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(Cracked)   We all have heard about frivolous lawsuits that make us laugh, but here are 5 famous ones that really did not happen   (cracked.com) divider line 71
    More: Interesting, frivolous litigation, bladder control, Mouseketeer, retrials, Disney characters, breathing difficulties, Judith Haimes  
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18450 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jun 2013 at 3:00 PM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-16 11:50:07 AM
I've never hear about any of those.
 
2013-06-16 12:00:29 PM
"Laugh" is not a word that comes to mind with Cracked.
 
2013-06-16 01:09:14 PM
They didn't even mention my lawsuit against Taco Bell and the security firm in the mall in which it is located. See, there was this time I tried to use a 2$ bill...

/ Yo, dawg... we heard you like urban legends so we put an urban legend in a urban legend...
// Then dressed it up with a meme...
/// slashies!
/V Then used a farkism...
 
2013-06-16 01:14:03 PM

zamboni: They didn't even mention my lawsuit against Taco Bell and the security firm in the mall in which it is located. See, there was this time I tried to use a 2$ bill...


or when i put my rv on cruise control
 
2013-06-16 01:33:20 PM

Speaker2Animals: "Laugh" is not a word that comes to mind with Cracked.


I find that "ennui" isn't too far off the mark. (Featured Partner)
 
2013-06-16 02:59:54 PM

zamboni: Speaker2Animals: "Laugh" is not a word that comes to mind with Cracked.

I find that "ennui" isn't too far off the mark. (Featured Partner)


Works for me.
 
2013-06-16 03:02:39 PM
Big Doggy Door will always dodge their comeuppance in a court of justice.
 
2013-06-16 03:07:37 PM

basemetal: I've never hear about any of those.


Nor have i.

Are they just making stuff up now?
 
2013-06-16 03:07:50 PM

basemetal: I've never hear about any of those.


Speaker2Animals: "Laugh" is not a word that comes to mind with Cracked.


Both of these.

Here's a hint: if you're paying for links, it's because your site is shiat.  Thanks.
 
2013-06-16 03:10:19 PM
Really stretching the meaning of "famous".
 
2013-06-16 03:10:20 PM
I like cracked.

I guess that makes me inferior to all of your tastes then huh?

seriously though, watch some of their after hours vids and come back and tell me cracked sucks.
 
2013-06-16 03:10:56 PM
Here's a few of the better known bogus "Stella Award Winners."
 
2013-06-16 03:16:26 PM
How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.
 
2013-06-16 03:19:33 PM
I miss Nanny Dickering.

I also miss John Severin and Howard Nostrand.

/that is all
 
2013-06-16 03:20:58 PM
I have never heard of any of these so-called famous lawsuits
 
2013-06-16 03:23:35 PM

skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.


Problem is, that's pretty much how it was reported.Reading the actual details show that it was a pretty damn horrible incident, but every story I can recall about it pretty much laughed about this careless old lady who spilled coffee on herself and then sued.
 
2013-06-16 03:24:30 PM

skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.


I don't know how I feel about the McDonald's coffee lawsuit, honestly. McDonald's served coffee hot enough to cause third degree burns in seven seconds, but that is within the recommended range for coffee temperatures and McDonald's and other coffee vendors serve coffee as hot or hotter today. She wouldn't have been burned so badly if she had worn different pants that wouldn't have absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin. So...yeah. I really don't think McDonald's is to blame there, if the temperature they served their coffee at was and is considered "normal".
 
2013-06-16 03:29:13 PM
Uncle Ralph's Famous Shoe Repair and Hot Dogs

(See Our Ad)

/famous where?
 
2013-06-16 03:31:00 PM

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.

Problem is, that's pretty much how it was reported.Reading the actual details show that it was a pretty damn horrible incident, but every story I can recall about it pretty much laughed about this careless old lady who spilled coffee on herself and then sued.


In the end, though - that's kinda what happened. The coffee she spilled on herself was served at the temperature recommended by the National Coffee Association and coffee today is still served at the same or hotter temperatures. Contrary to popular myth, the coffee wasn't significantly hotter than that of other coffee vendors. She put the coffee in between her legs, and then spilled it on her cotton pants which then held the hot coffee against her legs, causing the burns. It was tragic, but it would have happened with just about any cup of coffee from anywhere. The lesson that should've been taken away from that case is "don't put coffee somewhere where it can spill on your absorbent clothing."
 
2013-06-16 03:37:43 PM

basemetal: I've never hear about any of those.


this
 
2013-06-16 03:41:24 PM

Lord Dimwit: I don't know how I feel about the McDonald's coffee lawsuit, honestly. McDonald's served coffee hot enough to cause third degree burns in seven seconds, but that is within the recommended range for coffee temperatures and McDonald's and other coffee vendors serve coffee as hot or hotter today. She wouldn't have been burned so badly if she had worn different pants that wouldn't have absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin. So...yeah. I really don't think McDonald's is to blame there, if the temperature they served their coffee at was and is considered "normal".


