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Posted: 5/21/2002 12:04:51 PM EDT
After reading many of the negative comments regarding lawyers and specifically this case, I thought many of you might want to know the rest of the story. Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was in the passenger seat of her grandson's car when she was severely burned by McDonalds' coffee in February 1992. Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was served in a styrofoam cup at the drivethrough window of a local McDonalds. After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward and stopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. (Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.) Liebeck placed the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from the cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled into her lap. The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused. During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks. This history documented McDonalds' knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard. McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees. Further, McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:05:32 PM EDT
Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn. McDonalds asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there. However, the companys own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving. McDonalds also argued that consumers know coffee is hot and that its customers want it that way. The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer thirddegree burns from the coffee and that a statement on the side of the cup was not a "warning" but a "reminder" since the location of the writing would not warn customers of the hazard. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds' coffee sales. Post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonalds had dropped to 158 degrees fahrenheit. The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 -- or three times compensatory damages -- even though the judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful. [url]www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm [/url]
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:10:57 PM EDT
How much did Kramer get for burning his balls with latte'?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:48:05 PM EDT
Wow 700 people burned in 10 years!! That's like 1.5 per week. Holy God Lord, how can that be, the fiends. Let me get this straight. A person order a beverage that is made with boiling water, and spills it on themselves, and it's whose fault?? There was recently a similar case in Britian. They said that there should be warning labels etc. etc. and asked for money. The case was thrown out. Apparently the Court in Britian felt that people should use common sense.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:53:27 PM EDT
You forgot to mention that the blood-sucking lawyer got a third of that money. How much pain did he suffer? Not 500k worth. why not work like the rest of stiffs and get paid hourly?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 12:59:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:19:53 PM EDT
AFAIK, no one is questioning or minimizing the extent on injury sufferred. SHE decided to put the coffee in her lap and SHE took the lid off to mess with it. SHE spilled it. At 79, her circulation and the sweat pants would guarantee a burn at almost any elevated temperature, I've seen SNF patients burned by common electric blankets. It didn't burn her BECAUSE it was hot, the cup adequately insulated her and she wasn't injured DRINKING it. IT BURNED HER BECAUSE SHE TOOK THE LID OFF. ARDOC- not everybody works for hourly wages, and if he worked up the case as he should have, you'd be surprised at the hourly rate it works out to. Not to say the Tobacco litigation lawyers didn't pull off the fee/scam of the century.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:23:15 PM EDT
And this is still McDonalds fault how?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:29:40 PM EDT
Never, ever, underestimate the STUPIDITY of the average American.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:31:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:46:59 PM EDT
My dad gets McDonalds coffee all the time except he asks for one of those cardboard cup holders an leaves it settin in that when he's not drinkin it. When this story first came out I remember him saying "Whatever, it doesn't take a genius to know that sh*ts hot".
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:48:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson:
Originally Posted By cgwahl: And this is still McDonalds fault how?
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Because McDonald's knowingly maintained their coffee at a temperature far too hot to be consumed, despite knowledge that it was unreasonably dangerous to keep the coffee that hot.
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Additionally, McDonald's own testimony indicated they knew people would drink the overheated coffee while driving. Hence, it was forseeable a spill and subsequent injury would result at some point. Also, McDonald's with all of its prior experience and knowledge about spills and injuries was clearly in the better position to reduce the risk of harm by lowering the coffee temperature. Many of you would hold the parent liable for a child getting shot with an unsecured loaded gun. Same forseeability and reduction of risk of harm rationale applies.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:50:21 PM EDT
No the Pinto, Firestone 721 tires, and lots of other things are definitely the makers faults. Then again I just saw a story on '66 Ford Mustangs. They apparently have a dangerous defect that Ford should be rquired to fix. The gas tank, that met standards when built, is sub-standard today. Lawyers believe Ford should have to fix this "defective" design. What the hell is that? Just like smokers should sue cigarette companies for the effects of smoking. Gee do you think sucking on something on fire will be bad for you? If not why do firefighters wear airtanks? Locally we had a women sue Chrysler because she was injured, paralyzed, in a single vehicle traffic crash. She claimed the mini-vans design that she was driving was defective. The roof of the van wasn't strong enough to protect her when it rolled over. She won a siginigant settlement. Let me see, the roof of the mini-van wasn't strong enough to protect the driver in a rollever crash. Let's think about that. How did the van end up on it's roof?? Who's responsible for rollin a van over on a city street with one of those ridiculously low speed limits?? Who is at fault here? Another one, drunken idiot falls of the balcony at a party at his house. The ambulance has difficulty getting to his house because of all the cars illegally parked in front of his house. DI suffer serious spinal cord injuries. DI sues, police, EMS, and parked car owners. He claims that his injuries were worsened because the PD failed to remove the illegally parked vehicles. The EMS worsened his injuries because of their slow response. The parked car owners were also responsible for their cars. That went to trial, all those folk needed atty's. Luckily a jury knew better, they felt that yes PD, EMS, and the parked car owner's may have made things worse, but there would be nothing to make worse without a DI. A DI that hosted the party, provided, and used intoxicants voluntarily, and who decided to act stupid on his balcony. But he was able to find an atty. that would vigouously "work" his claim.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 1:53:39 PM EDT
Many of you would hold the parent liable for a child getting shot with an unsecured loaded gun. Same forseeability and reduction of risk of harm rationale applies.
