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(Boston Globe)   British judge determines that McDonalds not liable for people burnt from hot coffee.   ( divider line
    More: Hero  
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4758 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Mar 2002 at 4:09 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

115 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-03-27 04:33:27 PM  
"If I remember right (correct me if I'm wrong), the BRITISH constitiution is based on ours."

Ok, you're wrong. Britain doesn't have a constitution. They have the Magna Carta, but this is different than british common law. Basically British is based on the rulings of judges going back for hundreds of years.
2002-03-27 04:34:43 PM  
Oops, sorry Metalstill :)
Got a little carried away...
2002-03-27 04:35:18 PM  
"I understand that their backwards and unjust system forces the loser to pay for legal costs for both sides."

As they should for wasting the time of the defendants and the court.

Go capitalism!
2002-03-27 04:35:26 PM  
Not that the $7 million that the woman was awarded wasn't excessive in the case we all remember from years ago....

I had a friend that worked as a paralegal at the time. She showed me a synopsis of the case. Apparently the deciding factor in that McDonalds case was that that particular franchise had been warned and/or sued 6 times previously for having coffee that exceeded state and corporate limits for allowable, safe serving temperature.

It was so hot, it melted the womans skin (yes, on her 'kootchie'...ow!) requiring painful and expensive plastic surgery.

The court ruled that when she placed the coffee between her legs...she did so 'assuming a reasonable risk' of pain...serving coffee so hot that it melted flesh as though molten lead exceeded the 'reasonable risk' any of us would assume.

BTW, on appeal the award was dropped to only several hundred thousand dollars...enough to cover her medical expenses, lawyer fees, and a pile of dough left for pain and suffering.

Not that there aren't plenty of frivilous lawsuits out there, but when you get all the facts..this isn't as trite as it would initially appear.
2002-03-27 04:38:03 PM  
Bravo, Grunthos. Context makes all the difference.
2002-03-27 04:38:55 PM  
Coffee? In England? I thought those limeys just drank tea?
2002-03-27 04:40:09 PM  
well, im glad the judge is smart, but you know, Mcdonalds needs to have about 5% of the total profit go to something good. like the fark beer fund, Nootch.
2002-03-27 04:42:08 PM  
The main problem is lawyers who will sue for anything and a justice system that allows them too. The next problem is a jury system that allows a jury of idiots who think that because a company can afford to pay then it should pay, regardless of who did what. If lawyers had any morals at all, they say just what this judge did: "You dumbass. It's SUPPOSED to be hot! Go away!"
2002-03-27 04:42:13 PM  
"melted flesh as though molten lead"? WTF? Can liquid coffee really get much hotter than 212 degrees F?
2002-03-27 04:42:56 PM  
Shut up, Tucci, you ass. Here's to common sense in the UK. Score one for a decent judicial system. Score negative one for trial lawyers and brainless assheaded old farts who don't know that coffee is hot.
2002-03-27 04:44:07 PM  
True Bokonon. Not being a good troll is a good thing. I stand corrected :).


Unproven, unfounded accusation. And if you say that just the fact that you know they fixed it is enough, I say that there are people who know Bill Clinton committed crimes in office, but it makes little difference if it isn't proven in a court of law. If Al Gore had won, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Dems would find nothing wrong with the Election and there would be no screaming for "Reform of the Electoral College".


I refer you to the above comment about Corporations making the world go round. They support and sustain Capitalism. Without them we would be in a world of crap. The Right knows this. Thus their support.


The party that pushes for fewer abortions should not be accused of being anti-human. "Fetuses" are humans, not "lumps of tissue".

"Conquer We must when our cause it is Just" is not warmongering. The people who flew airliners into the WTC started the current war, not the Right.
2002-03-27 04:44:18 PM  
dumbass, not hero.

we aren't talking about hot drinks, we are talking about liquid so super hot that it causes third degree burns.

read the REAL story about the mcdonald's lawsuits sometime, not the bullshiat version most people believe.
2002-03-27 04:45:37 PM  
Well, hip-hip hooray, it appears that there is at least one judge with common sense left in this world.

Too bad our own U.S. courts are mere staging grounds for the likes of trial lawyers, with our legal code reduced to a guide for legally-sanctioned theft and extortion.
2002-03-27 04:45:57 PM  
Ah, now maybe this can start a trend of consumer products that don't have ridiculous warning labels printed all over them: "Don't swing this bat in an aggressive motion at a ball-shaped object unless said ball-shaped object has signed the supplied waivers in triplicate, witnessed by a notary."