For me the two things that make that case not outrageous are. The old lady was only suing for actual damages, 28k in medical bills or some such. No pain and suffering. McDonald's lawyers showed up in court totally unprepared and were massive pricks. In response the jury let em have it with both barrels. okay.jpg
 
2013-06-16 03:45:30 PM

gibbon1: Lord Dimwit: I don't know how I feel about the McDonald's coffee lawsuit, honestly. McDonald's served coffee hot enough to cause third degree burns in seven seconds, but that is within the recommended range for coffee temperatures and McDonald's and other coffee vendors serve coffee as hot or hotter today. She wouldn't have been burned so badly if she had worn different pants that wouldn't have absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin. So...yeah. I really don't think McDonald's is to blame there, if the temperature they served their coffee at was and is considered "normal".

For me the two things that make that case not outrageous are. The old lady was only suing for actual damages, 28k in medical bills or some such. No pain and suffering. McDonald's lawyers showed up in court totally unprepared and were massive pricks. In response the jury let em have it with both barrels. okay.jpg


Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sticking it to major corporations as much as the next 99-percenter, but I really don't think McDonald's was responsible. If I hit my hand with a hammer and break my finger, even if I just sue for "actual damages", it's still not the tool maker's fault... Even if the corporate lawyer's were pricks, that doesn't make them wrong.
 
2013-06-16 03:51:43 PM

kroonermanblack: basemetal: I've never hear about any of those.

Speaker2Animals: "Laugh" is not a word that comes to mind with Cracked.

Both of these.

Here's a hint: if you're paying for links, it's because your site is shiat.  Thanks.


I've enjoyed some cracked lists in my day
 
2013-06-16 03:52:12 PM

basemetal: I've never hear about any of those.


I had heard about the seeing Disney characters with their heads off lawsuit. Always figured there was much more to that story.
 
2013-06-16 03:58:38 PM

skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.


Errr...yeah, I'm with the "but that is what happened" folks.  She bought hot coffee (not hotter than coffee is supposed to be brewed at), put it in her lap, and spilled it.  She then sued, and was awarded a total of $2.9 mil.  The only part that you don't mention, and many people may not realize, is that the judge did reduce the amount awarded to $680,000.  However, that dollar amount is likely incorrect too, since Mcdonalds settled for an undisclosed amount, so nobody really knows how much she ended up getting.
 
2013-06-16 03:59:33 PM

skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.


1. She was careless
2. She did spill it all over herself
3. She did sue
4. She did win because a gullible jury believe the coffee was too hot

and 5. the coffee was served at the correct temperature.

The popular conception of the McDonalds suit is exactly correct.
 
2013-06-16 04:01:21 PM

Lord Dimwit: gibbon1: Lord Dimwit: I don't know how I feel about the McDonald's coffee lawsuit, honestly. McDonald's served coffee hot enough to cause third degree burns in seven seconds, but that is within the recommended range for coffee temperatures and McDonald's and other coffee vendors serve coffee as hot or hotter today. She wouldn't have been burned so badly if she had worn different pants that wouldn't have absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin. So...yeah. I really don't think McDonald's is to blame there, if the temperature they served their coffee at was and is considered "normal".

For me the two things that make that case not outrageous are. The old lady was only suing for actual damages, 28k in medical bills or some such. No pain and suffering. McDonald's lawyers showed up in court totally unprepared and were massive pricks. In response the jury let em have it with both barrels. okay.jpg

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sticking it to major corporations as much as the next 99-percenter, but I really don't think McDonald's was responsible. If I hit my hand with a hammer and break my finger, even if I just sue for "actual damages", it's still not the tool maker's fault... Even if the corporate lawyer's were pricks, that doesn't make them wrong.


Of course, nobody ever mentions that the woman was held contributorily negligent in the case, and the "millions of dollars" she won was reduced to about $400K on appeal...both of which are entirely reasonable and much less outrageous.
 
2013-06-16 04:08:06 PM

This text is now purple: The popular conception of the McDonalds suit is exactly correct.


The overall picture is basically correct, except I would say many don't realize she didn't get the almost $3 mil she was initially awarded (at least, doubtful she got anywhere near that in the settlement), and I think many don't realized exactly how badly she was injured.
 
2013-06-16 04:31:56 PM

zamboni: Speaker2Animals: "Laugh" is not a word that comes to mind with Cracked.

I find that "ennui" isn't too far off the mark. (Featured Partner)


Isn't Enwii the new Nintendo console?

/I love Super Mario Weltschmerz.
 
2013-06-16 04:36:45 PM

basemetal: I've never hear about any of those.


Same here. I may recall hearing the Disney one, but nowhere near "famous".
 
2013-06-16 04:43:36 PM

This text is now purple: skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.

1. She was careless
2. She did spill it all over herself
3. She did sue
4. She did win because a gullible jury believe the coffee was too hot

and 5. the coffee was served at the correct temperature.

The popular conception of the McDonalds suit is exactly correct.


Kinda sorta, but not quite:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants
 
2013-06-16 04:44:37 PM

This text is now purple: skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars she actually collected. It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.

