insurance question

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mm wrote:

That's not the same thing as owning up to the stupidity of the action and living with the consequences of her poor decision...
So, who at MickeyD's spilled it on her? She ordered coffee, she got coffee. She sat it in an inappropriate place and did something stupid (drove) afterwards.
Still no case anywhere there I can see other than negligence and (mostly) stupidity on the part of the driver/customer...
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I'm not sure that "owning up to stupidity" has a legal meaning. She admitted to her part in court.

Drinking coffee while driving is a commonplace action, one that McDonald's relies on to sell coffee at their drive-throughs.

It's called contributory negligence. Even if one party is partly to blame (in this case a woman handling a coffee cup clumsily), the other party may also be to blame (in this case McDonald's knowingly selling a product dangerous enough to cause third-degree burns). This accident was not an isolated incident.
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And if the woman was judged 20% liable, her award was decreased by 20%, including even the medical costs and lost income and the punitive and all that.

I forgot about that. Mcd had had I think it was over a hundred complaints of burns caused by their coffee. They probably had had lawsuits that spelled out the cause and effect and their liability. But they didn't change their temperature or anything else. I'm sure they had paid off on most of them, and they considered it the cost of doing business, like the cost of the paper cup.
That's another reason, or the main reason, why punitive damages have to be so high with a large company, so they won't just consider it the cost of doing business, and continue.
AIUI, the actions of some of those who sold vicodin, of the ones who knew it it could kill people, could have supported a conviction for 2nd degree murder. But all they had to do was pay a fine, maybe even a large fine, but not as large as the profits they made.
As of yesterday, some of the food recalled for botulism is still on the shelves in stores. Some of the cans have exploded, but some won't cause trouble until someone eats the stuff.
The only way one can stop some people is by punishing them or making them afraid of punishment like others got.
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dpb wrote:

Hey jackass, why not actually read the facts of the case, or the other cases McDonalds was found liable for over the same issue? IIRC
There was no "cup-holder". She wasn't driving.

Yep, and McDonalds was found to be way more stupid than the plaintiff, MILLIONS of $$ more stupid to be exact.
I can see why you are so fearful of a tort system that assigns liability to stupidity.
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UltraMan wrote:

I call 'em the way I see 'em...she spilled it (and certainly the case I recall was in the lap in the car and attempted to drive away). "You do the stupid thing, you pay" is my motto...
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Don't argue with a troll, it doesn't do any good.
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Eigenvector wrote: ...

Oh, "I knows dat"... :)
It's simply mind-boggling the lengths some go to in their diatribes against any "big-pockets" and the multitudes who have the "ain't _my_ fault" mindset to find somebody else to blame attitude in order to cop out of the consequences of their own mistakes... :(
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It's simply mindboggling the lengths some go in defending large corporations that have the attitude that the bottom line is more important than any duty toward the public.
I've heard no "diatribes" in this thread, unless it's yours against "stupid" people.
And it's "deep pockets"; not "big-pockets."
Posters on this thread have tried to tell you about contributory negligence, about the responsibility assigned to the plaintiff by the jury, and about McDonald's knowledge about the dangers of 180 degree liquids.
You can lead some people to the beverage of knowledge, but no matter how potable, some simply won't drink.
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Deadrat wrote:

They have their viewpoint, I have mine... :)
I've been pretty much deliberate in what I've said on purpose.
I understand full well of "contributory negligence", etc., but I still happen to disagree w/ the magnitude of the settlement as being at all justified in any of the cases against Mickey-D's. You can disagree w/ me, that's fine and quibble over choice of words, too.
I might even agree that they could have been a little smarter in their initial settlements, but I don't know the intimate details of the individual litigant's cases other than the bare-bones facts of at least a couple of the cases (as reported, and those reports can often be far less than candid).
And, for the case of which I have read the most, I stand by the assessment of the action of the plaintiff was simply a foolish thing to have done (that better? :) ).
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This is incorrect. The coffee was *kept* at that temperature, presumably because that gave the longest drive-time for drinkably hot coffee.

The victim (or "idiot" as you prefer to call her) did own up to spilling the coffee. That's why the jury found her to be 20% at fault. Spilling coffee might be stupidity (or mere clumsiness), but it shouldn't result in third degree burns. Especially when McDonald's knew about the danger, and did nothing to avoid the problemm or even warn customers.
Before you go off on a rant about how everyone knows that hot coffee burns, let me point out that I've spilled hot coffee on myself several times. I've never required reconstructive surgery.
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Deadrat wrote:

The cups say "HOT" and always have...
She didn't just "spill" it, she sat the damn cup between her legs and tried to drive with it there...how far from "stupid" do you have to be to not qualify?

Have you tried her experiment? I suspect "location, location, location" had something to do with it.
I'll stand by my assessment of it was a _STUPID_ place to set a hot cup of coffee and even stupider to try to drive off from the window with it there...
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One expects "HOT" beverages to hurt when spilled on onself; one doesn't expect "HOT" to mean third degree burns within seconds. At least, I don't.

So she shouldn't have done that (and the jury said so). That doesn't relieve McDonald's from liability for selling a beverage that's seriously dangerous. They should have forseen that such events would happen, mainly because similar events *did* happen, some not involving any "stupidity."

OK, fine. You're going to make me 'fess up to being stupid and clumsy and spilling coffee in my lap. Happy, now? No, I didn't hold a styrofoam cup between my thighs, but I didn't need reconstructive surgery on my groin either.

And yet it probably happens dozens of times a day at McDonald's drive- throughs. And McDonald's should have known that. Actually, testimony showed that they *did* know that.
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Deadrat wrote:
...

Only stupid ones... :)
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But since a jury is made up of 12 people too dumb to get out of jury duty, that is sorta self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

In this particular case, obviously... :)
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dpb wrote:

Yet most sane people don't drink coffee at brewing temperatures.

Yeah, 12 jurors who heard all the facts, and the Judge who presided over the case, and the best legal defense $$ could buy, and all they really needed was a stammering jackass like you to settle the case. LOL!
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You are mistaken.
Many people have not read up on it, I grant you, but as it happens I have. There were some faults on both sides, and it is a gross oversimplification to portray the plaintiff as an innocent victim. I don't want to get into whether the verdict was appropriate or not -- that's way off topic for this newsgroup.
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My apologies for mistakenly thinking that your evident ignorance of the case was due to your not reading it.

And I'm not doing so. The jury found her to be 20% at fault and reduced their award accordingly.

And why is that?
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Stan Brown wrote:

Nope:
Colorado's criminal libel statute provides:
(1) A person who shall knowingly publish or disseminate, either by written instrument, sign, pictures, or the like, any statement or object tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead, or to impeach the honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation or expose the natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby to expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule, commits criminal libel.
(2) It shall be an affirmative defense that the publication was true, except libels tending to blacken the memory of the dead and libels tending to expose the natural defects of the living.
(3) Criminal libel is a class 6 felony.

Wrong. Ibid.

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This is one of those disgraceful criminal libel statutes that every so often a state dusts off to harass an outspoken citizen. The Supreme Court requires that the state show actual malice.
I don't know of a jurisdiction that doesn't make truth a defense against the tort of libel.
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