Nah, didn't think so...
2002-03-27 04:46:53 PM  
Maybe it's a way to get rid of the gerontology specimens hanging out at some McDos. Let the melting begin !
2002-03-27 04:47:14 PM  
The british system for lawsuits like this is simple.
If the judge decides its not worth the courts time, they can throw it out, and fine the person who brought up the lawsuit. if it goes through, and the person who brought it up loses, they pay all legal costs for both sides.
2002-03-27 04:49:10 PM  
I think McDonalds should sue the plaintiffs for being too stupid to realize that COFFEE is served HOT
2002-03-27 04:50:19 PM  
thank god the judge has common sense. these litigious jerks should be sterilized.
2002-03-27 04:50:35 PM  
Gruntos :
"...serving coffee so hot that it melted flesh as though molten lead..."

I'm not calling you a liar, but if it was that hot wouldn't it have either 1) done damage to the cup first, or 2) been noticeable when she grabbed the cup ?

That lady is definitely a victim, but not of McDonald, but of her own stupidity. Hopefully that hot molten coffee sterilized her .
2002-03-27 04:50:46 PM  
Don't get me started on the constitution, Redneckburn.
I meant that most other countries realise that the lawyer does not have power, the judge and jury do.
In the US though, the lawyer is a very different beast than their counterparts in the UK, and everywhere else i think.

I lost all faith in it since the O.J trial.
Anyone see last weeks Simpsons, where Homer suddenly realised that O.J was guilty and threw his picture away? How do they keep getting away with it. (Simpsons writers i mean)
2002-03-27 04:53:03 PM  
Liquid can never cause third degree burns. 3rd degree = charred flesh, something 100C cannot do.
2002-03-27 04:53:29 PM  
Krik81: they have good lawyers ;)
2002-03-27 04:53:52 PM  
Does this mean that I could spill the awful stuff all over servers and would not get in trouble?
2002-03-27 04:55:52 PM  
I think I should be able to sue if they fark up my order.

"I said NO ONIONS! Lawyer!"
2002-03-27 05:04:22 PM  
They already spill beer enough, Vexhex
2002-03-27 05:05:05 PM  
acid can be in liquid form, some may argue that the "coffee" at McDonalds is close to a corrosive...

but seriously you are right, 3rd degree is through the fat layers.
2002-03-27 05:19:43 PM  
*this rant is not to be taken as an assault on all US persons, just those litigious piles of crap whom you house*

I believe that WOULD be all of us.
2002-03-27 05:23:20 PM  

Well, liquid water or drinks composed mainly of water. You could get 3rd degree burns with liquid hot "magma"
2002-03-27 05:24:08 PM  
Facts about the mcdonald's scalding coffee case:

I for one do not ever want skin grafts in the lap area.
2002-03-27 05:28:43 PM  
My faith in humanity as been restored(even though they're bloody Brits-hell we love'em anyway)! Common sense is alive an well!!
2002-03-27 06:14:04 PM  
We need more judges over here like him... AND we need to implement a Frivolity Law that fines lawyers and clients who bring frivolous lawsuits against people and/or companies...
2002-03-27 06:14:28 PM  
If you really want a legit reason to sue, howabout going for fraud? I have never seen a burger from McDonalds that vaguely reseambles the ones they feature in print ads.
2002-03-27 06:16:30 PM  
I could really give a rip about "the true facts" in the McD's lawsuit. As far as I'm concerned it was a matter of personal responsibility. Coffee by nature is SUPPOSED to be hot (hell, the biatch probably would've have sued if it was too cool!). If the coffee was too farking hot, then she should have either refused it or cooled it down with a piece of ice.
2002-03-27 06:17:58 PM  
You won't see me flaming the UK... I love those British men... Colin Firth the most. How can anyone dislike a country that produces such hotties with accents?
2002-03-27 06:26:42 PM  
If I got a third digree burn (charred, blackened flesh) from any food item, damn strait I would sue!
2002-03-27 06:51:55 PM  
Haha! The british and hot beverages!
"If this is coffee, please bring me tea. If this is tea, bring me coffee"."
British coffee is maybe even worse than american.
2002-03-27 07:02:07 PM  
Seems like only yesterday when British judges were saying rape victims were 'asking for it' by wearing short skirts. Now they are comming up with reasonable jugments like this!?

What's this country comming to? Where did all our mad, out of touch law lords go? Who let sane and intelligent people into the legal system. It's madness I tell you!
2002-03-27 07:05:10 PM  
"British coffee is maybe even worse than american."