1. She was careless
2. She did spill it all over herself
3. She did sue
4. She did win because a gullible jury believe the coffee was too hot

and 5. the coffee was served at the correct temperature.

The popular conception of the McDonalds suit is exactly correct.


I believe McDonald's got screwed because of internal documents that came out in the trial, which proved they knew the coffee was burning people badly, that they'd been settling with people for years, and that while they knew the coffee posed a significant burn risk, they basically didn't care.

I also take issue with this "correct temperature" statement - I don't really care what the National Association of Coffee vendors (or whatever they're called) has to say about it, as last I checked they weren't medical doctors. (Also, while some places serve coffee around 180-190, others do serve it at lower temperatures, and home brewing machines will usually only go to 130-140. Or so says wikipedia at least.)
 
2013-06-16 04:45:58 PM

This text is now purple: 1. She was careless
2. She did spill it all over herself
3. She did sue
4. She did win because a gullible jury believe the coffee was too hot

and 5. the coffee was served at the correct temperature.

The popular conception of the McDonalds suit is exactly correct.


THIS

McDonalds sucks but I can never understand why there's any question about this.  If anything, the old-lady-apologists are completely oblivious to #5.
 
2013-06-16 04:46:02 PM

Lord Dimwit: Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sticking it to major corporations as much as the next 99-percenter, but I really don't think McDonald's was responsible. If I hit my hand with a hammer and break my finger, even if I just sue for "actual damages", it's still not the tool maker's fault... Even if the corporate lawyer's were pricks, that doesn't make them wrong.


It does if you can prove for instance that the manufacturer didn't temper the steel correctly and knew their hammers had a tendency to throw splinters.  In the McDonald's case, they'd been settling burn cases for a few hundreds of dollars each, and assumed that the claim for 28k was just B.S.  Any competent lawyer, would have done his homework before the trial and settled, or at trial would have offered to settle (happens all the time).  Trials aren't like Perry Mason.  Each side gets a look at what evidence the other side plans on introducing, and can depose witnesses.  They could have called the old ladies lawyer and asked, yo what's up? and worked something out when it became apparent the case wasn't a burned finger.

Also no one actually knows how hot the coffee was because the machine was worked on after the accident. It's possible that the coffee was hotter than 185 degrees. Maybe not, we don't know.  But in civil cases courts make punitive assumptions when one side fails to preserve evidence. I remember getting some training at the last corporate job about legal issues, the only real take away is our lawyers really really wanted to impress on us to never panic and destroy documents.

It's just a fact of life that small inconsequential actions can have large bad outcomes. For instance, the air conditioner leaks, so we put a mop bucket under it.  Then a 4 year old knocked it over, spilling the slimy contents out onto the floor, where a 89 year old lady stepped in it, slipped, fell and broke her hip.  And you know what? That's what insurance is for.
 
2013-06-16 04:47:56 PM

YoungLochinvar: I also take issue with this "correct temperature" statement - I don't really care what the National Association of Coffee vendors (or whatever they're called) has to say about it, as last I checked they weren't medical doctors.


Why would you ask a doctor what temperature you should brew coffee at?
 
2013-06-16 04:50:56 PM

gibbon1: It does if you can prove for instance that the manufacturer didn't temper the steel correctly and knew their hammers had a tendency to throw splinters.


But, McDonalds served the coffee correctly, according to industry standards. So that's irrelevant.

I also don't see why prior burn settlements are relevant to actual right or wrong. Settlements often happen just to avoid inconvenience.
 
2013-06-16 04:52:51 PM

TonyDanza: YoungLochinvar: I also take issue with this "correct temperature" statement - I don't really care what the National Association of Coffee vendors (or whatever they're called) has to say about it, as last I checked they weren't medical doctors.

Why would you ask a doctor what temperature you should brew coffee at?


I wouldn't - I would ask a doctor if that's a safe temperature for consumption, however. If it's an unsafe temperature, then it's an unsafe temperature, and I don't see how the coffee association's recommendation somehow changes that. That's all I'm saying.
 
2013-06-16 04:54:58 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: gibbon1: It does if you can prove for instance that the manufacturer didn't temper the steel correctly and knew their hammers had a tendency to throw splinters.

But, McDonalds served the coffee correctly, according to industry standards. So that's irrelevant.

I also don't see why prior burn settlements are relevant to actual right or wrong. Settlements often happen just to avoid inconvenience.


So if the entire industry is serving a dangerous product, that's somehow ok?

As far as settlements - they just show that McDonalds knew the product could cause harm to consumers. It doesn't mean that they accept responsibility, I suppose.
 
2013-06-16 04:57:10 PM

YoungLochinvar: TonyDanza: YoungLochinvar: I also take issue with this "correct temperature" statement - I don't really care what the National Association of Coffee vendors (or whatever they're called) has to say about it, as last I checked they weren't medical doctors.

Why would you ask a doctor what temperature you should brew coffee at?

I wouldn't - I would ask a doctor if that's a safe temperature for consumption, however. If it's an unsafe temperature, then it's an unsafe temperature, and I don't see how the coffee association's recommendation somehow changes that. That's all I'm saying.