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WRONG. In your "unsecured loaded gun" hypothetical, it's CRITICAL that the victim is a VICTIM, ie, a CHILD, one recognized by the law as incapable of protecting themself. A more accurate hypo would be an adult grabbing a wepon from another adult, and WHITHOUT CHECKING WHETHER OR NOT IT'S LOADED, doing something STUPID like putting it to their head and pulling the trigger. Who is at fault? Would anyone blame the other adult?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 2:07:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kikomax:
Originally Posted By eswanson:
Originally Posted By cgwahl: And this is still McDonalds fault how?
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Because McDonald's knowingly maintained their coffee at a temperature far too hot to be consumed, despite knowledge that it was unreasonably dangerous to keep the coffee that hot.
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Additionally, McDonald's own testimony indicated they knew people would drink the overheated coffee while driving. Hence, it was forseeable a spill and subsequent injury would result at some point. Also, McDonald's with all of its prior experience and knowledge about spills and injuries was clearly in the better position to reduce the risk of harm by lowering the coffee temperature. Many of you would hold the parent liable for a child getting shot with an unsecured loaded gun. Same forseeability and reduction of risk of harm rationale applies.
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Luckily nature provides it's own warning system. It's called steam. Why would heated liquid vapor be coming from an enclosed container of liquid. Hmmmmmmmm A prudent person would wonder.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 2:17:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87:
Many of you would hold the parent liable for a child getting shot with an unsecured loaded gun. Same forseeability and reduction of risk of harm rationale applies.
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WRONG. In your "unsecured loaded gun" hypothetical, it's CRITICAL that the victim is a VICTIM, ie, a CHILD, one recognized by the law as incapable of protecting themself. A more accurate hypo would be an adult grabbing a wepon from another adult, and WHITHOUT CHECKING WHETHER OR NOT IT'S LOADED, doing something STUPID like putting it to their head and pulling the trigger. Who is at fault? Would anyone blame the other adult?
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At least in the point I was trying to make, I would disagree that the victims capacity to protect themselves is relevant. Fact is, Daddy left a loaded gun lying around and knew better and sonny boy shot himself and didn't know better. McDonald's served super-hot coffee and knew better and Granny spilled hot coffee and didn't know better. Should she have? Possibly, but that is the comparative responsibility question. Don't know about your state but in Texas children are held to a same or similar age negligence standard. Under 4 or 5 and they can't be held responsible for their actions but as they get older they are held to a similarly aged child standard. Ah, lawyers splitting hairs. No wonder nobody likes us. [:P] Gotta go. It's Miller time.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 2:33:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2002 2:39:05 PM EDT by NOVA5]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery: Then again I just saw a story on '66 Ford Mustangs. They apparently have a dangerous defect that Ford should be rquired to fix. The gas tank, that met standards when built, is sub-standard today. Lawyers believe Ford should have to fix this "defective" design. What the hell is that?
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To paraphrase Clark Griswold : What kind of cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey ^^^^ liberal thought that up? 12hr shift at work... bored as hell. [whacko]
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 2:37:56 PM EDT
Thank you Paul Harvey for the Rest of the Story. I think I'd like to sue McDonald's now for the fat content of their Big Macs - They KNOW people are going to be eating those things, leading to digestion in the human body, and those saturated fats are going to kill me. I'd say this case is worth a mil or two what do you guys think?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 2:56:47 PM EDT
It's a damn shame when everyone's expected to cater to the most idiotic clients possible.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 3:54:33 PM EDT
rainman 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? You haven’t even been to see the doctor! If you’re going to put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on! I guess I screwed up, huh Jackie? You damn right you screwed up!
