If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Consumerist)   Woman sues McDonalds over hot coffee. This actually is a repeat from 1992. Just different players   (consumerist.com) divider line 194
    More: Dumbass, coffee, pain and suffering  
•       •       •

18107 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Feb 2010 at 11:40 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



194 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-02-07 08:52:44 AM
If I were the judge I would throw out the case and invite her to refile with only the claim for negligent handling, not the coffee is hot claim. But if I were a judge I would routinely have attorneys flogged for being annoying or obstructive. I'm not going to be appointed a judge.
 
2010-02-07 09:50:21 AM
What do you mean there's no ice. You mean I have to drink this coffee hot?
 
2010-02-07 09:51:47 AM
The woman and yer lawyer should serve prison time for this shiat.
 
2010-02-07 10:26:54 AM
jehovahs witness protection: The woman and yer lawyer should serve prison time for this shiat.

She's seeking medical costs and lost wages. That's reasonable. It's the also seeking "Pain and anguish" damages that make me want to keel haul her.
 
2010-02-07 10:39:23 AM
In addition to regular and decaf, restaurants should offer "tepid." If they offer an option that won't burn even if you jump into a tub of the stuff, there should be no complaints.

/I'll have a quad tiepido cappuccino to go, please.
 
2010-02-07 11:13:47 AM
$300 for lost wages and medical, and $7,200 for punitive damages?

Award her the $300 for medical and wages and 10% of her punitive claim for negligent handling. My guess is that the "nervous shock" and "burns and scarring" are BS.
 
2010-02-07 11:25:00 AM
img21.imageshack.us

Unimpressed
 
2010-02-07 11:27:32 AM
Rex_Banner: Unimpressed

Who told you to put the balm on?!
 
2010-02-07 11:29:27 AM
News flash, Ms. Romero: Coffee is HOT. You have to be careful with it.
 
2010-02-07 11:42:22 AM
It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.
 
2010-02-07 11:43:10 AM
Well, it's certainly more reasons than the 'millions' the other old geezer wanted, but it's still too much.

Sue for the medical. Sue for the lost wages. NOTHING ELSE. There's no mental anguish over a bit of coffee, moron.

Get your couple hundred bucks in rewards (and then lose it right back to attorney fees) and STFU.
 
2010-02-07 11:43:24 AM
Coffee tastes like shiat. I think McD's (and the rest) should stop selling it, avoid the hassles. You don't hear of any permanent damages from an ice cold Coke (tm) accidently dumped in a lap.
 
2010-02-07 11:44:07 AM
I was at a Friendly's once and overheard a lady complaining that her ice cream was too cold. Cool story . . .
 
2010-02-07 11:45:55 AM
They do serve it hot.
 
2010-02-07 11:46:34 AM
GoodyearPimp: Coffee tastes like shiat. I think McD's (and the rest) should stop selling it, avoid the hassles. You don't hear of any permanent damages from an ice cold Coke (tm) accidently dumped in a lap.

Yes, but Coke has other long-term damaging effects...

i.zdnet.com

/hot like I like my coffee
 
2010-02-07 11:47:03 AM
RoyHobbs22: I was at a Friendly's once and overheard a lady complaining that her ice cream was too cold. Cool story . . .


(rim shot)
 
2010-02-07 11:48:09 AM
stevenbdjr: Yes, but Coke has other long-term damaging effects...

See, those kids know how to handle a Coke (tm). They don't automatically dump it in their laps like the idiots that drink coffee.
 
2010-02-07 11:48:36 AM
If the burn requires surgery, it's a real sue-worthy burn. Otherwise, it's just red skin and STFU worthy.
 
2010-02-07 11:48:55 AM
Has anyone tried to sue a restaurant for giving them a bad case of the shiats? It's worth a shot.
 
2010-02-07 11:49:28 AM
They should test the coffee temperature by throwing it in the face of the "not before I've had my coffee" hipster douche in the commercials.

If he gets horrible disfiguring burns, it's just about hot enough to throw in the face of the writer/producer of the spot.
 
2010-02-07 11:49:29 AM
GoodyearPimp: Coffee tastes like shiat. I think McD's (and the rest) should stop selling it, avoid the hassles. You don't hear of any permanent damages from an ice cold Coke (tm) accidently dumped in a lap.

What if you're nude and walked in on by a love interest after the incident? That could be permanently damaging.

students.cup.edu

/hot
 
2010-02-07 11:51:29 AM
Dafatone: It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.

This.
 
2010-02-07 11:51:49 AM
browntimmy: Has anyone tried to sue a restaurant for giving them a bad case of the shiats? It's worth a shot.

Taco Bell would have ceased to exist years ago.
 
2010-02-07 11:53:17 AM
Dear Ms. Douchesocket,

You're clumsy, coffee is served heated, and I highly doubt you make 318.00 a week, let alone in the time it takes to put some ice cubes on your leg.

By the way, this article made me want to vomit. You and reporter boy owe me 10 G.

/pain and suffering
 
2010-02-07 11:54:43 AM
Before complaining about the original coffee case, read up on it. It's funny how I've barely met a single soul who has ever said that the plaintiff in that case was entitled to anything, yet somehow they found 12 jurors who did. Seems to me that either McDonalds had terrible lawyers (unlikely) or there might have actually been some merit to the claim.
 
2010-02-07 11:55:25 AM
Dafatone: It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.

As she's only asking $7500, I can't imagine why they wouldn't pay it. Seems reasonable too, unlike the millions asshats normally ask for.
 
2010-02-07 11:55:29 AM
Welcome to Oregon, the new litigation capital of the US. I am a physician and I am currently in the middle of a lawsuit for NOT giving Ritalin to a meth addicted inmate.

Idiocy abounds here. You can be hauled in front of the medical board for NOT giving controlled substances to addicts. In the meantime we have the highest controlled substance prescription rate already and, not coincidentally, the highest rate of prescription drug deaths. About 40% of inmates come in to jail with active, legitimate controlled substance prescriptions because docs are scared to say no. And no, they aren't all sick....

And we just voted in a RETROACTIVE tax due in April - only affects about 45% of the population. Guess what? It passed 55-45. Nice. You pay your taxes then at the last minute, "Fark you, you owe more."

This state used to be cool. Now it sucks major a$$.

We are leaving.
 
2010-02-07 11:56:03 AM
I know I read that the lady from the first case got 3rd degree burns, and those in a rather sensitive area. A lot of similar cases had been thrown out, but that lady got her case through for similar reasons, medical bills and lost wages. And I also know that McDonald's had been serving their coffee at 180 degrees, which is like 20 degrees hotter than any other fast food restaurant. And that they stepped back on the heat after the lawsuit, but have since steadily stepped it up to 180 again. So, I mean, if they didn't learn anything from the first one where they burned up some old lady's crotch, screw 'em.
 
2010-02-07 11:56:43 AM
Dafatone: It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.

I know a neighbor kid who works McD drivethru....hhmmmmm did someone say foolproof get rich quick scheme?
 
M-G
2010-02-07 11:57:17 AM
Dafatone: It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.

Indeed this. When handing someone a liquid hot enough to burn them, you need to take responsibility that the lid is at least on tight, especially when most cups have the structural rigidity of Kleenex when the lid isn't on.

And since everyone seems to need to be reminded, in the original case, McD's brought it on themselves with their refusal to settle and their arrogance at trial. That and the 3rd degree burns the woman suffered.
 
2010-02-07 11:57:50 AM
bunner: Dear Ms. Douchesocket,

I move to make this word the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the year.
 
2010-02-07 11:58:03 AM
Can I sue for always getting watered down, flat, nasty ass Coke? Also, I'm not positive on this, but I have a feeling you could easily fit another cup of ice in there as well. I don't think 28 ounces of ice is enough for a 32 ounce drink.
 
2010-02-07 11:58:08 AM
That first coffee lawsuit person deserved every penny she got. If I got my clitoris scalded off I'd sue the hell out of someone too.
 
2010-02-07 11:59:40 AM
Come on people, if someone hands you a cup of near boiling coffee in a cup, and the lid had not been put on properly, that's a text book case of negligence. This is not about the coffee being "too" hot. It's about a minimum wage drive-thru monkey not bothering to put the lid on correctly.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-02-07 12:01:28 PM
Pemulis

I have read the trial lawyers' spin on the original "Stella" lawsuit, and without even considering the other side of the story I think the jury's award was outrageous.
 
2010-02-07 12:01:32 PM
theotherbilly: Can I sue for always getting watered down, flat, nasty ass Coke? Also, I'm not positive on this, but I have a feeling you could easily fit another cup of ice in there as well. I don't think 28 ounces of ice is enough for a 32 ounce drink.

This is why I always ask for no ice. I drink it fast enough that it's not going to get cold, and I don't get ripped off by being served 75% ice.
 
2010-02-07 12:04:11 PM
Quantumbunny: As she's only asking $7500, I can't imagine why they wouldn't pay it. Seems reasonable too, unlike the millions asshats normally ask for.

Because its the franchisee being sued, not McDonald's. Maybe this guy has a deductible and doesn't want to lose $7500 worth of income and have his rates increase.
How bad can the burn be if she says that her lost work and medical bills totals $318.00.
 
2010-02-07 12:04:51 PM
It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous.
 
2010-02-07 12:04:53 PM
Pemulis: Before complaining about the original coffee case, read up on it. It's funny how I've barely met a single soul who has ever said that the plaintiff in that case was entitled to anything, yet somehow they found 12 jurors who did. Seems to me that either McDonald's had terrible lawyers (unlikely) or there might have actually been some merit to the claim.

I like to ask them to explain to case to me, acting like I never heard of it before. They almost always have all the facts wrong... she was on her cell phone, speeding down the road, got only minor burns, etc. I love busting them with the facts and seeing how they come up with dumber and dumber justifications why it was totally her fault and McDonald's was the helpless victim.

Quantumbunny: Dafatone: It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.

As she's only asking $7500, I can't imagine why they wouldn't pay it. Seems reasonable too, unlike the millions asshats normally ask for.


McDonald's doesn't want a precedent set to where they can be held responsible. This incident would only cost them $7500 but all of the other incidents where people are too scared to take on such a big company would suddenly seem winnable for the customer.
 
2010-02-07 12:05:21 PM
risc averse: Welcome to Oregon, the new litigation capital of the US. I am a physician and I am currently in the middle of a lawsuit for NOT giving Ritalin to a meth addicted inmate.


Jailhouse lawyers are overly litigious, but often very bad at it. Your insurance company's legal counsel will probably have that suit smacked down in due time.

On topic, I'm drinking coffee, yet no kicks...

/drinks more coffee
 
2010-02-07 12:05:25 PM
Ahem.

Coffee is HOT. If you haven't figured that out yet, you have no business drinking it.
 
2010-02-07 12:05:28 PM
NannyStatePark: That first coffee lawsuit person deserved every penny she got. If I got my clitoris scalded off I'd sue the hell out of someone too.

She spilled the coffee *in her own lap*. F*ck her.
 
2010-02-07 12:06:18 PM
DSanchez: It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous.

It's lewd, salacious, outrageous.
 
2010-02-07 12:06:50 PM
Shoop008: Quantumbunny: As she's only asking $7500, I can't imagine why they wouldn't pay it. Seems reasonable too, unlike the millions asshats normally ask for.