Or perhaps more to the point - if some guy tells you a product conforms to industry standards, but your doctor tells you that's still an unsafe standard - who are you going to listen to? Personally, I'll go with the doctor.
 
2013-06-16 04:59:07 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: McDonalds sucks but I can never understand why there's any question about this. If anything, the old-lady-apologists are completely oblivious to #5.


Problem is, McDonald's had the coffee machine dicked with after the accident.  No one actually knows what temperature the coffee was at.  Maybe it was 185 degrees, maybe hotted. We don't know.  We can never actually know. Life isn't a TV show.

One of my old professors was involved in a burn case involving a hot tub. He was able to prove that the thermostat could under the right conditions jam open, and the manufacturer knew about it.  They didn't care because in theory if the thermostat jammed the temp should only go up to 140 degrees. In this case, the thermostat jammed open on a warm humid night with still air.  A layer of steam allowed the temp to go much higher, probably 180 degrees when at 3am a drunk guest jumped in feet first.  He got 2nd degree burns on his legs and nether regions.  The manufacturers insurance settled.
 
2013-06-16 05:02:13 PM

YoungLochinvar: So if the entire industry is serving a dangerous product, that's somehow ok?


Not if it really is "dangerous." But in this case it wasn't.

Food and drink are regularly served at burn-causing temperatures.  McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. still serve coffee at 180+.  It was, and still is, understood that you need to consume carefully, even if it means waiting a while.  This is perfectly acceptable, and there are all kinds of valid reasons for having it start that hot, like wanting to add milk without it becoming lukewarm.

YoungLochinvar: As far as settlements - they just show that McDonalds knew the product could cause harm to consumers.


And they still know their coffee CAN cause harm, just like matches, light bulbs, and chain saws. So what?
 
2013-06-16 05:06:45 PM

gibbon1: Problem is, McDonald's had the coffee machine dicked with after the accident. No one actually knows what temperature the coffee was at. Maybe it was 185 degrees, maybe hotted. We don't know. We can never actually know. Life isn't a TV show.


Isn't the burden of proof on the old lady to prove it was above industry standards?  If it really was too hot, then it should be possible to demonstrate based on the type of burn treated.  If I burn myself on a UL-listed light bulb, shouldn't I have to prove that something odd happened, beyond me being an idiot and touching it after it was on for a while?
 
2013-06-16 05:09:31 PM

YoungLochinvar: YoungLochinvar: TonyDanza: YoungLochinvar: I also take issue with this "correct temperature" statement - I don't really care what the National Association of Coffee vendors (or whatever they're called) has to say about it, as last I checked they weren't medical doctors.

Why would you ask a doctor what temperature you should brew coffee at?

I wouldn't - I would ask a doctor if that's a safe temperature for consumption, however. If it's an unsafe temperature, then it's an unsafe temperature, and I don't see how the coffee association's recommendation somehow changes that. That's all I'm saying.

Or perhaps more to the point - if some guy tells you a product conforms to industry standards, but your doctor tells you that's still an unsafe standard - who are you going to listen to? Personally, I'll go with the doctor.


That heads down the slippery slope of "my doctor says eggs are bad for me, but the National Egg Association wilfully and with malice aforethought publishes recipes on how to serve eggs." It's not like people weren't serving really hot coffee before the National Coffee Association published their guidelines, and it's not like people stopped afterwards. At some point you have to accept that "this is the way it's been done for forever and billions of people have managed to not give themselves third-degree burns and understand that hot coffee should be treated with respect" is a valid defense.

gibbon1: Problem is, McDonald's had the coffee machine dicked with after the accident. No one actually knows what temperature the coffee was at. Maybe it was 185 degrees, maybe hotted. We don't know. We can never actually know. Life isn't a TV show.


I'm not saying you're wrong, but I haven't read that anywhere.
 
2013-06-16 05:13:00 PM
Obviously, the solution is to make all hot beverages and foods and anything that is dangerous or could be used in a dangerous manner illegal.

Or we could that the sensible route and tell people that do stupid things that cause injuries to themselves not to be so farking stupid next time.

Personally, I think that anyone that places a cup of hot coffee between their legs is accepting the risk that they could get severely burned. Anyone old enough to be drinking coffee and drinking a car who claims to not know they could get burned by placing said cup of hot coffee between their legs is a farking moron and should be eliminated from the gene pool forthwith.
 
2013-06-16 05:15:29 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: YoungLochinvar: So if the entire industry is serving a dangerous product, that's somehow ok?

Not if it really is "dangerous." But in this case it wasn't.


That was a question for the jury to decide, and they disagreed with you.  You must be very familiar with negligence law to know better without seeing any of the evidence presented.  Can you also make better calls than an umpire without ever seeing the actual play?

Food and drink are regularly served at burn-causing temperatures.  McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. still serve coffee at 180+.  It was, and still is, understood that you need to consume carefully, even if it means waiting a while.  This is perfectly acceptable, and there are all kinds of valid reasons for having it start that hot, like wanting to add milk without it becoming lukewarm.