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:03:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2002 4:09:45 PM EDT by NH2112]
It doesn't matter how [red]hot[/red] the [red]hot coffee[/red] was - if the 700 people burned by the [red]hot coffee[/red] hadn't been trying to drink the [red]hot coffee[/red] while driving or taken the lid off the [red]hot coffee cup[/red] while holding it in an unsecure manner, they wouldn't have gotten burned by the [red]hot coffee[/red]. Period. [red]Hot coffee[/red] just doesn't jump out of the [red]hot coffee[/red] cup and into your lap. And 700 people burned by [red]hot coffee[/red] in a 10-year period? Big deal! how many people [b]didn't[/b] get burned by McDonalds' [red]hot coffee[/red] during that same timeframe? Was the [red]hot coffee[/red] served to the other 99,999,300 or so people too cold to cause burns? Or could it [b]possibly[/b] be that the 700 people who got burned by the [red]hot coffee[/red] were burned by the [red]hot coffee[/red] because they did something [b]stupid[/b] with the [red]hot coffee[/red]?
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:18:27 PM EDT
While I agree she is largely at fault for spilling the coffee, and should definitely have exercised a bit more common sense, coffee should not be served hot enough to cause third degree burns in 2-7 seconds. Both parties share responsibility.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:30:44 PM EDT
Oh, so it's [i]lawyers[/i] that turn our society into the nanny state? Thanks for pointing [i]that[/i] out.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:33:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kar98: Oh, so it's [i]lawyers[/i] that turn our society into the nanny state? Thanks for pointing [i]that[/i] out.
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YEAH! Couldn't be the JURIES writing those enormous checks, could it? After all, an attorney asked for lots of money, but a jury wrote the check.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 4:40:11 PM EDT
I suppose that Liebeck never before in her life spilled coffee or other hot liquid on herself? I also suppose she had never before spilled anything in this or a similar manner? I also suppose she never had coffee before and didn't know it was hot? She knew or reasonably should have known that was a stupid thing to do and bears 95% of the responsibility. I can understand a small settlement, say under $10k, for the coffee being unnecessarily hot, but not millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 6:36:51 PM EDT
When I lived in Albuquerque I frequented the McD's where this stupid women burned herself. Alls I have to say is you couldn't get a hot cup of coffee from that McD's for a long long long time after she won her stupid lawsuit....
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 6:51:09 PM EDT
[size=5][b][red]WARNING ! CONTENTS MAY BE HOT ![/size=5][/b][/red] [flame]
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 9:40:35 PM EDT
I preface this by saying that my statements are not intended to be a valid or convincing legal argument. Third degree burns to her perineum (commonly known as the 'taint)...debriding treatments (I don't even want to get into that one)!!!! All I can say is that if I were to experience the male equivalent of the above...I'd be looking for a little payback too. Me on the stand, "I don't care WHO'S at fault, my NUTS be burned off, I mean LOOK at my nuts...damnit, LOOK...AT...MY...NUTS!!!!!!". Extends and opens hand, displaying nuts.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 9:52:17 PM EDT
Does this mean I should sue the poor lady who had a WW2 era P38 with the faulty safety that failed and sent a 9MM round through my leg 16 years ago ? I think not , it was an ACCIDENT ! Maybe I lived outside of the U.S. too long , but good grief what's happen to common sense in this country .
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 9:54:54 PM EDT
Let me see... Hot Coffee (should there be any other kind? Iced coffee is an ATROCITY!) served in a styrene cup (relatively soft,) and in a vehicle where there was, presumably, no sort of table surface to work on. Remove lid from coffee (NO NO NO!) Come on, people, I don't even do that and I'm way on the short side of 79! Hell, I rarely drink hot coffee out of anything but a stainless thermal cup while I'm driving, I like my gonads where they are, and I'm jst not done using them yet. Does McD's make their coffee too hot? I've drunk it right after getting it with no ill effects. So, I don't think so. Granted, this is subjective, much like evaluating an engine modification by use of the sophisticated "Butt Dyno." The problem here, as I am seeing it, is that we are reqarding someone for an action they should not have taken! Attorneys among us will recall the principle of "But for your actions." Face it, it's always been lsted on the menu as "Hot Coffee," it's always BEEN "Hot Coffee," and it don't take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to figure out that you just don't put this stuff next to your 'nads - even if you are finally done using them. The most you could have gotten out of me on the jury would have been to split the medical bills. FFZ
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 10:29:15 PM EDT
If I, as a reasonable and prudent person, knowingly served you a beverage that was able to cause third degree burns in seven seconds or less, would you say I was negligent? Thought so. Warning: contents hot, does not imply that it is tissue destroying hot. She is at fault, you have to accept responsibility for your actions, but so is and does McDs.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 11:25:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mortech: Does this mean I should sue the poor lady who had a WW2 era P38 with the faulty safety that failed and sent a 9MM round through my leg 16 years ago ? I think not , it was an ACCIDENT ! Maybe I lived outside of the U.S. too long , but good grief what's happen to common sense in this country .