Because its the franchisee being sued, not McDonald's. Maybe this guy has a deductible and doesn't want to lose $7500 worth of income and have his rates increase.
How bad can the burn be if she says that her lost work and medical bills totals $318.00.


A trip to the ER costs more than that for even something simple. I'm guessing she and her attorney are idiots and don't realize that her insurance is going to seek restitution out of any damages awarded, unless her insurance filed for reimbursement separately from this suit.
 
2010-02-07 12:06:50 PM
Had a kid on my burn clinical whose sister accidentally spilled McD's coffee on her. She had second and third degree burns over 60% of her body. It was definitely mental anguish on my part to watch them handle her skin grafts.
 
2010-02-07 12:06:58 PM
RoyHobbs22: I was at a Friendly's once and overheard a lady complaining that her ice cream was too cold. Cool story . . .

I would have struggled to not walk across the aisle and slapped her.
 
2010-02-07 12:08:28 PM
Every time I get coffee at McDonald's it's too hot to drink. Sure I could wait for it to cool, but I wouldn't be eating McDonald's if I weren't in a hurry. They should make it at a temperature maybe 10 degrees F cooler.
 
2010-02-07 12:09:11 PM
OniNeko: ...and I don't get ripped off by being served 75% ice.

Oh, you figured out that McD's, and every other place, has been secretly cutting their coke with ice for years. You should have kept that to yourself, they'll be after you now.
 
2010-02-07 12:10:06 PM
jake3988: Well, it's certainly more reasons than the 'millions' the other old geezer wanted, but it's still too much.

Sue for the medical. Sue for the lost wages. NOTHING ELSE. There's no mental anguish over a bit of coffee, moron.

Get your couple hundred bucks in rewards (and then lose it right back to attorney fees) and STFU.


Once again, not getting what happened in the first one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants

1) McD's had already been told to reduce the temperature of the coffee, and had already had 700 cases of people being burned where they paid $500K out
2) The woman initially sought $20K after getting 3rd degree burns over 6% of her skin and other burns over 16% (11K of medical bills) and McD's offered her $800. After that it was when the lawyers came in, and even then the initial amount the lawyer wanted was $90K.
3) The woman and her lawyer never asked for "millions". The JURY decided they should get them, and in the end the total ended up beng less than 600K
 
2010-02-07 12:10:21 PM
dethmagnetic: Had a kid on my burn clinical whose sister accidentally spilled McD's coffee on her. She had second and third degree burns over 60% of her body. It was definitely mental anguish on my part to watch them handle her skin grafts.

60% of her body? How f*cking big was that cup, 2 gallons?
 
2010-02-07 12:10:22 PM
Ikimasen: st food restaurant. And that they stepped back on the heat after the lawsuit, but have since steadily stepped it up to 180 again. So, I mean,

YEp. If everyone else is serving coffee at 120, and you choose to server yours at 180, which is hot enough to cause deep tissue burning and scarring, then you are causing a potential health hazzard.
 
2010-02-07 12:11:39 PM
The coont is entitled to nada, you have to assume the risk and be smart enough to transfer the cup outside the car window. She sounds like a Darwin product, send her back empty handed.
 
2010-02-07 12:13:08 PM
AntiNorm: dethmagnetic: Had a kid on my burn clinical whose sister accidentally spilled McD's coffee on her. She had second and third degree burns over 60% of her body. It was definitely mental anguish on my part to watch them handle her skin grafts.

60% of her body? How f*cking big was that cup, 2 gallons?


Well, the kid in question was only five or six months old.
 
2010-02-07 12:15:05 PM
WhiteCrane: jake3988: Well, it's certainly more reasons than the 'millions' the other old geezer wanted, but it's still too much.

Sue for the medical. Sue for the lost wages. NOTHING ELSE. There's no mental anguish over a bit of coffee, moron.

Get your couple hundred bucks in rewards (and then lose it right back to attorney fees) and STFU.

Once again, not getting what happened in the first one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants

1) McD's had already been told to reduce the temperature of the coffee, and had already had 700 cases of people being burned where they paid $500K out
2) The woman initially sought $20K after getting 3rd degree burns over 6% of her skin and other burns over 16% (11K of medical bills) and McD's offered her $800. After that it was when the lawyers came in, and even then the initial amount the lawyer wanted was $90K.
3) The woman and her lawyer never asked for "millions". The JURY decided they should get them, and in the end the total ended up beng less than 600K


You know what - screw you with all your pesky "facts" and what-nots. Obviously this woman is anti-american and probably a terrorist who is trying to kill our economy by suing McDonalds which except for serving french fries is the most patriotic business in the US of A. Also too, lawyers all suck and only work for democrats.
 
2010-02-07 12:15:40 PM
OniNeko,

I've asked for no ice in the past and was told they couldn't do that. It might just be the policy of the particular location I always go to, who knows. I was told, "We have to put ice in it".
 
2010-02-07 12:16:25 PM
She has to sue for more than her medical bills ($300). In most states, the court will dismiss it unless it reaches $x, which is usually in the neighborhood of $2,500. Add on a little more to make sure you're well within the limit and attorney fees are covered (most plaintiff lawyers work on contingency), and you've got your foot in the door. If you only sue for medical damages and lost wages, not only will you end up in small claims court which has no enforcement power (can't make McDonalds pay), but you'll lose even more money paying your lawyer.
 
2010-02-07 12:16:47 PM
scott-ty: The coont is entitled to nada, you have to assume the risk and be smart enough to transfer the cup outside the car window. She sounds like a Darwin product, send her back empty handed.

So, if they handed you a cup and the cup collapsed in your hand due to cheap manufacturing and you burned the crap out of your hand, too bad, coffee is hot man.
 
2010-02-07 12:17:44 PM
scott-ty: The coont is entitled to nada, you have to assume the risk and be smart enough to transfer the cup outside the car window. She sounds like a Darwin product, send her back empty handed.

Let me get this straight, oh legal scholar... One assumes a risk of having coffee spilled on them when going through a restaurant drive thru? One further assumes the risk that the coffee is kept at a temperature far exceeding that of the industry standard and is known to be able to cause 2nd degree burns in contact with skin? Really?
 
2010-02-07 12:20:23 PM
Bucephalos: She has to sue for more than her medical bills ($300). In most states, the court will dismiss it unless it reaches $x, which is usually in the neighborhood of $2,500. Add on a little more to make sure you're well within the limit and attorney fees are covered (most plaintiff lawyers work on contingency), and you've got your foot in the door. If you only sue for medical damages and lost wages, not only will you end up in small claims court which has no enforcement power (can't make McDonalds pay), but you'll lose even more money paying your lawyer.

Wow, there is just a whole bunch of wrong in there.
 
2010-02-07 12:21:07 PM
jake3988: Well, it's certainly more reasons than the 'millions' the other old geezer wanted, but it's still too much.

Sue for the medical. Sue for the lost wages. NOTHING ELSE. There's no mental anguish over a bit of coffee, moron.


The old geezer asked for $20k for her medical bills (she had third degree burns to her junk). McDonald's refused. At trial, she didn't even ask for the 'millions' - that was all the work of the jury, who wanted to punish McDonald's for being such assholes.
 
2010-02-07 12:21:44 PM
My experience has been that McD's coffee is served radically too hot. It's so hot you can't even taste it properly when it is first served. I have heard that they do this on purpose so someone can pick up a bunch of coffees at the window and bring them to their crew at the office or worksite 10 miles down the road and they will still be hot.
 
2010-02-07 12:22:57 PM
And yet, Big Doggy Door has not paid for their gross negligence.
 
2010-02-07 12:25:12 PM
NightOwl2255:

Wow, there is just a whole bunch of wrong in there.

Unless you're going for a class action or the injury also violated some statute, I don't think I am wrong.
 
2010-02-07 12:25:18 PM
theotherbilly: OniNeko,

I've asked for no ice in the past and was told they couldn't do that. It might just be the policy of the particular location I always go to, who knows. I was told, "We have to put ice in it".


The franchisee sounds like a miser in this case, but you really do have to protect your right to screw someone out of 75% of the advertised volume of the drink.

You wouldn't catch me at that place twice. Actually, I'm such a prick that I would tell them to cancel the order if they really feel like enforcing such an asinine policy on the first visit and head straight to their competitor.
 
2010-02-07 12:28:17 PM
I had my entire crew go to McDonnellz because we needed a place to go and they tried to not serve us because they were closing in 2 MINUTES!! Welllllll I wasn't having any of that... Link (new window)
 
2010-02-07 12:28:43 PM
It burned this lady bad enough to give her scars? Then they are still keeping their coffee at extremely hot and dangerous temperatures. There is drinkable hot, and there is too damn hot. I can't believe McDonald's is still making coffee too hot for human consumption even after that huge award against them. Damn what does it take to make them monitor the temperature of their coffee better?

In the Stella case, McDonald's served the coffee at roughly 190 degrees. 190 Degree liquid will cause third-degree burns within 2-7 seconds of contact with the skin. Over 700 men, women, and children had been burned prior to Stella's lawsuit. Stella offered to settle with McDonalds just for her medical bills. They refused. Link (new window)

Really, how hot do you make your coffee at home? Most restaurants sell coffee at 135 to 140 degrees. Why can't McDoanld's just lower the temperature a little? (135 degrees is still hot). How stupid is it to insist on keeping it so hot it instantly causes sever burns when spilled?
 
2010-02-07 12:28:51 PM
Nakito: My experience has been that McD's coffee is served radically too hot [...] on purpose so someone can pick up a bunch of coffees at the window and bring them to their crew at the office or worksite 10 miles down the road and they will still be hot.

They do that so they can make more coffee from a given quantity of grounds. It's a cost saving measure that occasionally costs people their genitals.
 
2010-02-07 12:29:17 PM
SilentStrider: What do you mean there's no ice. You mean I have to drink this coffee hot?

Screw you. I wasn't even supposed to be here today.

/the radio ads they play for McD's coffee annoy me to no end
//doesn't matter what size you choose, honey, your boss will only demote you for bringing her crappy coffee
 
2010-02-07 12:29:19 PM
WhiteCrane: 2) The woman initially sought $20K after getting 3rd degree burns over 6% of her skin and other burns over 16% (11K of medical bills)

It doesn't matter how much money she originally asked for, she split the coffee on herself she should not have asked for $1, being hurt more doesn't make it less of an accident. Coffee is hot I often boil the water so it is about 100 Degrees when I drink it (or like 212 F) as long as in it is in liquid form it is still not to hot. I await coffee plasma


the system for determining value of an award is also crap if tom cruise gets more for being called gay then some guy for getting his arm cut off.
 
2010-02-07 12:32:02 PM
Bucephalos: She has to sue for more than her medical bills ($300).

No, she doesn't.

Bucephalos: In most states, the court will dismiss it unless it reaches $x,

Completely wrong.

Bucephalos: If you only sue for medical damages and lost wages, not only will you end up in small claims court

Doens't matter what you're suing for, the only difference between small claims court and superior court is the amount. You almost got this part right.

NightOwl2255: which has no enforcement power (can't make McDonalds pay)

100% wrong.
 