YoungLochinvar: As far as settlements - they just show that McDonalds knew the product could cause harm to consumers.

And they still know their coffee CAN cause harm, just like matches, light bulbs, and chain saws. So what?


So there's a reason those things have warning labels, that's so what.  Some of them may seem stupid, but it's important to have them just so you can say people were warned.  Those prior settlements demonstrate occasions where a potential problem was brought to their attention, and they just threw money to make the people go away, while doing nothing to either look into any issues or even warn their customers of the risk.  As a matter of law, that's practically the definition of negligence.  It wasn't necessarily conclusive, but combined with their subsequent dicking with the machine, it was definitely persuasive evidence.
 
2013-06-16 05:21:33 PM

Last Man on Earth: That was a question for the jury to decide, and they disagreed with you.


cdn.hiphopwired.com

Last Man on Earth: So there's a reason those things have warning labels, that's so what. Some of them may seem stupid, but it's important to have them just so you can say people were warned. Those prior settlements demonstrate occasions where a potential problem was brought to their attention


What problem? Idiots not using common sense?

Settling is not proof of fault. Neither is "dicking with the machine." If it really was a 200-degree burn, that would be evident from the injury, and the case would be a slam-dunk. Maybe it was 200, but if so I missed that part.
 
2013-06-16 05:23:41 PM

Last Man on Earth: Yankees Team Gynecologist: YoungLochinvar: So if the entire industry is serving a dangerous product, that's somehow ok?

Not if it really is "dangerous." But in this case it wasn't.

That was a question for the jury to decide, and they disagreed with you.  You must be very familiar with negligence law to know better without seeing any of the evidence presented.  Can you also make better calls than an umpire without ever seeing the actual play?

Food and drink are regularly served at burn-causing temperatures.  McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. still serve coffee at 180+.  It was, and still is, understood that you need to consume carefully, even if it means waiting a while.  This is perfectly acceptable, and there are all kinds of valid reasons for having it start that hot, like wanting to add milk without it becoming lukewarm.

YoungLochinvar: As far as settlements - they just show that McDonalds knew the product could cause harm to consumers.

And they still know their coffee CAN cause harm, just like matches, light bulbs, and chain saws. So what?

So there's a reason those things have warning labels, that's so what.  Some of them may seem stupid, but it's important to have them just so you can say people were warned.  Those prior settlements demonstrate occasions where a potential problem was brought to their attention, and they just threw money to make the people go away, while doing nothing to either look into any issues or even warn their customers of the risk.  As a matter of law, that's practically the definition of negligence.  It wasn't necessarily conclusive, but combined with their subsequent dicking with the machine, it was definitely persuasive evidence.


In the hot coffee case, the cups did have warnings on them (but the jury found them "insufficiently large" or something), and there's also the common knowledge that hot coffee is hot. I mean, at some point, we have to fall back on common knowledge - cars don't have "don't stand in front of car when it is in motion" printed on the front bumper.

/insert mandatory "dodge" joke here
 
2013-06-16 05:26:14 PM

Last Man on Earth: So there's a reason those things have warning labels, that's so what


It had a warning label.  The jury decided it wasn't big enough however.

YoungLochinvar: Or perhaps more to the point - if some guy tells you a product conforms to industry standards, but your doctor tells you that's still an unsafe standard - who are you going to listen to? Personally, I'll go with the doctor.


Don't need a doctor to tell me that hot things can burn me.  Also, the temperature that the attorney stated the coffee should be served at is still dangerous and would cause sever burns.
 
2013-06-16 05:28:56 PM

skinink: How about the lawsuits everyone remembers incorrectly? Like the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit. Everyone thinks the old lady was careless with her coffee and spilled it all over herself, then sued McDonalds, and then a gullible jury awarded her millions of dollars....


Um, that IS exactly what happened.

Burn incident

On February 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered a 49-cent cup of coffee from the drive-through window of a local McDonald's restaurant located at 5001 Gibson Boulevard S.E. Liebeck was in the passenger's seat of her grandson's Ford Probe, and her grandson Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. Liebeck 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, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin.

- wikipedia


Granted, it was reduced on appeal to something like $600,000. But she WAS careless and DID spill it on herself, and the jury DID award her almost $3 million.
 
2013-06-16 05:31:41 PM

gibbon1: For me the two things that make that case not outrageous are. The old lady was only suing for actual damages, 28k in medical bills or some such. No pain and suffering.


Um, not exactly. Liebeck sought to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her actual and anticipated expenses. Her past medical expenses were $10,500; her anticipated future medical expenses were approximately $2,500; and her loss of income was approximately $5,000 for a total of approximately $18,000
- wikipedia

$18,000 =/= $20,000
 
2013-06-16 05:35:26 PM

gibbon1: Problem is, McDonald's had the coffee machine dicked with after the accident. No one actually knows what temperature the coffee was at.


Cite???

"During the case, Liebeck's attorneys discovered that McDonald's required franchisees to serve coffee at 180-190 °F (82-88 °C)." ... "...and coffee continues to be served as hot or hotter today at McDonald's and chains like Starbucks"
-wikipedia
 
2013-06-16 05:36:00 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm damn tired of being lied to by the media.