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And why was she pointing it at you? What does the safety have to do with it? Was she trying to activate it or fiddling with it? I think that she caused the injury. Yes a gun is a mchanical item and all mechanical items can break or malfunction. I wonder why the gun was pointed in your direction. If that was intentional she is more at fault. If she didn't know you were there...... the bullet came out of her weapon. I would hope that she offered to pay your medical bills or the deductible.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 3:14:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mortech: Does this mean I should sue the poor lady who had a WW2 era P38 with the faulty safety that failed and sent a 9MM round through my leg 16 years ago ? I think not , it was an ACCIDENT !
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Mortech... just what did you do to that poor woman to get her to shoot you in the leg. nothing to serious as it was only a legshot i guess. ;)
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 3:37:51 AM EDT
I hate to say it, but I have to go with the lawyer bashers on this one. This was a disgusting example of a worst-case scenario of a ridiculous PI suit going the distance. It is NOT the norm, it is the exception. Otherwise, you would see thousands of cases like this (with huge plaintiff's judgements) per year. Doesn't happen- and you don't get the benefit of reading (as I do) about all those bullshit PI cases that are tossed out on their ass every year at the expense of the litigant and his/her attorney (most of the time rightfully so). So don't get an erection when trying to use this case as an example on another "why lawyers suck" thread. Also, while you are blaming lawyers for this, might want to spread some culpability on the dolts who made up the jury and the judge who did not grant the defense motion to strike the evidence. As for the "expert" testimony, this case, when you cut out all the bullshit, was NOT that complicated. An idiot spilled hot coffee on herself, go figure . . .
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 3:53:08 AM EDT
Most of the country has heard of the Darwin Awards given annually to the individuals who do the most for mankind by removing themselves from the gene pool. Now, we have the Stella Awards given to the individuals who win the most frivolous lawsuits ever. The Stella Awards are named in honor of 81 year-old Stella Liebeck, the woman who won $2.9 million for spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. The following are candidates for the award: 1. January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle, tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering that the misbehaving little fellow was Ms. Robertson's son. 2. June 1998: 19 year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr.Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps. 3. October, 1998: Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pa., was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't reenter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation. Mr.Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found in the garage and a large bag of dry dog food. Mr.Dickson sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of a half million dollars. 4. October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The dog was on a chain in its owner's fenced-in yard at the time. Mr. Williams was also in the fenced-in yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr.Williams who, at the time, was repeatedly shooting it with a pellet gun. 5. December 1997: Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pa., $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. 6. December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, DE. Successfully sued the owner of a night club when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 3:59:22 AM EDT
However, the companys own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving.
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GM knows some of its customers will drive the Corvette in excess of the speed limit. Budwieser knows some of its customers will drink and drive. Makers of box cutters now know some of its customers will hichjack planes. S&W knows some of its customers will use handguns unlawfully. Maybe those behind all the firearms lawsuits have a point. Most vehicles have built-in cup holders, enticing drivers and passengers to consume beverages while traveling. She should sue the auto maker for not installing a suitable "coffee prepration area" in the vehicle. Personally, I think hot coffee should be banned. It's a very dangerous product (for the mentally challenged). Eddie
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 4:07:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SNorman: Thank you Paul Harvey for the Rest of the Story. I think I'd like to sue McDonald's now for the fat content of their Big Macs - They KNOW people are going to be eating those things, leading to digestion in the human body, and those saturated fats are going to kill me. I'd say this case is worth a mil or two what do you guys think?
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Don't even get started on the FOOD POLICE issues. It's just a matter of time before they start filing.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 4:34:45 AM EDT
Steve (congrats btw) is right. Lawyers and Juries do this crap. Mama used to say stupid is as stupid does, and we the "American People" have become damn stupid. The surprising part to me is how many amongst us believe its ok to sue & get paid for this dumb chit. And they are all not from kali either!