2010-02-07 12:32:55 PM
Zik-Zak: bunner: Dear Ms. Douchesocket,

I move to make this word the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the year.


If they have an online poll, consider it done.
 
2010-02-07 12:35:34 PM
I work in a coffee shop. Most of the spilled-drink incidents I've seen were caused by customers picking up their drinks BY THE LID.

Don't farking do that. The cup sleeves are there for a reason.
 
2010-02-07 12:36:23 PM
If I had a McDonalds Franchise, something like this would never happen.
I would require that hot Beverages would not be available at the drive up window. They would only be available for purchase inside.
 
2010-02-07 12:37:53 PM
Aunt Crabby:
Really, how hot do you make your coffee at home?


A bit over 200 degrees. Hotter than McDonald's.
 
2010-02-07 12:38:35 PM
This selling hotter than the industry standard is a load of crap, coffee from all drip coffee machines is first evaporated so it should be at 210 degrees
 
2010-02-07 12:39:45 PM
big mac with cheese: WhiteCrane: 2) The woman initially sought $20K after getting 3rd degree burns over 6% of her skin and other burns over 16% (11K of medical bills)

It doesn't matter how much money she originally asked for, she split the coffee on herself she should not have asked for $1, being hurt more doesn't make it less of an accident. Coffee is hot I often boil the water so it is about 100 Degrees when I drink it (or like 212 F) as long as in it is in liquid form it is still not to hot. I await coffee plasma


the system for determining value of an award is also crap if tom cruise gets more for being called gay then some guy for getting his arm cut off.


I can tell you're not an American, both from the reference to 100 degrees centigrade and your use of grammar, so allow me to explain a distinction between some different legal systems you may not be aware of:
Contributory negligence is a term for a common law defense to a negligence claim. It is a total defense. Essentially, if a plaintiff is at all responsible - even 1% - the entire claim is dismissed. This is what you seem to be suggesting above.
Comparative negligence or non-absolute contributory negligence is where the plaintiff's negligence reduces the damage award. If the plaintiff is 10% responsible, the damages are reduced by 10%. If the plaintiff is 40% responsible, the damages are reduced by 40%.
There is also a hybrid system, in which if the plaintiff is more responsible than the defendant - i.e. 51% or higher - then the entire claim is dismissed.

The majority of states use the comparative negligence scheme. The McDonald's geezer had her damages claim reduced due to her own negligence.

Very few states use contributory negligence, the system you suggest, and only the very backward states like Alabama and Virginia. A plaintiff can almost always be found to be 1% negligent: I'm lazy and refuse to break up the ice on my porch stairs or put out ice melt. You slip and break your hip. But wait - you weren't wearing boots with heavy cleats. It's the winter, a reasonable person wears boots with heavy cleats. 1% negligent, so you get nothing.
This is why it has been almost completely abandoned. It's a system that only benefits wealthy defendants who can hire good lawyers.
 
2010-02-07 12:40:42 PM
You're just taking issue with the way I phrased it. My point was, suing for $7,500 is good strategy.
 
2010-02-07 12:42:02 PM
The original case was won because it was discovered that McDonalds brewed their coffee to a temperature that was at least 30 to 50 degrees higher than other coffee sellers do.

McDonalds strategy was to ensure that the coffee was still very hot when you arrive at work or wherever it was you were going. At the temperature it is served there is really no way anyone could drink it.

The reason why the lawsuit was so large falls under the idea of punitive damages. McDonalds had had other complaints about super heated coffee and had done nothing about it.

In most cases the fastest way to get a company to do anything is to hit them in the wallet. Punitive damages increase exponentially if corrective action isn't taken.

Since then, McDonalds lowered the serving temperature of their coffee to something that won't immediately take all of the skin off of your inner thighs. The burns that lady suffered were not minor, she lost all of the skin on her inner thighs.

The corporate apologists did a fantastic job of getting people to be sympathetic to McDonalds.
 
2010-02-07 12:42:24 PM
big mac with cheese: This selling hotter than the industry standard is a load of crap

It's true, because industry standards are only barely relevant to negligence. Consider if the industry standard was to save money and not purchase hard hats or fall arresters for construction workers. I'm sure a lot of construction companies would gladly save the money. Similarly, many coal mine companies would happily save money on bracing walls so carefully. And surgeons would like to save time and hassle by not bothering to count and recount their sponges. Yes, let's allow profit-driven industries to determine their own standards of negligence. That's fookin' brilliant.
 
2010-02-07 12:42:25 PM
tbyte: Aunt Crabby:
Really, how hot do you make your coffee at home?

A bit over 200 degrees. Hotter than McDonald's.


Then if you get burned it's your own problem. However if the industry standard is 135 degrees (and that is hot) and 190 causes 3rd degree burns within 2 seconds (how is your tongue and throat doing?) then McDonald's should follow the industry standard, especially after multiple severe burn complaints.
 
2010-02-07 12:43:37 PM
DevideByZer0: The original case was won because... McDonalds had had other complaints about super heated coffee and had done nothing about it.

FTFY. It was that behavior that had put them on notice for negligence. The industry standards are a red herring.
 
2010-02-07 12:44:10 PM
Aunt Crabby: tbyte: Aunt Crabby:
Really, how hot do you make your coffee at home?

A bit over 200 degrees. Hotter than McDonald's.

Then if you get burned it's your own problem. However if the industry standard is 135 degrees (and that is hot) and 190 causes 3rd degree burns within 2 seconds (how is your tongue and throat doing?) then McDonald's should follow the industry standard, especially after multiple severe burn complaints.


They do follow the industry standard. As do I.
 
2010-02-07 12:44:10 PM
big mac with cheese: This selling hotter than the industry standard is a load of crap, coffee from all drip coffee machines is first evaporated so it should be at 210 degrees

Um, no (new window). You're completely wrong, and if you regularly drank your coffee at 200 degrees, you'd have no taste buds left.
 
SH
2010-02-07 12:44:17 PM
Nothing funnier than a thread full of semi-retarded internet lawyers.
 
2010-02-07 12:45:04 PM
big mac with cheese: This selling hotter than the industry standard is a load of crap, coffee from all drip coffee machines is first evaporated so it should be at 210 degrees

when it is being made or when it is served?
 
2010-02-07 12:45:14 PM
Aunt Crabby: However if the industry standard is 135 degrees (and that is hot) and 190 causes 3rd degree burns within 2 seconds (how is your tongue and throat doing?) then McDonald's should follow the industry standard, especially after multiple severe burn complaints.

What if the industry standard was "served in a high-pressure sealed container so that the water temperature can hit 500 degrees without boiling"? Would that absolve them of claims of negligence?
Nope. Industry standard is the floor for negligence, not the ceiling. Compliance with the standard isn't a defense.
 
2010-02-07 12:46:01 PM
doglover: It's the also seeking "Pain and anguish" damages that make me want to keel haul her.

Is it 'pain and anguish' for continuously being held up as an erroneous example of a legal system run amok when McDonald's was clearly in the wrong?

Cause I'm usually suspicious of pain and anguish claims, but in an age of Google, I think that lady might be entitled to something for all the mocking she's probably endured.

While having burns in someplace very uncomfortable, no less.

/back of a voltswagon
 
2010-02-07 12:47:07 PM
StreetlightInTheGhetto: doglover: It's the also seeking "Pain and anguish" damages that make me want to keel haul her.

Is it 'pain and anguish' for continuously being held up as an erroneous example of a legal system run amok when McDonald's was clearly in the wrong?

Cause I'm usually suspicious of pain and anguish claims, but in an age of Google, I think that lady might be entitled to something for all the mocking she's probably endured.

While having burns in someplace very uncomfortable, no less.

/back of a voltswagon


IIRC, she died before the age of Google.
 
2010-02-07 12:51:11 PM
risc averse:

Idiocy abounds here. ...

This state used to be cool. Now it sucks major a$$.

We are leaving.




I can only second your insight that idiocy abounds here.

Oregon remains the only place where I've been where you regularly see people riding their bicycles on the interstate.
 
2010-02-07 12:51:20 PM
Here's a short writeup that explains the previous incident that made the news in 2001:
Link (new window)

Here are the major points:

-The coffee was not hot. It was retardedly hot. The coffee was around 85°. Normal household coffee is about 60°.
During discovery, more than 700 claims from other people burned by McDonald's scalding coffee were produced.
-The jury found Liebeck 20% at fault in the spill.
-The judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful. I called them a bunch of greedy pricks with no concern for their customers.
 
2010-02-07 12:53:18 PM
I love trial lawyers. To persist in your calling when you are slandered, vilified and ostracized is noble, and I might actually need one of you one day. If you get a cut good for you.

Fight tort reform and protect the power of the people. It's not ok for McD's to continue to abuse people. I'm boycotting their asses. Spicy McChickens aren't that good. Chick Fil-A FTW!

/I'm really not trolling
 
2010-02-07 12:54:45 PM
Blade Danger: Here's a short writeup that explains the previous incident that made the news in 2001:
Link (new window)

Here are the major points:

-The coffee was not hot. It was retardedly hot. The coffee was around 85°. Normal household coffee is about 60°.
During discovery, more than 700 claims from other people burned by McDonald's scalding coffee were produced.
-The jury found Liebeck 20% at fault in the spill.
-The judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful. I called them a bunch of greedy pricks with no concern for their customers.


Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??
 
2010-02-07 12:56:24 PM
Pemulis: yet somehow they found 12 jurors who did.

12 jurors found O.J. not guilty.
 
2010-02-07 12:56:42 PM
if the coffee spilled while the employee was handing it to her, then she has a case. If it happened after the transfer occurred, probably not. At least she isn't seeking millions.
 
2010-02-07 01:01:40 PM
Curious: Pemulis: yet somehow they found 12 jurors who did.

12 jurors found O.J. not guilty.


Difference between civil and criminal liability, for the win.
 
2010-02-07 01:02:22 PM
tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.
 
2010-02-07 01:02:45 PM
Theaetetus:

I can tell you're not an American, both from the reference to 100 degrees centigrade and your use of grammar, so allow me to explain a distinction between some different legal systems you may not be aware of:
Contributory negligence is a term for a common law defense to a negligence claim. It is a total defense. Essentially, if a plaintiff is at all responsible - even 1% - the entire claim is dismissed. This is what you seem to be suggesting above.
Comparative negligence or non-absolute contributory negligence is where the plaintiff's negligence reduces the damage award. If the plaintiff is 10% responsible, the damages are reduced by 10%. If the plaintiff is 40% responsible, the damages are reduced by 40%.
There is also a hybrid system, in which if the plaintiff is more responsible than the defendant - i.e. 51% or higher - then the entire claim is dismissed.

The majority of states use the comparative negligence scheme. The McDonald's geezer had her damages claim reduced due to her own negligence.

Very few states use contributory negligence, the system you suggest, and only the very backward states like Alabama and Virginia. A plaintiff can almost always be found to be 1% negligent: I'm lazy and refuse to break up the ice on my porch stairs or put out ice melt. You slip and break your hip. But wait - you weren't wearing boots with heavy cleats. It's the winter, a reasonable person wears boots with heavy cleats. 1% negligent, so you get nothing.
This is why it has been almost completely abandoned. It's a system that only benefits wealthy defendants who can hire good lawyers.