Hate coffee anyway, so couldn't comment. But we got Starbucks here now. How do you get rid of them? Can you get a spray for it? Why can't they serve tea? Damm-it!
2002-03-27 07:18:25 PM  
I heard on Saturday Night Live that a woman spilled her coffe at Starbucks and got burned. She sued for $4,000,000.00.

When asked how she came up with that figure she said:
"I just wanted my money back."

It was on SNL, so it's a proven fact.
2002-03-27 07:19:07 PM  
Grunthos: Thanks for putting this into perspective. Nothing like the actual facts of the original case to spoil everyone's party, huh?
2002-03-27 07:24:02 PM  
Red99 :Perhaps you should think about moving to Cuba. I'm sure you'd love it there.
2002-03-27 07:47:20 PM  
this man is truly a hero ...

... actual facts dont spoil a party ... so the coffee was 'really hot' ... no shiat? thats unusual for coffee.

fark i am so BLOODY SICK of people not taking responsibilty for their own mistakes ... and then having morons actually support them ... jeesus
2002-03-27 07:51:07 PM  
A few notes to idiots. Old people and Children have "thinner" skin and are more likley to receive burns at lower temps the young adults and middle aged folk. If you are old you need to take more care around hot fluid, ignorance should not be a defense. If you spill hot liquid on absorbant pants, you need to take them off, it does not matter at that point if you are old and saggy I mean you are trying to save your genitals. Water at 160 degrees would have taken 20 seconds to cause 3rd degree burns less at higher temps naturally would do this quicker 190 6-8 seconds of contact. Note the time to drop a pair of sweats is less then two seconds (That was motivated by puntang but hot coffee should be close to that level of effectiveness) Coffee was also served with a Spill proof lid (Saftey mechanism to limit flow of hot fluid) this saftey mechanism was delibrately removed, and removed in such a violent or careless manner as to result in not just some but ALL of the liquid to be poured onto the lap. If you take off your radiator cap you are liable for your own scalds. This woman was STUPID defending her is a sign of an even more profound case of mental retardation.
2002-03-27 08:09:12 PM  
As a note to those that question could the coffee be that hot.

I don't know, perhaps an experiment is in order...

Keep in mind that though water boils at 212F, Tar ( I worked as a roofer for a summer) boils at 520F. This is why antifreeze prevents boilover in the raises the boiling point of the liquid in your cooling system.

The fact that we don't know means we have to make 'assumptions'. The woman wasn't stupid, she was trusting. When was the last time any of you put a thermometer in a cup of coffee?

Well, you haven't. Perhaps you are stupid for assuming it won't scar you and melt you skin just as you say she is?

BTW, VMAN she couldn't drop her pants 'cuz she was seatbelted in and driving (yes, this was a bad idea..I'm sure nobody else has ever done this - sic.)Also, do we know the safety lid was deliberately removed, or did it pop off as they often do?
2002-03-27 08:10:53 PM  
Mmmmmmm.. forbidden scalding coffee augghhhh....
2002-03-27 08:16:50 PM  
oops! I just read the URL regarding the case

And she did take the top that's my bad VMAN...But she was belted to get some coffee.
2002-03-27 08:23:54 PM  
I always drink my coffee at 180 degrees, don't you?
2002-03-27 08:24:01 PM  
"The fact that we don't know means we have to make 'assumptions'. The woman wasn't stupid, she was trusting."

And evidently had no sense of temperature on her hands and was blind. I don't know about you guys but when I'm handed a cardboard/plastic cup of something hot I can sense it through my fingers and I also notice the steam rising from the cup suggesting that the liquid within is at or near boiling point.
2002-03-27 08:25:49 PM  
Grunthos : "The woman wasn't stupid, she was trusting. When was the last time any of you put a thermometer in a cup of coffee?"

... probably in chemistry class at school back when i was 12 ...

next question ... When was the last time any of you put a cup of just poured coffee between your legs?

err ... never, im not that stupid ...

youre right, that woman wasnt stupid ... she was FARKING RETARDED ...

Grunthos : "The fact that we don't know means we have to make 'assumptions'."

assumptions, as they say ... are the brother of all fark ups ;) besides ... the fact that coffee that has *just been poured* is cool enough to hold between my legs while i take the top off, is not an 'assumption' that i tend to normally make ... my assumption in this case would have been something more like 'that coffee would probably fuse my gentalia together if i hold it in my lap and it spills, id better be careful' ... btw, 'genitalia fused together AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA !!!

... have no pity on the morons, it only encourages them ...
2002-03-27 09:05:55 PM  
Proof positive that at least some Brits are not evil... hey, where's Friskysheep?
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