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:41:34 AM EDT
Yeah, The whole suing afair is fucking crazy. One other thing to note is that McDonalds "superheats" that coffee to help kill the bitter taste of the low grade coffee they sell. Other places buy a higher grade of coffee and can therefore "safely" sell it at lower temps and not worry about the customer's complaining of the bitter taste. Still, people should know that "HOT" items will burn them and take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:44:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:52:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2002 5:53:17 AM EDT by NOVA5]
if she wore things like teen girls to. plastic body suits, ect she wouldnt have gotton burned. its her own damn fault for wearing a superabsorbant material when she knew she was going to stuff coffee in her legs.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 6:16:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eswanson: You guys don't get it, do you? The problem wasn't that the coffee was hot - everyone knows that coffee is hot. The problem was that it's reasonably foreseeable that people spill coffee, and McDonald's [i]intentionally[/i] kept their coffee so hot that it would cause full-thickness burns in seconds if it was spilled. They could've kept their coffee 30 degrees cooler and prevented it, but made a conscious decision not to do so.
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Let me see if I can get it.... The problem isnt that a ladder leaves the ground. Everyone knows ladders leave the ground. The problem was that it's reasonably foreseeable that people fall off of ladders, and LADDER MANUF X [i]intentionally[/i] kept their ladders 12 rungs high, so high that it would cause major injuries in seconds if someone fell. They could've kept their ladder 5 rungs shorter and prevented it, but made a conscious decision not to do so. [b]RANT[/b] Most people dont buy short ladders, nor cool coffee. The lady was a dimwit who should have waited until safe to do what she was attempting to do. The driver was an accessory to dim-wittedness. They are both either lacking in the mental capability to chew gum and walk down the street OR they made a simple mistake. Either way they are not the blame for the suits success. The lawyers did what lawyers do. The dimwitted jury that had the liberal mindset of protecting us from ourselves, and lack of personal responsibility are [b]DIRECTLY[/b] to blame for this. Correction, juries are directly to blame for our litigious society of today. Key Words for the day- [b]PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY[/b]
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:04:02 AM EDT
Things I've noticed.. 1- "It's never MY fault". The tendency to place blame elsewhere seems to be an unfortunately common human trait.. (this seems to be directly proportional to the stupidity of the act..) 2- "Since it's not my fault, "X" should pay me for it." Revenge, plain and simple. Compounded by the"it's never my fault" clause, this is one reason for frivilous lawsuits. (The burgular that got stuck in the garage is a perfect example.. Too bad there was'nt a wine bottle full of rat poison laying about..) 3-" Damages are not enough. They should be punished for this" (As long as I get a lot of money.) Okay, this is by far the worst. People see ads, and reports on the huge lawsuit settlements, and begin to see litigation as some kind of lottery."I burned my balls! Now I can buy that new Corvette!" Certianly, there are times when actual negligence is involved..But from my experiences with human nature, the majority of people are not willing to accecpt responsibility for their own mistakes.(Especially if there's a buck to be made..) Meplat-
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:31:36 AM EDT
So, we have some people on here who are taking up for lawyers and stupid people. Wouldn't that be more suitable for DU?
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 7:40:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:07:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:23:25 AM EDT
Borrowed from the GB board. Do you recognize a common theme here? Now, we have the Stella Awards given to the individuals who win the most frivolous lawsuits ever. The Stella Awards are named in honor of 81 year-old Stella Liebeck, the woman who won $2.9 million for spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. The following are candidates for the Award: January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin, TX, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle, tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering that the misbehaving little fellow was Ms. Robertson's son. June 1998: 19 year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps. October, 1998: Terrence Dickson of Bristol, PA, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't reenter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found in the garage and a large bag of dry dog food. Mr. Dickson sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of a half million dollars. October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The dog was on a chain in its owner's fenced-in yard at the time. Mr. Williams was also in the fenced-in yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was repeatedly shooting it with a pellet gun. December 1997: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, PA, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. December 1997: Kara Walton of Clamont, DE, successfully sued the owner of a night club when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses. cpermd
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:30:51 AM EDT
Barrister eswanson; I took the language from my ladder analogy verbatum from your coffee quote. The only word I changed was coffee. Both product performed as expected. The ladder was solid and climbable. I mentioned NO broken rung. The coffee was black & hot and during time cools off. Falling from a good ladder and spilling coffee ina closed container are [b]neither[/b] standard uses of either. There are exceptions to every rule. Spilling coffee happens? So does allergic reactions to Sugar, shall we ban its use? IMHO, Neither product was defective to a reasonable person.My only comment regarding lawyers, is that they did what they do. Lawyers litigate, charge and defend. Thats what they do. I placed the blame at the dumb ass lady and the jury.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 8:54:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet: Barrister eswanson; I took the language from my ladder analogy verbatum from your coffee quote. The only word I changed was coffee. Both product performed as expected. The ladder was solid and climbable. I mentioned NO broken rung. The coffee was black & hot and during time cools off. Falling from a good ladder and spilling coffee ina closed container are [b]neither[/b] standard uses of either. There are exceptions to every rule. Spilling coffee happens? So does allergic reactions to Sugar, shall we ban its use? IMHO, Neither product was defective to a reasonable person.My only comment regarding lawyers, is that they did what they do. Lawyers litigate, charge and defend. Thats what they do. I placed the blame at the dumb ass lady and the jury.