You misunderstood me it should be 0% McDonald's fault, its an accident just because it is not one persons fault does not mean it is someone else's FilmBELOH20: big mac with cheese: This selling hotter than the industry standard is a load of crap, coffee from all drip coffee machines is first evaporated so it should be at 210 degrees

Um, no (new window). You're completely wrong, and if you regularly drank your coffee at 200 degrees, you'd have no taste buds left.


The link says that the coffee is evaporated (thus heated to boiling point) sure it cools a bit before you serve it but most people drink it pretty fresh, also the milk and stuff will cool it, just like a chain restaurant prepares for.
 
2010-02-07 01:03:29 PM
Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.


Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.
 
2010-02-07 01:06:18 PM
www.anecdotoff.com

She can sue them over hot coffee? Why can't I sue them for this??
 
2010-02-07 01:07:49 PM
tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.

Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.


[facepalm]
 
2010-02-07 01:08:28 PM
StreetlightInTheGhetto: tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.

Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.

[facepalm]


Another person who doesn't drink coffee I suppose.
 
2010-02-07 01:08:42 PM
tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.

Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.


You love slobbering the knob of "industry standards," so here's a gift for you:
* DRINKING TEMPERATURE

High quality coffee should be 140 F (60 C) and no more than 160 F (71 C) when consumed. Hotter coffee will diminish the ability of the taste receptor cells to sense properly. The sensory capacity decreases rapidly with the rise in temperature of the infusion. One of the main reasons Americans have developed the habit of drinking coffee so hot is the poor quality of coffee that has been sold in the past.


Want another?
www.accuratebuilding.com

It's supposed to be brewed hotter, but not served at that temperature.
 
2010-02-07 01:10:40 PM
Theaetetus: tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.

Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.

You love slobbering the knob of "industry standards," so here's a gift for you:
* DRINKING TEMPERATURE

High quality coffee should be 140 F (60 C) and no more than 160 F (71 C) when consumed. Hotter coffee will diminish the ability of the taste receptor cells to sense properly. The sensory capacity decreases rapidly with the rise in temperature of the infusion. One of the main reasons Americans have developed the habit of drinking coffee so hot is the poor quality of coffee that has been sold in the past.

Want another?


It's supposed to be brewed hotter, but not served at that temperature.


It's supposed to be served around 185. If you want it colder, then fine, have fun with your shiat-tasting coffee but let the grown-ups have theirs hot.
 
2010-02-07 01:12:25 PM
tbyte: StreetlightInTheGhetto: tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.

Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.

[facepalm]

Another person who doesn't drink coffee I suppose.


No, I do. I also have a properly made coffee obsessed boyfriend. I'd spell it out for you, but I see Theaetetus has beaten me to it.

Brewing temp != Serving temp, for starters.
 
2010-02-07 01:12:59 PM
tbyte: It's supposed to be served around 185. If you want it colder, then fine, have fun with your shiat-tasting coffee but let the grown-ups have theirs hot.

Know how I know you didn't read any of what you quoted?
Enjoy your shiat quality coffee that has to be that hot so you can't taste it. You know, the crap you get at McDonald's.
 
2010-02-07 01:13:09 PM
StreetlightInTheGhetto: tbyte: StreetlightInTheGhetto: tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??

Person who doesn't understand difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, for the loss.

Person who doesn't understand coffee for the lose. 60 degrees is cold for coffee.

[facepalm]

Another person who doesn't drink coffee I suppose.

No, I do. I also have a properly made coffee obsessed boyfriend. I'd spell it out for you, but I see Theaetetus has beaten me to it.

Brewing temp != Serving temp, for starters.


Of course it doesn't, brewing temp should be at least 200. Then it should be held 20 degrees lower.
 
2010-02-07 01:13:33 PM
tbyte: have fun with your shiat-tasting coffee but let the grown-ups have theirs hot.

Cool. I'll have fun *tasting* my coffee.
 
2010-02-07 01:13:40 PM
Pemulis: Before complaining about the original coffee case, read up on it. It's funny how I've barely met a single soul who has ever said that the plaintiff in that case was entitled to anything, yet somehow they found 12 jurors who did. Seems to me that either McDonalds had terrible lawyers (unlikely) or there might have actually been some merit to the claim.

In the original case, McDonalds had been cited several times by the local health department, but refused to replace the broken temperature regulator on the coffee maker. When the woman had 2nd and 3rd degree burns, the judge felt the refusal to fix the problem meant McDonalds was guilty of willful neglect and punitive damages were aapropriate.
 
2010-02-07 01:14:39 PM
tbyte: Of course it doesn't, brewing temp should be at least 200. Then it should be held 20 degrees lower.

and then...?

Poured into a room-temperature ceramic cup, receive chilled cream or milk, stirred and finally drank at approximately 140-160 degrees.
 
2010-02-07 01:15:01 PM
Ikimasen: I know I read that the lady from the first case got 3rd degree burns, and those in a rather sensitive area. A lot of similar cases had been thrown out, but that lady got her case through for similar reasons, medical bills and lost wages. And I also know that McDonald's had been serving their coffee at 180 degrees, which is like 20 degrees hotter than any other fast food restaurant. And that they stepped back on the heat after the lawsuit, but have since steadily stepped it up to 180 again. So, I mean, if they didn't learn anything from the first one where they burned up some old lady's crotch, screw 'em.

The old McDonalds case had some grounds but was still stupid. They served it at 180, but coffee brews at closer to 200, it's the act of waiting for the full brew cycle that let the coffee cool to 180 in the glass pot. The woman in that case biatched at the cashier that she was in a hurry and just give her coffee straight from the poor, so the cashier did. Well the coffee was farking hot and she spilled it in her own lap when she was trying to add sugar.

A huge part of the reason coffee is served so hot is that nearly as much is sold to be taken back to the jobsite for the other guys on the crew as was sold for the buyer to drink. After that lawsuit the Hardee's I worked at got so many complaints about cold coffee because we had to turn down the warmers.

Besides how can Starbucks never get sued for this? I don't drink it often, but I'm betting at least once out of every 4 or 5 visits the lid isn't secure.
 
2010-02-07 01:15:33 PM
Let me inject some anecdotal experience into this, currently working in a coffeeshop and whatnot:

Coffee that is ~180 degrees is not something that is unheard of, odd, malicious, or anything. The water that spouts out of industrial machines is, more often than not, around 200 degrees. If you get a hot tea from such a store that uses water from the same machine/source, it's also probably going to be 200 degree water. Obviously it cools down a bit immediately as it pours, and more and more over time. If you get a coffee out of one of those machines that has JUST been brewed, it's going to probably be around 180 degrees. This is not some unknown, hidden, secretive fact that managers and coffee heads furtively pass to each other in memos and whispers like the nicotine = cancer tobacco company fiasco of yesteryear. Hell, I've had people complain that the coffee still isn't hot enough at that temperature!

It's also well-known that this water/coffee will cause massive painful burns if you spill it on yourself. I definitely should know, I've done it enough to myself, as has almost anyone who's worked in coffee. I find it kind of amusing when people breathlessly talk of how that the woman got 3rd degree burns (gasp! shock! horror!). If you don't/can't immediately run the skin under cold water and apply first aid, it's going to be very very bad. I've had coworkers who were out of work for weeks because they dropped a coffee urn and had the scalding liquid splash all over their legs or arms or so on and cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns. It's nothing new, nothing special, nothing out-of-place. Shiat happens.

All of that said...in this case, the woman should probably win, if everything in the story is true, but only because the employee was negligent and didn't put the lid on right. She's not asking for an extraordinary amount.
 
2010-02-07 01:15:36 PM
yet another BS law suit clogging up our corrupt and bankrupt legal system.

Think about it - at the drive thru window the person working there never sticks their arms out far enough to be "inside your car", clearly this woman it just a clumsy whore who's incapable of handling a cup of coffee. 5 dollars says that if it had not spilled, she would have been driving down the street while trying to drink it.

If you order hot coffee it's going to be hot. This world is already so dumbed down and kiddie proofed as it is.

The stupid part is, its only 7500 dollars, she will probably get the payout just to make this whole thing go away.
 
2010-02-07 01:16:55 PM
tbyte: Aunt Crabby: tbyte: Aunt Crabby:
Really, how hot do you make your coffee at home?

A bit over 200 degrees. Hotter than McDonald's.

Then if you get burned it's your own problem. However if the industry standard is 135 degrees (and that is hot) and 190 causes 3rd degree burns within 2 seconds (how is your tongue and throat doing?) then McDonald's should follow the industry standard, especially after multiple severe burn complaints.

They do follow the industry standard. As do I.


If in fact the industry standard is to serve coffee scalding hot, then the industry may be facing more law suites.

Maybe the information I read about the law student who found other local restauruants served coffee about 20 degrees below the coffee temperature at which McDonald's coffee is poured is incorrect. Maybe those who say the industry standards issue is a red herring are correct. I still don't understand how you could get "optimal flavor" from a temperature that will burn your skin off in less then 2 seconds. How do you taste anything when your mouth and taste buds have been scalded?

Even if you convince me the entire industry does as you do (and maybe you are right), I would still think it inherently dangerous to serve coffee at temperatures that can cause 3rd degree burns in 2 seconds. 135 degrees is still hot. Why not go with the safer, non scalding hot?
 
2010-02-07 01:17:04 PM
Hey, look... more industry standards for tbyte:

Calculating the optimum temperature for serving hot beverages.
Brown F, Diller KR.


The preferred drinking temperature of coffee is specified in the literature as 140+/-15 degrees F (60+/-8.3 degrees C) for a population of 300 subjects. A linear (with respect to temperature) figure of merit merged the two effects to identify an optimal drinking temperature of approximately 136 degrees F (57.8 degrees C). The analysis points to a reduction in the presently recommended serving temperature of coffee to achieve the combined result of reducing the scald burn hazard and improving customer satisfaction.
 
2010-02-07 01:17:38 PM
TheEtherBunny: If the burn requires surgery, it's a real sue-worthy burn. Otherwise, it's just red skin and STFU worthy.

Let's see if you still feel that way when that "just red skin" is your balls.
 
2010-02-07 01:17:50 PM
tbyte: It's surprising how well you can troll by acting like an idiot. Keep up the good work.
 
2010-02-07 01:18:00 PM
Oh, also I wanna add that in the first case McDonalds certainly didn't help themselves with trying to hide certain facts of the case like the other scald complaints. But let's keep some perspective here: just because a jury ruled them mostly negligent doesn't mean 100% that McDs was in the wrong. I think we all know by now that juries aren't always right, fair, unbiased, or informed. So whatever.
 
2010-02-07 01:20:08 PM
accelerus: yet another BS law suit clogging up our corrupt and bankrupt legal system.

Think about it - at the drive thru window the person working there never sticks their arms out far enough to be "inside your car", clearly this woman it just a clumsy whore who's incapable of handling a cup of coffee. 5 dollars says that if it had not spilled, she would have been driving down the street while trying to drink it.

If you order hot coffee it's going to be hot. This world is already so dumbed down and kiddie proofed as it is.

The stupid part is, its only 7500 dollars, she will probably get the payout just to make this whole thing go away.