A perfect example happened here, in Florida, during hurricane season some years ago. The news kept telling us of this major, terrible, ginormous, historical storm that was set to hit our area. We all hunkered down and barricaded the doors, turned our TVs to the weather channel and watched as the storm came steadily closer.

When it hit, it was no stronger than a squall.

Somewhere along the way it had fizzled out. However, the local news media, not to be upstaged, were out in force, with reporters shown braving strong winds and drenching downpours along the beaches. My brother, a cop at the time, was on those beaches on patrol that night. He parked and watched news crews scurry around to find just the right spots to set up and wait for errant gusts of wind or an increase in the rain -- preferably backlit by a block of businesses -- to give the impression that the storm was worse than it actually was.

I still recall the 'hanging chad' mess played up by the national news during an election which made it sound like the majority of the State of Florida had deliberately screwed up the voting by NOT pushing hard enough to fully pop out a perforated circle on voting sheets. Apparently, a 'chad' 3/4 punched out was not an indicator that the voter had actually voted for that person.

Then we have the Infomercials. 99% of them exaggerate and lie their arses off to sell you their faulty products. Several of the companies are currently involved in litigation from pi$$ed off consumers and still hawk their products as the lawyers squabble.

BTW. Those Orgreenic no stick pans? Things stick to them. They work just fine for the first two or three times, then never work again. However, they are a nice, basic enamel pan.

I figure companies who hire pitchmen to sell their products ought to trigger suspicion in consumers immediately, since pitchmen earn their bucks by exaggerating the worth of whatever they sell. Professional liars.

The Internet is full of 'free samples' of products, where you need to provide a credit card to prove you're an adult. You get the free product, which usually performs as advertised -- only to discover that you didn't catch the nearly obscured information in the ad that you'd be charged monthly for refills until you called them to stop. Those refills or additional product would cost you twice as much as similar products purchased over the counter. Often, you might have problems actually getting anyone on the number listed to stop the charges.

The media blew the Clinton affair with Lewinski so far out of proportion that other nations were laughing at the US and our government nearly ground to a halt as the President tried to keep things rolling. That fiasco cost us billions.

I've seen ads for decades from banks, smoothly urging you to trust them and comforting you over your financial worries, encouraging you to get their low interest credit cards and showing how they coddle you when you enter their doors.

Then they screwed everyone over with the Housing Boom and mortgages. You took out a mortgage with a bank you trusted, and that bank sold your mortgage to a mortgage broker who sold it to investors who were only interested in profit.

Then came the foreclosure fiasco. The jump in interest rates. They started charging you for everything except walking in their doors. Even better, during the gas crisis, as people struggled with soaring costs, banks infested in crude, working to keep the prices high so as to maximize profit and then blamed it all on OPEC.

I once worked for a big name department store. We would get in these cheap shirts made in some foreign country. The managers would put them out at twice the normal price for a week or so, then, suddenly, they'd be 'ON SALE' at 50% off. So folks flocked in to buy the sale items, not knowing they were paying the actual full price for them.

Like I said, I'm tired of being lied to. However, I have no idea on how to make it stop.
 
2013-06-16 05:36:54 PM

Lord Dimwit: I mean, at some point, we have to fall back on common knowledge - cars don't have "don't stand in front of car when it is in motion" printed on the front bumper.


Caution, the edges of this sign are sharp.

/also, the bridge is out ahead.
 
2013-06-16 05:44:27 PM

skinink:  It always stuns me that the majority of people would never think that a big innocent corporation like McDonalds would be at fault in the lawsuit.



That's probably because McDonalds paid a lot of money to make sure people would remember that case in that manner.  Actually there's no probably about it. They did spent a lot of money to make sure people think of that case as a frivolous lawsuit instead of the culmination of several years of them screwing around AND being warned by authorities for doing so.

It's why when anyone tries the line "Do you really think company X cares about what people say about them?" the answer is always: Yes, yes they do.  So much that they will spend a great deal of time, effort and money to defend themselves.
 
2013-06-16 05:48:16 PM

Vexed Thespian: I like cracked.

I guess that makes me inferior to all of your tastes then huh?

seriously though, watch some of their after hours vids and come back and tell me cracked sucks.


I generally like it too, and most of their stuff is really well written and researched and has a good humor to it, but a lot of the stuff I've read recently is like they are trying too hard to be funny, are missing some facts, and well are just a big swing and a miss. Maybe new writers or editors, or maybe they need new writers and/or editors.
 
2013-06-16 05:49:32 PM
TonyDanza:
Errr...yeah, I'm with the "but that is what happened" folks.  She bought hot coffee (not hotter than coffee is supposed to be brewed at), put it in her lap, and spilled it.  She then sued, and was awarded a total of $2.9 mil.  The only part that you don't mention, and many people may not realize, is that the judge did reduce the amount awarded to $680,000.  However, that dollar amount is likely incorrect too, since Mcdonalds settled for an undisclosed amount, so nobody really knows how much she ended up getting.