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I respectfully disagree. I like my coffee hot, but 185 degrees! Does anybody like their coffee that hot? Yes, she shouldn't have spilled it, but she was found to be partially liable. On the other hand McDonalds had plenty of warning that this was too hot. There are plenty on genuine frivilous lawsuits, but I don't think this is one of them. One thing that was not mentioned in the original post was that she initially only asked for her medical expenses and did not ask for punitive damages.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 9:32:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2002 9:33:30 AM EDT by cgwahl]
Originally Posted By Fian: I respectfully disagree. I like my coffee hot, but 185 degrees! Does anybody like their coffee that hot? Yes, she shouldn't have spilled it, but she was found to be partially liable. On the other hand McDonalds had plenty of warning that this was too hot. There are plenty on genuine frivilous lawsuits, but I don't think this is one of them. One thing that was not mentioned in the original post was that she initially only asked for her medical expenses and did not ask for punitive damages.
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But it still comes down to [i]she[/i] spilled the coffee on herself and she was asking for compinsation for an accident caused by her!?! Thats as bad as the burgler sueing the house he robbed because he tripped on something falling down the stairs and broke his leg...If she should be sueing anybody it should be the driver of the car. But oh wait, not only is he family but he's not a billion dollar corporation... Should I sue In N' Out because my soda spilled in my car? It costs me time and probably a little money to get that syrupy crap cleaned up. Should I sue the restaurant because I burned my hand by touching the plate after the waitress said the plate is hot? Or even if she didn't mention it was hot? Who should I have sued when I was riding my mom's bike one day, the wheel turned horizontal on my where it was perpindicular to the handle bars (apparantly it wasn't screwed tight) causing me to flip over said bars thus landing on a parked car? Should I have sued my mom? The city? The owner of the car? The company that made the bike? Or how about the store she bought the bike from? Oh wait, it was negligence on my part since the thing wasn't screwed tight enough. How about the time I was riding my bike and realized too late that some kid had a rope stretched out across the sidewalk causing me to fly off my bike and land on the grass...resulting in a rope burn on my neck and a couple bruises...maybe I should have sued, but I didn't. I wasn't very injured although it stung some when I would sweat, not to mention picture day was a couple days away for school which meant I had to wear a turtleneck as opposed to the shirt my mother wanted me to wear. Once my burn was to the point it didn't hurt when I would sweat I went back to riding my bike again... Every day each and every one of us causes injury to ourselves or someone else one way or another. Some times its as minor as a stubbed toe or a papercut or possibly dropping something on someone and sometimes it is serious to the point where we must go to a hospital. In some cases we could probably find a reason to sue someone but don't. It is lawsuits such as this that make lawyers and people think its a good idea to sue manufacturers (like guns or cigarettes). Sure there may be a ton that are thrown out daily but it takes just one that will hurt a company or someone badly. Sure 3,500,000 didn't file a frivilous lawsuit today, but it takes just one to ruin it for everyone. Lawyers are milking gun and cig companies dry. I don't know what will be next, probably food...
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 10:14:12 AM EDT
Here's some irony: (true story) I was driving my '66 mustang through a Hardees drive thru, got a large coffee, placed it between my legs so I could drive to school, and proceeded to squeeze it too hard which popped the lid off. Needless to say I was wearing sweats (had just worked out) and the coffee burned my inner thighs along with 'mr. happy and the wonder twins'. I didn't sue Hardees because it was my stupid mistake. I paid for it, and in doing so learned a valuable lesson. You're supposed to learn from your mistakes, not profit from them. That's Darwinism. No wonder there are so many stupid people out there... Personal responsibility (taking responsibility for your own actions) seems to be a foreign concept to most people in these litigious times. It's always someone elses fault, especially if you can get some $ out of it. I'm gonna go puke now...
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