So you think "a jury of your peers" is corrupt and morally bankrupt. I guess you live in the woods with some guns and large dogs. I'm not hating, I'm considering it myself...so the evil corporations can't exploit my ass anymore than they already do.
 
2010-02-07 01:20:41 PM
I think there's more to this story.
If the lid was put loosely, there is little chance she would spill enough on her to put her into shock if she were holding the cup properly. my guess is that when the clerk handed it to her, she grabbed it by the lid, at which point the whole thing spilled.

Protip: don't hold your coffee by the lid only.

/angry wonka: "You get NOTHING"
 
2010-02-07 01:22:20 PM
WhiteCrane: jake3988: Well, it's certainly more reasons than the 'millions' the other old geezer wanted, but it's still too much.

Sue for the medical. Sue for the lost wages. NOTHING ELSE. There's no mental anguish over a bit of coffee, moron.

Get your couple hundred bucks in rewards (and then lose it right back to attorney fees) and STFU.

Once again, not getting what happened in the first one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants

1) McD's had already been told to reduce the temperature of the coffee, and had already had 700 cases of people being burned where they paid $500K out
2) The woman initially sought $20K after getting 3rd degree burns over 6% of her skin and other burns over 16% (11K of medical bills) and McD's offered her $800. After that it was when the lawyers came in, and even then the initial amount the lawyer wanted was $90K.
3) The woman and her lawyer never asked for "millions". The JURY decided they should get them, and in the end the total ended up beng less than 600K


This!
 
2010-02-07 01:23:23 PM
Theaetetus: Aunt Crabby: However if the industry standard is 135 degrees (and that is hot) and 190 causes 3rd degree burns within 2 seconds (how is your tongue and throat doing?) then McDonald's should follow the industry standard, especially after multiple severe burn complaints.

What if the industry standard was "served in a high-pressure sealed container so that the water temperature can hit 500 degrees without boiling"? Would that absolve them of claims of negligence?
Nope. Industry standard is the floor for negligence, not the ceiling. Compliance with the standard isn't a defense.


Fair enough. I wasn't really meaning to make it a defense. I just thought that they failed even at industry standards. I was going by the report I read that said a law clerk had tested the temperature at other local restauruants and found it to be 20 degrees less than McDonald. I didn't mean to imply that if the entire industry served their coffee dangerously hot it would be a defense.

I admit that I now see lots of big corporate defense of the super hot temperatures as a standard. I don't understand why they want it so super hot, but I see that some do. Regardless, if it can cause 3rd degree burns in 2 seconds, it is a dangerous practice.
 
2010-02-07 01:26:12 PM
tbyte: Blade Danger: Here's a short writeup that explains the previous incident that made the news in 2001:
Link (new window)

Here are the major points:

-The coffee was not hot. It was retardedly hot. The coffee was around 85°. Normal household coffee is about 60°.
During discovery, more than 700 claims from other people burned by McDonald's scalding coffee were produced.
-The jury found Liebeck 20% at fault in the spill.
-The judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful. I called them a bunch of greedy pricks with no concern for their customers.

Normal household coffee is not 60 degrees. I wouldn't drink that shiat. What manufacturer makes a machine that cold??


Maybe some people are using Celsius and others are using Fahrenheit?
 
2010-02-07 01:35:49 PM
ricbach229: A huge part of the reason coffee is served so hot is that nearly as much is sold to be taken back to the jobsite for the other guys on the crew as was sold for the buyer to drink. After that lawsuit the Hardee's I worked at got so many complaints about cold coffee because we had to turn down the warmers.

My uncles who work on sites always had heavy hardcore thermos bottles they poured the coffee into. Once it was in there it took a relatively long time for it to lose any more heat. [shrug]
 
2010-02-07 01:36:52 PM
wyltoknow: Let me inject some anecdotal experience into this, currently working in a coffeeshop and whatnot:

Coffee that is ~180 degrees is not something that is unheard of, odd, malicious, or anything. The water that spouts out of industrial machines is, more often than not, around 200 degrees. If you get a hot tea from such a store that uses water from the same machine/source, it's also probably going to be 200 degree water. Obviously it cools down a bit immediately as it pours, and more and more over time. If you get a coffee out of one of those machines that has JUST been brewed, it's going to probably be around 180 degrees. This is not some unknown, hidden, secretive fact that managers and coffee heads furtively pass to each other in memos and whispers like the nicotine = cancer tobacco company fiasco of yesteryear. Hell, I've had people complain that the coffee still isn't hot enough at that temperature!

It's also well-known that this water/coffee will cause massive painful burns if you spill it on yourself. I definitely should know, I've done it enough to myself, as has almost anyone who's worked in coffee. I find it kind of amusing when people breathlessly talk of how that the woman got 3rd degree burns (gasp! shock! horror!). If you don't/can't immediately run the skin under cold water and apply first aid, it's going to be very very bad. I've had coworkers who were out of work for weeks because they dropped a coffee urn and had the scalding liquid splash all over their legs or arms or so on and cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns. It's nothing new, nothing special, nothing out-of-place. Shiat happens.


This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works. Anyway, McDonald's would probably be better off settling. If the woman wants $7500, and there is even a 10% chance that the jury will be made up mostly of the WARRRGARBLE CORPORATIONS ARE TOO RICH AND COFFEE IS TOO HOT crowd that will give her $600,000, settling for the $7500 will pay for itself several times over.
 
2010-02-07 01:37:13 PM
I personally think she has a case. Since the 1992 case, MdDonald's standards their coffee temps at non-scalding temperatures - I know, I worked for them for five years and routinely splashed myself with hot coffee, including, once, an entire pot of freshly brewed coffee all over my hand and arm. Very mild first degree burn, nothing more.

So. Scarring on her leg should be easy to confirm as well as establishing the date of that injury (assuming she visited an ER). If scarring resulted from the coffee, then it was indeed too hot. Even normal home coffeemakers don't make coffee hot enough to scar.

The loose lid thing is a problem. When a worker pours, lids, and hands out several hundred cups of coffee, loose lids can happen now and then. To make matters worse, the current design of McDonald's cups and lids are frankly fairly difficult to put a good seal on. They could do better - and save money - using the standard cardboard cups and white sip lids found in bodegas everywhere.

$7200 in punitive damages for the mis-calibrated coffee machines (supposed to be checked regularly), failure of management and employees both to notice the coffee is hotter than standard, and failure of employee to double-check the coffee lid seal before handing to a customer. I think reasonable. This is not an exorbitant amount.

What cannot enter the case, but most probably contributed, is the almost universal attitude problem among current McDonald's workers. Sheerly my opinion here, but most of them make it clear that serving you is not their number one priority. Talking to each other and texting on their phones is.
 
2010-02-07 01:38:58 PM
tbyte: This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works.

Not according to the scientific studies and industry standards posted above, just your own unsupported anecdotes. Maybe it's you?
 
2010-02-07 01:39:00 PM
tbyte: settling for the $7500 will pay for itself several times over.

Well, that and they'll pay more than that just to take the case to court in lawyer's fees. Those fees are non-recoupable loss, plain and simple. McDonald's comes out ahead here by saying, "yeah, our bad; sorry."
 
2010-02-07 01:39:04 PM
NannyStatePark: So you think "a jury of your peers" is corrupt and morally bankrupt. I guess you live in the woods with some guns and large dogs. I'm not hating, I'm considering it myself...so the evil corporations can't exploit my ass anymore than they already do

I think juries are probably statistically lower on the IQ scale than the general populace, since the smarter folks are more likely to have jobs they can use as an excuse / are smart enough to get out of it some other way.

My professor got called up for jury duty when I was in his class. He made arrangements, got other profs to take over lectures, etc., just in case he was chosen, even though he could have easily got out of it. Have to give him props for that.

Never have gotten a notice myself.
 
2010-02-07 01:40:49 PM
Theaetetus: tbyte: This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works.

Not according to the scientific studies and industry standards posted above, just your own unsupported anecdotes. Maybe it's you?


If I bother to prove you wrong about industry standards, you just take a left turn and say "Industry standards are B.S. and don't matter shut up about them"
 
2010-02-07 01:47:25 PM
Mr. Coffee Nerves: They should test the coffee temperature by throwing it in the face of the "not before I've had my coffee" hipster douche in the commercials.

I second this.

dethmagnetic: Had a kid on my burn clinical whose sister accidentally spilled McD's coffee on her. She had second and third degree burns over 60% of her body. It was definitely mental anguish on my part to watch them handle her skin grafts.

So she spilled like an entire vat of coffee on herself? She must have gotten the Supersize.
 
2010-02-07 01:49:53 PM
tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works.

Not according to the scientific studies and industry standards posted above, just your own unsupported anecdotes. Maybe it's you?

If I bother to prove you wrong about industry standards, you just take a left turn and say "Industry standards are B.S. and don't matter shut up about them"


I know, that's the funny part...
You keep saying "but industry standards, but industry standards!" and I proved that they don't say what you claim they say. And they're still irrelevant. It's like a big pile of double-fail.
 
2010-02-07 01:52:53 PM
tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works.

Not according to the scientific studies and industry standards posted above, just your own unsupported anecdotes. Maybe it's you?

If I bother to prove you wrong about industry standards, you just take a left turn and say "Industry standards are B.S. and don't matter shut up about them"


As another poster noted, industry standards are a floor, not a ceiling. Failing to meet industry standard is evidence of negligence. Meeting it does not mean there was no negligence. If some business are serving coffee at 135-140, all business could do it. I had information that said the industry standard was 135. Other information says it is higher. Regardless, a safe temperature for a business to serve coffee is 135-140. That is still hot coffee. If you have hundreds of prior burn complaints and ignore them, it is no defense to say "everyone knows out coffee is very hot--we burn our own employees all the time!". They can easily lower the temperature like some other restauruants do. It can be hot without being dangerously hot.
 
2010-02-07 01:53:11 PM
Theaetetus: tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works.

Not according to the scientific studies and industry standards posted above, just your own unsupported anecdotes. Maybe it's you?

If I bother to prove you wrong about industry standards, you just take a left turn and say "Industry standards are B.S. and don't matter shut up about them"

I know, that's the funny part...
You keep saying "but industry standards, but industry standards!" and I proved that they don't say what you claim they say. And they're still irrelevant. It's like a big pile of double-fail.


What else is funny is that you like to claim you proved stuff by showing an unrelated graph from some- I donno, looks like a construction company. Check what trade associations and other coffee shops have to say instead if you want to argue about industry standards. But you already know you're wrong so you didn't.
 
2010-02-07 01:58:36 PM
Aunt Crabby: tbyte: Theaetetus: tbyte: This. It isn't some abnormally high temperature, it's just how coffee works.

Not according to the scientific studies and industry standards posted above, just your own unsupported anecdotes. Maybe it's you?

If I bother to prove you wrong about industry standards, you just take a left turn and say "Industry standards are B.S. and don't matter shut up about them"

As another poster noted, industry standards are a floor, not a ceiling. Failing to meet industry standard is evidence of negligence. Meeting it does not mean there was no negligence. If some business are serving coffee at 135-140, all business could do it. I had information that said the industry standard was 135. Other information says it is higher. Regardless, a safe temperature for a business to serve coffee is 135-140. That is still hot coffee. If you have hundreds of prior burn complaints and ignore them, it is no defense to say "everyone knows out coffee is very hot--we burn our own employees all the time!". They can easily lower the temperature like some other restauruants do. It can be hot without being dangerously hot.


