John Craven

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Green Kangaroo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
I'm sure this has been discussed before
It was discussed at length here.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Wow. Interesting to see that many of the conservatives in this group also thought McDonald's should be liable. Have I mentioned how cool this board is yet?

John Craven

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Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.

Posts: 4267 | From: Seattle | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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