Stick your shlong in water hot enough to melt the skin off.  Now, once you've finished screaming like a little pussy come here and explain to us in graphic detail exactly how much 3rd degree burns (that is all 3 major layers of skin just melted off) to an area with that many nerve endings hurts.  For added 'female effect' pull a pair of pantyhose over your shlong so the nylon can melt in to your flesh as well.

Should coffee be hot?  Yes.  Should coffee be hot enough to scold?  Yes.  Should coffee be hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns?  No actually it shouldn't.
 
2013-06-16 05:50:47 PM

Rik01: Like I said, I'm tired of being lied to. However, I have no idea on how to make it stop.


Stop expecting everything you see in the media to be the gospel truth, for starters.
 
2013-06-16 06:02:05 PM

Vaneshi: Stick your shlong in water hot enough to melt the skin off. Now, once you've finished screaming like a little pussy come here and explain to us in graphic detail exactly how much 3rd degree burns (that is all 3 major layers of skin just melted off) to an area with that many nerve endings hurts. For added 'female effect' pull a pair of pantyhose over your shlong so the nylon can melt in to your flesh as well.


Why on earth would he do that?  Is that why the lady spilled the coffee on herself, because someone like you told her to?

Vaneshi: Should coffee be hot? Yes. Should coffee be hot enough to scold? Yes. Should coffee be hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns? No actually it shouldn't.


Well, that's how it's still served industry-wide today. You better get a movement going against this dangerous scourge!
 
2013-06-16 06:03:45 PM

42_42_42: Obviously, the solution is to make all hot beverages and foods and anything that is dangerous or could be used in a dangerous manner illegal.

Or we could that the sensible route and tell people that do stupid things that cause injuries to themselves not to be so farking stupid next time.

Personally, I think that anyone that places a cup of hot coffee between their legs is accepting the risk that they could get severely burned. Anyone old enough to be drinking coffee and drinking a car who claims to not know they could get burned by placing said cup of hot coffee between their legs is a farking moron and should be eliminated from the gene pool forthwith.


Heh...I'd imagine third-degree burns to the crotch would make you WISH you'd been eliminated from the gene pool...
 
2013-06-16 06:18:37 PM

fredklein: Um, not exactly. Liebeck sought to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her actual and anticipated expenses. Her past medical expenses were $10,500; her anticipated future medical expenses were approximately $2,500; and her loss of income was approximately $5,000 for a total of approximately $18,000
- wikipedia

$18,000 =/= $20,000


I'll take the great wiki's word for it, since the 28k was me remembering something I read many beers ago.  But it's in line with what I said, the old lady wasn't asking for a million bucks, just something inline with actual expenses.

Really though the case as presented to us has very little to do with the facts themselves.
 
2013-06-16 06:55:39 PM

gibbon1: But it's in line with what I said, the old lady wasn't asking for a million bucks, just something inline with actual expenses.


Well... at first. Then it jumped to $90,000, then $300,000. Far, far, beyond 'actual expenses'.

Pre-trial

Liebeck sought to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her actual and anticipated expenses. Her past medical expenses were $10,500; her anticipated future medical expenses were approximately $2,500; and her loss of income was approximately $5,000 for a total of approximately $18,000.[13] Instead, the company offered only $800. When McDonald's refused to raise its offer, Liebeck retained Texas attorney Reed Morgan. Morgan filed suit in New Mexico District Court accusing McDonald's of "gross negligence" for selling coffee that was "unreasonably dangerous" and "defectively manufactured". McDonald's refused Morgan's offer to settle for $90,000.[2] Morgan offered to settle for $300,000, and a mediator suggested $225,000 just before trial, but McDonald's refused these final pre-trial attempts to settle.[2]
  -wiki
 
2013-06-16 07:00:34 PM

Vaneshi: Should coffee be hot? Yes. Should coffee be hot enough to scold? Yes. Should coffee be hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns? No actually it shouldn't.


Actually, yes.

To scald (I assume you meant that instead of "scold") means:

1. To burn with or as if with hot liquid or steam.
2. To subject to or treat with boiling water

Anything hot enough to scald can cause 3rd degree burns. Assuming you dump it in your lap, then sit in a puddle of it for up to 30 seconds.
 
2013-06-16 09:49:47 PM
Call me silly, but I have the feeling that spilled coffee shouldn't require skin graft operations.

Sure, coffee is supposed to be hot.  But there's a difference between hot and "oh look, it just burnt through three layers of skin".
 
2013-06-16 10:48:17 PM

To Wish Impossible Things: Call me silly, but I have the feeling that spilled coffee shouldn't require skin graft operations.

Sure, coffee is supposed to be hot.  But there's a difference between hot and "oh look, it just burnt through three layers of skin".


That's a perfectly reasonable statement, but I doubt you'll convince any of the people here who don't already believe that.
 
2013-06-16 10:48:34 PM

Rik01: I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm damn tired of being lied to by the media.

A perfect example happened here, in Florida, during hurricane season some years ago. The news kept telling us of this major, terrible, ginormous, historical storm that was set to hit our area. We all hunkered down and barricaded the doors, turned our TVs to the weather channel and watched as the storm came steadily closer.