You may find 135 degrees to be hot, others may not. There is a market for hotter coffee, that's pretty much undeniable. Why should those customers suffer because of the stupidity of other customers who open cups of coffee in their crotch in the car and spill it? Anyway, going by that graph from the construction company, 140 degrees would still cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
 
2010-02-07 02:02:43 PM
The second I take a sip of any hot drink and it burns my lips or my tongue I make it a point to remember that the person or place that served me keeps their beverages at a temperature that high enough that after I let it cool it will be able to reach its peak temperature to taste ratio.

I also hold myself responsible for not testing the temperature first. By mixing my saliva with the dink I can roughly gauge the temperature of the rest of the contents of the container without causing injury to myself. Depending on the container, I can even get a rough estimate of the temperature of the liquid based on how hot it is to hold in my hand.

I believe that the second something is in my hands, I am responsible for what I do with it. If don't want that responsibility I don't ask for it nor accept someone offering it to me. If a company worth billions of dollars causes me to lose any function of any part of my body, including the protective function of skin, I will have no qualms suing them for millions.

If they begin to charge more money for everything they sell, then it could be said that the money I took was from their other customers. Honestly though, I think I would have the character and wisdom to put that money towards more productive and responsible investments than the other customers anyway.

Yada yada... benevolence and altruism. Peace!
 
2010-02-07 02:04:49 PM
tbyte: It's supposed to be served around 185. If you want it colder, then fine, have fun with your shiat-tasting coffee but let the grown-ups have theirs hot.

Don't forget that coffee that's too cold can be just as dangerous. For example, if you try to serve me coffee under 180 degrees you're going to get a punch in the face. Don't fark with my coffee. I just made some French press, and tested the result after I poured it into a mug: 193 degrees F. You need the high temperature to properly release the volatile aromas. You sip it carefully, blowing across the top of the cup to bring it to an acceptable temperature to ensure you don't scald your face off. And, of course, you need to be smart enough not to dump it on yourself.
 
2010-02-07 02:05:44 PM
Easy solution: if/whenever I go to McDonalds, I ask for 4 ice cubes in my coffee. It's always too hot, but that brings the temp down nicely. I tend to like my coffee just a couple notches above lukewarm, anyway.

I like the idea of four little ice cubes over dealing with legal stupidity.
 
2010-02-07 02:05:52 PM
So can I throw a Slurpee on myself and then sue for frost-bite?
 
2010-02-07 02:30:16 PM
My girlfriend saw this and said, "I want someone to sue them because their coffee was lukewarm."
 
2010-02-07 02:30:44 PM
it's been alluded to before, but the amount in controversy, $7500, was chosen for a reason. In many jurisdictions, that's the minimum amount to sue in Superior Court (i.e., have a jury trial with all the pomp and circumstances of motions, discovery, etc...thus, tons of defense lawyer fees). Any less than $7500 would relegate it to magistrate court (aka small claims court) where the plaintiff would only have a bench trial with a judge.

/2L
//some cred.
 
2010-02-07 02:36:24 PM
Why not McD's sue her for being a retard and wasting tax payer money via frivolous litigation.
 
2010-02-07 03:09:43 PM
I used to work in a deli, and when we made lattes and stuff we'd serve them at about 140 degrees, and around 120 if it was a hot chocolate for a kid. 180, if that's what McDs is doing, is really hot!
 
2010-02-07 03:13:38 PM
Prank Call of Cthulhu: Don't forget that coffee that's too cold can be just as dangerous. For example, if you try to serve me coffee under 180 degrees you're going to get a punch in the face.

You've got the meanest, toughest, most dangerous pixels on this entire web page.
 
2010-02-07 03:15:19 PM
The English Major: My girlfriend saw this and said, "I want someone to sue them because their coffee was lukewarm."

There's nothing dangerous about lukewarm coffee. What kind of english major are you?
 
2010-02-07 03:16:27 PM
I've been handled hot beverages, with loose lids. Guess what, i'm not a dumbass that doesn't pay attention. I've prevented spills in every case.

It's the "child proof cap" issue, those idiots should have been dead when they took their first sip of drain-o.
 
2010-02-07 03:36:21 PM
I like my coffee like I like my women - hot. My complaint is that coffee is never hot enough when you get it on the outside.
 
2010-02-07 03:36:35 PM
DevideByZer0: The English Major: My girlfriend saw this and said, "I want someone to sue them because their coffee was lukewarm."

There's nothing dangerous about lukewarm coffee. What kind of english major are you?


"My coffee wasn't hot enough. They shouldn't serve room temperature coffee. I'M GOING TO SUE!" That was her point; coffee's supposed to be hot, and shiat like this happens and it's another lawsuit. But, if your coffee is substandard...look, it wasn't my joke.

/having coffee now
//and it's hot and fresh
 
2010-02-07 03:36:58 PM
sezzme: Easy solution: if/whenever I go to McDonalds, I ask for 4 ice cubes in my coffee. It's always too hot, but that brings the temp down nicely. I tend to like my coffee just a couple notches above lukewarm, anyway.

I like the idea of four little ice cubes over dealing with legal stupidity.


My parents do that too with the ice cubes. I don't drink coffee but I like hot chocolate so I stick with the local coffee shop that makes it a drinkable temperature when I get it. I'm not waiting 15 minutes for the damn thing to cool down so I don't remove all the skin off my tongue and the inside of my mouth.
 
2010-02-07 03:46:46 PM
This state used to be cool. Now it sucks major a$$.

We are leaving.


Don't let the door hit you on the way out, whiners.
 
2010-02-07 03:57:59 PM
Someone with more energy than I should (may have already) recounted the original case. I too on first glance thought it seemed petty. Turns out MickeyD was the villian, as the old lady who was seriously injured only wanted them to reduce the temp. of the coffee. McD wouldn't due to hotter water = higher yield from their coffee.

Hmm, giant corporations care more about money than customers.
 
2010-02-07 04:00:56 PM
Ikimasen: I know I read that the lady from the first case got 3rd degree burns, and those in a rather sensitive area. A lot of similar cases had been thrown out, but that lady got her case through for similar reasons, medical bills and lost wages. And I also know that McDonald's had been serving their coffee at 180 degrees, which is like 20 degrees hotter than any other fast food restaurant. And that they stepped back on the heat after the lawsuit, but have since steadily stepped it up to 180 again. So, I mean, if they didn't learn anything from the first one where they burned up some old lady's crotch, screw 'em.

See I knew someone had more energy than I.

/Corporations care not
//ask Monsanto
 
2010-02-07 04:16:26 PM
There's far too much Fahrenheit being thrown in this thread to read without damaging my brain.
 
2010-02-07 04:43:44 PM
"as it was being handed to her by an employee of the defendant, the plaintiff took the cup of coffee and the plastic top fell off and spilled very hot coffee on plaintiff's upper right leg..."

Since when do we allow centaurs to sue?
 
2010-02-07 04:48:58 PM
StreetlightInTheGhetto: NannyStatePark: So you think "a jury of your peers" is corrupt and morally bankrupt. I guess you live in the woods with some guns and large dogs. I'm not hating, I'm considering it myself...so the evil corporations can't exploit my ass anymore than they already do

I think juries are probably statistically lower on the IQ scale than the general populace, since the smarter folks are more likely to have jobs they can use as an excuse / are smart enough to get out of it some other way.

My professor got called up for jury duty when I was in his class. He made arrangements, got other profs to take over lectures, etc., just in case he was chosen, even though he could have easily got out of it. Have to give him props for that.

Never have gotten a notice myself.


You know, I haven't ever considered that particular angle. Food for thought! I'm SOL because my kid turned 8. And they must be stupid because they aren't nullifying weed convictions in TX, for instance.
 
2010-02-07 04:56:04 PM
Hot coffee?

www.ripten.com

/hot like....coffee
 
2010-02-07 04:58:51 PM
Sorry I wasn't more polite, accelerus! I have a love hate relationship with my fellow humans and their institutions myself.
 
2010-02-07 05:02:44 PM
$7,500? They'll settle with her.

Years ago I had a friend that was management at some supermarket and she told me that virtually any claim $10k or under was a guaranteed settlement provided it held a shred of truth.
 
2010-02-07 05:44:18 PM
SHE IS NOT SUING MCDONALD'S.

She's suing a franchisee of McDonald's. There is a huge difference between suing a giant corporation, and some guy that owns a couple of stores.

We don't know if he owns 1 store or 20 stores. If he has just 1 store, the guy is probably taking home less than $100,000 a year. It might be worth it for him to try and fight the $7800 lawsuit.
 
2010-02-07 05:48:37 PM
McD's is VERY litigious themselves.
Go ahead go on television and say you won't eat their nasty burgers. They WILL sue you!

Still this lady is clearly a money grubbing mouth breather.
Mc'Ds should give her the money then make her sign a settlement stating she cannot ever visit any Mc'Ds again.
The biatch would probably starve to death.
 
2010-02-07 06:09:17 PM
I'm wondering--is there *ever* such thing as a case where pain and suffering compensation is justified?
 
2010-02-07 06:14:44 PM
kutsuke:
By mixing my saliva with the dink I can roughly gauge the temperature of the rest of the contents...


Heh.

Also, a helpful tip for everyone: If you are expecting quality, competence, or an overall positive dining experience... why are you at McDonald's. You know better than that.
 
2010-02-07 07:36:54 PM
KidneyStone: $7,500? They'll settle with her..

Which is what they are looking for... just to have money thrown at them. It's a real shame that the trial-lawyer hucksters actually encourage this.

Sue if your coffee is too hot
Sue if your coffee is to cold
Sue if your neighbor's cat looks at funny

Call the offices of Shyster and Shyster... call now, or we'll sue YOU
 
2010-02-07 07:42:26 PM
Narrator: A fresh cup of coffee brewed by my company is served to a 79-year old woman sitting in a car. The 180F coffee spills on her lap. She instantly receives 3rd degree burns to her legs and genitals and is in the hospital for a week.
Now, should we lower the serving temperature? Take the number of cups of spilled coffee in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of 3rd degree burns, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of lowering the serving temperature of our coffee, we don't do it.
Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
Business woman on plane: Which fast-food company do you work for?
Narrator: A major one.
 
2010-02-07 07:46:50 PM
Pemulis: Before complaining about the original coffee case, read up on it. It's funny how I've barely met a single soul who has ever said that the plaintiff in that case was entitled to anything, yet somehow they found 12 jurors who did. Seems to me that either McDonalds had terrible lawyers (unlikely) or there might have actually been some merit to the claim.

The jurors were shown graphic pictures of the burns on Stella's crotch. That turned off their logic and kicked them into 'pity mode'.
 
2010-02-07 07:52:39 PM
Ikimasen: I know I read that the lady from the first case got 3rd degree burns, and those in a rather sensitive area. A lot of similar cases had been thrown out, but that lady got her case through for similar reasons, medical bills and lost wages. And I also know that McDonald's had been serving their coffee at 180 degrees, which is like 20 degrees hotter than any other fast food restaurant.

FALSE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants (new window) Check out the 'other lawsuits' section:
"Though defenders of the Liebeck verdict argue that her coffee was unusually hotter than other coffee sold, other major vendors of coffee, including Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Wendy's, and Burger King, produce coffee at a similar or higher temperature, and have been subjected to similar lawsuits over third-degree burns.[18]"
and
"Home and commercial coffee makers often reach comparable temperatures.[19] "
and
"The National Coffee Association of U.S.A.
instructs that coffee should be brewed "between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit [91-96 °C] for optimal extraction" and consumed "immediately". If not consumed immediately, the coffee is to be "maintained at 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit".[20]"

And that they stepped back on the heat after the lawsuit, but have since steadily stepped it up to 180 again.

FALSE.

"Liebeck's attorney, Reed Morgan, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America defend the lawsuit by claiming that McDonald's reduced the temperature of their coffee after the suit. Morgan has since brought other lawsuits against McDonald's over hot-coffee burns.[21] McDonald's policy today is to serve coffee between 80-90 °C (176-194 °F),[22] relying on more sternly-worded warnings to avoid future liability, though it continues to face lawsuits over hot coffee.[22][23] "


So, I mean, if they didn't learn anything from the first one where they burned up some old lady's crotch, screw 'em.

"They" didn't burn anything. Stella dumped the coffee on herself.
 
2010-02-07 08:05:10 PM
EngineerAU: I like to ask them to explain to case to me, acting like I never heard of it before. They almost always have all the facts wrong... she was on her cell phone, speeding down the road, got only minor burns, etc. I love busting them with the facts and seeing how they come up with dumber and dumber justifications why it was totally her fault and McDonald's was the helpless victim

On February 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered a 49¢ cup of coffee from the drive-through window of a local McDonald's restaurant. Liebeck was in the passenger's seat of her Ford Probe, and her grandson Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. She placed the coffee cup between her knees and pulled the far side of the lid toward her to remove it. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of coffee on her lap. Liebeck was wearing cotton sweatpants; they absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin as she sat in the puddle of hot liquid for over 90 seconds, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin. Liebeck was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent.
She wanted $20,000 to caver her $11,000 medical bills. McDonalds refused. She upped the demand to $90,000, then $300,000. It went to trial.
Liebeck's attorneys discovered that McDonald's required franchises to serve coffee at 180-190 °F (82-88 °C). Which is right where the National Coffee Association says it should be. It is also where McDonalds own market research shows it should be.
Stella's lawyer showed that McDonalds had had 700 previous cases of burned (of ALL degrees). Of course, this number sounds like a lot until you realize it was over the previous 10 years, and Nationwide. If you do the math, it turns out there was one burn for every 24,000,000 cups of coffee sold. For everyone who burned themselves, 23,999,999 didn't. This is hardly "unreasonably dangerous" or "defectively manufactured". (More people get hit by lightning than get burned by McDonalds coffee.)
The jury, after being shown graphic pictured of the old ladies burned crotch, pitied her and awarded her awarded Liebeck US$200,000 in compensatory damages, which was then reduced by 20% to $160,000. In addition, they awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages. The jurors apparently arrived at this figure from Morgan's suggestion to penalize McDonald's for one or two days' worth of coffee revenues, which were about $1.35 million per day. The judge reduced punitive damages to $480,000, three times the compensatory amount, for a total of $640,000. The decision was appealed by both McDonald's and Liebeck in December 1994, but the parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount less than $600,000.


There's the story. What facts in it do you beleive are 'wrong'??
 
2010-02-07 08:26:50 PM
Theaetetus: Hey, look... more industry standards for tbyte:

Calculating the optimum temperature for serving hot beverages.
Brown F, Diller KR.

The preferred drinking temperature of coffee is specified in the literature as 140+/-15 degrees F (60+/-8.3 degrees C) for a population of 300 subjects. A linear (with respect to temperature) figure of merit merged the two effects to identify an optimal drinking temperature of approximately 136 degrees F (57.8 degrees C). The analysis points to a reduction in the presently recommended serving temperature of coffee to achieve the combined result of reducing the scald burn hazard and improving customer satisfaction.


Hey, look, The National Coffee Association (Who better knows how to properly prepare and serve coffee??):
Link (new window)
"Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction."
"Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately! "
"If it will be a few minutes before it will be served, the temperature should be maintained at 180 - 185 degrees Fahrenheit."

Now, please explain why the National Coffee Association, which exists to promote coffee, would give deliberately bad instructions on how to prepare the product they are trying to promote. (A: They wouldn't. The instructions are correct. Therefore: McDonalds did not have their coffee 'too hot'.)

Also, the Specialty Coffee Association of America has documentation that says "The water should be freshly drawn and brought to approximately 200degrees F at the time it is poured into the ground coffee."

etc.
 
2010-02-07 08:45:06 PM
::sigh::

I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who biatch and moan about other people not fully understanding something, while quoting incorrect data and 'facts' themselves.

FACT: Stella spilled the coffee on herself. She placed the cup between her pointy knees and then PULLED the far side of the lid to remove it. This pulling caused the cup to pivot between her knees, and dump its contents in her lap. It is not McDonalds fault she handled the cup carelessly.

FACT: The coffee was NOT 'too hot'. It was right in line with the temp other establishments served it at, it was right in line with what home coffee makers produce it at, and it was right in line with the recommendations of the National Coffee Association.

FACT: there were 700 other burns documented. Oh, some people love to point this number out. 700. 700 burns (with the implication that all were as severe as Stellas). BUT, those 700 burns were of ALL degrees, from First Degree (red skin, like a sunburn) to Second Degree (blistering) to Third Degree (loss of tissue). Those 700 burns were over 10 years. And those 700 burns were nationwide. When you look at the number of burns vs the number of cups sold, you find another interesting number- 24,000,000. That's how many cups were sold for each burn. Or, to put it another way, for every idiot who burned themselves on a cup of McDonalds coffee, McDonalds safely sold 23,999,999 other cups of coffee.

These FACTS show that the burns were Stells fault, that the coffee was Not too hot, and that the supposed 'history' of burns is a statistical non-entity. And there goes the entire case.
 
2010-02-07 08:47:48 PM
$318 in damages AND lost wages?

I hope she wins, but for just that amount and no pain and suffering. Then her insurance takes her $223 for restitution, and the attorney gets paid only $95 for his services (30%, assuming he's working on contingency).
 
2010-02-07 10:03:07 PM
fredklein: And there goes the entire case.

... says Fred Klein, Corporate Product Liability Attorney.
 
2010-02-07 10:12:00 PM
Fark her. She's should be thankful she's not drinking the spit-laden crap she was served.
 
2010-02-07 10:12:09 PM
fredklein: FACT: The coffee was NOT 'too hot'. It was right in line with the temp other establishments served it at, it was right in line with what home coffee makers produce it at, and it was right in line with the recommendations of the National Coffee Association.

What you claim is a fact: "It was right in line with the temp other establishments served it at", is contradicted by
this account:

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-When a law firm here found itself defending McDonald's Corp. in a suit last year
that claimed the company served dangerously hot coffee, it hired a law student to take temperatures at
other local restaurants for comparison.
After dutifully slipping a thermometer into steaming cups and mugs all over the city, Danny Jarrett found
that none came closer than about 20 degrees to the temperature at which McDonald's coffee is poured
,
about 180 degrees."

Furthermore, the "National Coffee Association" is a trade organization representing the interests of the coffee industry. The fact that they make a brewing recommendation to maximize flavor has no bearing on whether their recommended temperatures are safe, or whether it is in the public interest for restaurants to serve coffee at those temperatures.
 
2010-02-07 10:24:11 PM
Blade Danger: -The coffee was not hot. It was retardedly hot. The coffee was around 85°. Normal household coffee is about 60°.
During discovery, more than 700 claims from other people burned by McDonald's scalding coffee were produced.


Folgers is crap. Home coffee makers brew coffee below its optimum pressure. It can do this because it brews coffee bean dust. 135 F isn't sufficient for even white tea.

McDonalds also had served 2 billion cups of coffee. Their complaint rate was 1:24,000,000. You have a 1:6,000,000 chance of being struck by lightning.
 
2010-02-07 10:26:20 PM
Aunt Crabby: Even if you convince me the entire industry does as you do (and maybe you are right), I would still think it inherently dangerous to serve coffee at temperatures that can cause 3rd degree burns in 2 seconds. 135 degrees is still hot. Why not go with the safer, non scalding hot?

If you cook a steak to 180 degree internal, there's no risk of any bacteria surviving.

You tell me how that steak tastes.
 
2010-02-07 10:34:21 PM
brush_between_meals: Furthermore, the "National Coffee Association" is a trade organization representing the interests of the coffee industry. The fact that they make a brewing recommendation to maximize flavor has no bearing on whether their recommended temperatures are safe, or whether it is in the public interest for restaurants to serve coffee at those temperatures.

Do you feel superior making those arrogant-ass "air quotes"?

fredklein: Or, to put it another way, for every idiot who burned themselves on a cup of McDonalds coffee, McDonalds safely sold 23,999,999 other cups of coffee.

Let's bold and big that so the idiots around here can see it clearly:
For every idiot who burned themselves on a cup of McDonalds coffee, McDonalds safely sold 23,999,999 other cups of coffee.


Stella was a dumb coont out to ring the cash register.
 
2010-02-07 11:03:10 PM
From what I remember in the first one.. the person spilled in on herself with no help or interaction!! This sounds more like an employee in too much of hurry, like the asshat who handed me a bag at a drive thru and before I grabbed it, dropped it on the ground. Too busy looking behind them to pay attention to what was going on.

I was pissed just to have to wait for another order to be made... if I had hot coffee dumped forward and the lid wasn't even on the cup if I tried to stop it, yeah.... I would be irate and damned well better get satisfaction or the assault would be paid back with a significant amount of interest!
 
2010-02-07 11:15:10 PM
brush_between_meals: What you claim is a fact: "It was right in line with the temp other establishments served it at", is contradicted by
this account:

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-When a law firm here found itself defending McDonald's Corp. in a suit last year
that claimed the company served dangerously hot coffee, it hired a law student to take temperatures at
other local restaurants for comparison.
After dutifully slipping a thermometer into steaming cups and mugs all over the city, Danny Jarrett found
that none came closer than about 20 degrees to the temperature at which McDonald's coffee is poured,
about 180 degrees."


::Sigh::

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants (new window), the Similar lawsuits" section:

"Thus, if McDonald's were going to avoid the risk of injury by a deep thickness burn they would have had to have served tea and coffee at between 55 C and 60 C. But tea ought to be brewed with boiling water if it is to give its best flavour and coffee ought to be brewed at between 85 C and 95 C. Further, people generally like to allow a hot drink to cool to the temperature they prefer. Accordingly, I have no doubt that tea and coffee served at between 55 C and 60 C would not have been acceptable to McDonald's customers."