When it hit, it was no stronger than a squall.

Somewhere along the way it had fizzled out. However, the local news media, not to be upstaged, were out in force, with reporters shown braving strong winds and drenching downpours along the beaches. My brother, a cop at the time, was on those beaches on patrol that night. He parked and watched news crews scurry around to find just the right spots to set up and wait for errant gusts of wind or an increase in the rain -- preferably backlit by a block of businesses -- to give the impression that the storm was worse than it actually was.

I still recall the 'hanging chad' mess played up by the national news during an election which made it sound like the majority of the State of Florida had deliberately screwed up the voting by NOT pushing hard enough to fully pop out a perforated circle on voting sheets. Apparently, a 'chad' 3/4 punched out was not an indicator that the voter had actually voted for that person.

Then we have the Infomercials. 99% of them exaggerate and lie their arses off to sell you their faulty products. Several of the companies are currently involved in litigation from pi$$ed off consumers and still hawk their products as the lawyers squabble.

BTW. Those Orgreenic no stick pans? Things stick to them. They work just fine for the first two or three times, then never work again. However, they are a nice, basic enamel pan.

I figure companies who hire pitchmen to sell their products ought to trigger suspicion in consumers immediately, since pitchmen earn their bucks by exaggerating the worth of wh ...


dlcache.com
 
2013-06-16 11:17:02 PM

To Wish Impossible Things: Call me silly, but I have the feeling that spilled coffee shouldn't require skin graft operations.

Sure, coffee is supposed to be hot.  But there's a difference between hot and "oh look, it just burnt through three layers of skin".


Handle it carefully, handle it correctly, and it won't burn anything. As Millions of people can testify to every day.

ANYTHING can be mis-handled and cause injury. "Sure, knives are supposed to be sharp. But there's a difference between sharp and "oh look, I just cut off my fingers."
 
2013-06-16 11:55:46 PM
I've seen Disneyland backstage.  It was the only time in my life I had ever been there, in fact.

For a kid, I could see it being incredibly traumatic.  For me, at 26, it was incredibly cool to see how everything worked.
 
2013-06-17 01:26:25 AM
McDonald's may be 10% responsible for the burns but anyone with a half of a brain can attest to you that it's not smart to put a cup of scalding hot liquid between your legs. Especially if the lid isn't put on tight enough. That is why cup holders are made for such situations.
 
2013-06-17 02:10:40 AM
1) Do something so profoundly stupid than infants are smacking their foreheads in utter disbelief at how moronic you are
2) Be severely injured whilst doing the stupid
3) Sue any and every major corporation that could in any way have been involved in the stupid
4) Profit!

/lawsuit lottery ftw
//'merica!
 
2013-06-17 02:26:45 PM
fredklein: "Granted, it was reduced on appeal to something like $600,000. But she WAS careless and DID spill it on herself, and the jury DID award her almost $3 million."

Methinks someone doesn't understand the entire point of punitive damages.

If the only risk McD's faces is to pay the actual costs (less the negligent percentage that the victim would have to shoulder), and that only if they lost the case, then there is literally no incentive for them to do anything other than take every case to trial.  The vast majority of the (original) award was a clear message stating "don't be a dick", and Stella Liebeck was an almost incidental recipient of said award.

I, personally, don't have particular issues with forcing companies to eat large monetary penalties when they try to act like dicks.

(Mind you I live in Canada, where the medical cost underpinnings of this case would have dissolved in any event.  How much of the US's lawsuit industry was and will yet be fuelled by your insane health 'care' system?)

/trollies
 
2013-06-17 02:53:44 PM

BiffBolt: fredklein: "Granted, it was reduced on appeal to something like $600,000. But she WAS careless and DID spill it on herself, and the jury DID award her almost $3 million."

Methinks someone doesn't understand the entire point of punitive damages.


pu·ni·tive
Adjective
Inflicting or intended as punishment.


The whole point is that McDonalds DID NOTHING WRONG. They served her coffee, the same exact way they served (and still do serve) hundreds of millions of other people. The burn was HER fault. She carelessly handled the coffee, and spilled it on herself. Period. End of.

So, why, exactly, should they be punished? Because they have a lot of money? The bastards- running a successful business! They should be punished for that!

The vast majority of the (original) award was a clear message stating "don't be a dick",

McDonalds offered her money, despite the fact the entire thing was HER fault. How is that 'being a dick'?? Were they 'dickish' because they didn't offer her enough money for the injury she caused herself?

Besides, 'being a dick' is not illegal, and a jury should look at the actual facts of the case, and not rule based on who they feel 'is a dick'.

I, personally, don't have particular issues with forcing companies to eat large monetary penalties when they try to act like dicks.

I do. Because "The Company" did not 'act like a dick'. Some people in the company may (or may not) have done so. Blaming the entire company because of the actions of a few people in the company is like calling all blacks criminals because you saw one arrested once.

Besides, I don't think they 'acted like a dick'. As I pointed out above, they offered her money, despite it not being their fault.
 
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