"Though defenders of the Liebeck verdict argue that her coffee was unusually hotter than other coffee sold, other major vendors of coffee, including Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Wendy's, and Burger King, produce coffee at a similar or higher temperature, and have been subjected to similar lawsuits over third-degree burns.[18]"
[18]- ^ See multiple cases and newspaper stories cited in Ted Frank, "Latest hot coffee lawsuit data points"
, Overlawyered.com, 28 October 2006

"Liebeck's attorney, Reed Morgan, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America defend the lawsuit by claiming that McDonald's reduced the temperature of their coffee after the suit. Morgan has since brought other lawsuits against McDonald's over hot-coffee burns.[21] McDonald's policy today is to serve coffee between 80-90 °C (176-194 °F),[22] relying on more sternly-worded warnings to avoid future liability, though it continues to face lawsuits over hot coffee.[22][23]"

"Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote a unanimous 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion affirming dismissal of a similar lawsuit against coffeemaker manufacturer Bunn-O-Matic. The opinion noted that hot coffee (179 °F (82 °C) in this case) is not "unreasonably dangerous."
The smell (and therefore the taste) of coffee depends heavily on the oils containing aromatic compounds that are dissolved out of the beans during the brewing process. Brewing temperature should be close to 200 °F [93 °C] to dissolve them effectively, but without causing the premature breakdown of these delicate molecules. Coffee smells and tastes best when these aromatic compounds evaporate from the surface of the coffee as it is being drunk. Compounds vital to flavor have boiling points in the range of 150-160 °F [66-71 °C], and the beverage therefore tastes best when it is this hot and the aromatics vaporize as it is being drunk. For coffee to be 150 °F when imbibed, it must be hotter in the pot. Pouring a liquid increases its surface area and cools it; more heat is lost by contact with the cooler container; if the consumer adds cream and sugar (plus a metal spoon to stir them) the liquid's temperature falls again. If the consumer carries the container out for later consumption, the beverage cools still further.[25]"

So, your one, vs these four. Let me know when you have another 3.

Furthermore, the "National Coffee Association" is a trade organization representing the interests of the coffee industry. The fact that they make a brewing recommendation to maximize flavor has no bearing on whether their recommended temperatures are safe, or whether it is in the public interest for restaurants to serve coffee at those temperatures.

If they recommend a method of brewing coffee that is indeed 'unreasonably dangerous', they would be sued. If they recommend a method of brewing coffee that is incorrect, they lose business because fewer people buy crappy tasting coffee. So, they have absolutely no reason to recommend brewing/serving methods that are dangerous or incorrect.

Quite frankly, all this is moot, as even if you want to ignore all the evidence and call the coffee "too hot", it's still a fact that only 1 in 24,000,000 cups resulted in a burn. That right there shows that even the "too hot" coffee was not very dangerous.
 
2010-02-08 12:41:29 AM
fredklein: Quite frankly, all this is moot, as even if you want to ignore all the evidence and call the coffee "too hot", it's still a fact that only 1 in 24,000,000 cups resulted in a burn. That right there shows that even the "too hot" coffee was not very dangerous.


Resulted in a complaint, you mean. It's entirely possible, and very likely that other burns were caused, but unreported.
 
2010-02-08 02:07:37 AM
NightOwl2255

So that's it? You call my post wrong, then you're done? I welcome debate. Please spell it out for me in more dynamic terms than "this is 100% wrong" with no explanation. I'm callin' you out. Everyone else, step away. (this could get retarded.) (on my part.) (or NightOwl could be a bigger retard than me.) (We'll never know who the bigger retard is until) (there's some retarded parenthetical).
 
2010-02-08 02:09:08 AM
ReverendJasen: RoyHobbs22: I was at a Friendly's once and overheard a lady complaining that her ice cream was too cold. Cool story . . .

I would have struggled to not walk across the aisle and slapped her.


In the drive-thru at Wendy's once, we heard the lady behind us (via the speaker) ask for a "salad without a lot of lettuce".
 
2010-02-08 02:12:55 AM
Its clear that you've made the transition from farkingly dumb to mother-fackeringly dumb when farkers echo the exact same comments from the originating article and its all eviscerated here just like it was in the original comments. In fact, fark, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't read the original articles first. Shame on you for replicating stupidity!
 
2010-02-08 02:33:17 AM
Hebalo: Resulted in a complaint, you mean. It's entirely possible, and very likely that other burns were caused, but unreported.

Yeah. Juries are handing out multi-million dollar verdicts, but people with flesh peeling off their bones don't bother to complain, much less sue. ::rolleyes::
 
2010-02-08 03:07:42 AM
HOT COFFEE NSFW (new window)

IM LOVIN IT
 
2010-02-08 07:58:49 AM
Aunt Crabby: 135 degrees is still hot. Why not go with the safer, non scalding hot?

Because people don't drink their coffee in the span of 1 minute. They drink it over time, and the 135F coffee you want to serve is going to be at a lukewarm temperature within minutes.

The initial temperature is higher so that it is enjoyable over the period of time it takes to finish it. The last sip should be 135F, not the first one.
 
2010-02-08 10:20:34 AM
fredklein: So, your one, vs these four. Let me know when you have another 3.

The problem with recommended temperatures in the pot is that it depends greatly on what kind of cup you're pouring into. A room-temperature porcelain cup will considerably cool coffee, while a styrofoam cup with a lid will cause almost no cooling at all due to its much lower mass, its much higher thermal resistance, and the fact that the lid blocks convective heat transfer with the outside air. So when you're pouring into a styrofoam cup, you should pour at a lower temperature to take into account that the cup isn't losing heat at nearly the same rate.

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation of mine is that coffee in a porcelain cup will drop by about 8-10 degrees Fahrenheit *just* due to the energy going to heat the porcelain itself, where styrofoam is about a tenth of a degree. That's not counting the continual heat loss through the material, nor the effects of open-air versus closed-lid serving.

Quite frankly, all this is moot, as even if you want to ignore all the evidence and call the coffee "too hot", it's still a fact that only 1 in 24,000,000 cups resulted in a burn. That right there shows that even the "too hot" coffee was not very dangerous.

Dangerous enough that without medical treatment, the woman would eventually have died from complications as a result of the injuries; the amount of skin burned was large and deep enough that it could not have healed without skin grafting.
 
2010-02-08 10:28:17 AM
Sum Dum Gai: Dangerous enough that without medical treatment, the woman would eventually have died from complications as a result of the injuries; the amount of skin burned was large and deep enough that it could not have healed without skin grafting.

I don't think that's fair, either. There's a lot of small risks we take every day that, if the risk doesn't pan out right, could result in extreme injury. Parking on the street, riding the escalator... let alone occupational hazards.

Every possible fact about how hot this coffee is, is overshadowed by the fact that 24 million people managed to not burn themselves on it for ever single fool that did. Even with a fudge factor of +/- a million people or so to account for unreported burns, that's still an overwhelming percentage. You might even say statistically insignificant percentage.
 
2010-02-08 10:54:11 AM
NightOwl2255: Bucephalos: She has to sue for more than her medical bills ($300).

No, she doesn't.

Bucephalos: In most states, the court will dismiss it unless it reaches $x,

Completely wrong.

Bucephalos: If you only sue for medical damages and lost wages, not only will you end up in small claims court

Doens't matter what you're suing for, the only difference between small claims court and superior court is the amount. You almost got this part right.

NightOwl2255: which has no enforcement power (can't make McDonalds pay)

100% wrong.

I love it when ALTs out themselves!!!

 
2010-02-08 11:17:59 AM
img246.imageshack.us

You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on. Why'd you put the balm on?
 
2010-02-08 11:56:20 AM
elcnu: This state used to be cool. Now it sucks major a$$.

We are leaving.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, whiners.


Good luck selling your house: property taxes are so high in the People's Republic of Portland that the Days=on-Market are double the lower property tax rate suburbs.
 
2010-02-08 02:01:32 PM
I thought that Take Two and Rockstar Games reached a settlement with the ESRB for this? I didn't even know that McDonalds was involved with the software mini-game business.
 
2010-02-08 03:43:58 PM
Sum Dum Gai: The problem with recommended temperatures in the pot is that it depends greatly on what kind of cup you're pouring into. A room-temperature porcelain cup will considerably cool coffee, while a styrofoam cup with a lid will cause almost no cooling at all due to its much lower mass, its much higher thermal resistance, and the fact that the lid blocks convective heat transfer with the outside air. So when you're pouring into a styrofoam cup, you should pour at a lower temperature to take into account that the cup isn't losing heat at nearly the same rate.

And that's exactly what you want at a drive-thru, where people pick up their coffee and then drive to work. You want the coffee to stay hot so it's still hot when they arrive at their destination.

Dangerous enough that without medical treatment, the woman would eventually have died from complications as a result of the injuries; the amount of skin burned was large and deep enough that it could not have healed without skin grafting.

Oh, yes, it was a severe burn. But we're not trying an Appeal to Sympathy here, are we? The severity of the burn has to be considered WITH the likelihood of it happening. I mean, it's theoretically possible that a meteorite could slam into your cars gas tank, blowing up the entire tank of gas... while you're pumping gas at a gas station. That would certainly be a big explosion. But the likelihood of it happening is so small that we never consider armoring vehicle gas tanks, or reducing their size so the explosion would be manageable.


So, YES, it was a horrible burn. But 1) it was her own fault, and 2) it happens so infrequently that it's not worth it to take extra precautions.
 
2010-02-08 04:55:00 PM
Law scholar time:

Dafatone: It's silly, but if the drive-thru person hands you coffee with a loose lid, that's actually kinda dangerous. Sorry, McD's. Just cough up the $25,000. Not like it matters to you.

Actually, doesn't the franchisee (a small business owner who doesn't necessarily make a ton of money) end up having to pay the damages? Isn't there insurance for stuff like this? How does McDonald's do this?

Either way, this woman collects: If they choose to fight it, McDonald's will likely lose the suit because the employee erred (allegedly) by not putting the lid on properly, or they'll listen to their lawyers and just settle. This plaintiff's case actually has legal merit and McDonald's should wise up already and quit burning people. I know I can't be the only one who thinks that McDonald's coffee really is just too goddamned hot. 190 degrees is simply dangerous (compare to your household automatic drip coffee maker: ~140 degrees) and the company knows it and has for quite some time. McDonald's claims that this makes their coffee taste better, which I find highly dubious. But what do I know? Any scientists or chefs want to weigh in?
 
2010-02-08 05:08:25 PM
loserflame: I thought that Take Two and Rockstar Games reached a settlement with the ESRB for this? I didn't even know that McDonalds was involved with the software mini-game business.

www.emergencynerd.com
 
2010-02-08 09:03:46 PM
Nelly Furtaco: I know I can't be the only one who thinks that McDonald's coffee really is just too goddamned hot. 190 degrees is simply dangerous (compare to your household automatic drip coffee maker: ~140 degrees) and the company knows it and has for quite some time. McDonald's claims that this makes their coffee taste better, which I find highly dubious. But what do I know? Any scientists or chefs want to weigh in?

That exact thing is being debated in the thread. As a barista (lolz) my personal opinion is that, no, it is not too hot. 180 degrees is how hot we serve our coffee, to millions of people everyday. No one complains (to me personally anyway), except the random people who complain that 180 degrees is not even hot enough. For anyone who thinks it IS too hot, they have the presence of mind to ask for us to put a few ice cubes in it. This isn't so we can "keep the coffee longer" or anything either, so that bullcrap story is out the window.
 
Displayed 194 of 194 comments



This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report