Good advice, but you can also counter sue for attorney's cost.
Read the facts and testimony of the McDonald's suit. It was fair and
properly decided. If you don't think so, you likely have not read the
case. I'm not suggesting that there are not frivolous cases and bad
decisions - there are, every day - but that's a bad example of a bad
It is worth noting that the facts must be "legal" facts, i.e., you must
be able to prove the assertions true. "Actual" truth may not be much
help if you can't convince the jury.
The only reason that the McDonald's coffee case is "notorious" is that
people like you don't take the trouble to find out about it. McDonald's
kept their coffee at temperatures beteen 180 and 190 degrees F, even
though liquid at that temperature is dangerous enough to cause 3rd degree
burns within second of contact. McDonald's had known about the danger
for years because of accidents, complaints, and other law suits.
The plaintiff was found to be 20% at fault.
Ordinary folks don't need to
McDonalds was punished because this was the 4th or 5th lawsuit they had
lost for the very same willful negligence, each time the jury's increased the
punitive damages, McDonalds continued to ignore the known danger and
finally caused very tragic harm to an elderly lady who had to live the rest of
her life in pain, with unhealed/missing skin tissue over a large portion of
May the mothers of those who claim this verdict was unjust suffer the same fate.
So, some people like their coffee that hot. Most people don't put it in
their crotch when driving or sitting down. That case will never be
"settled" in people's minds because each side has their opinion and is not
Nobody "likes" their coffee at over 180 degrees F. It's undrinkable at
that temperature. And dangerous.
Certainly nobody intentionally "puts it in their crotch" at any time. The
questions was whether the hot coffee constituted a danger for which
McDonald's was responsible.
The case was "settled" in court. Ignornant people's unmovable opinions
have no bearing on whether the case was a bad decision. It wasn't, in the
sense that it comports with the current state of liability law.
You, sir, are correct. It needs to be brewed at 180-190 to be brewed
properly, and not leach out the bitter acids. But then it needs to be
cooled to be drunk.
I pour water from a bubbling tea kettle through a Melitta paper filter to
make my one mug of coffee a day. That has to be around 200. But I have a
lot of cold creamer and my five spoons of sugar in the cup, and when the mug
is full, I have to put it back into the microwave for twenty seconds.
Overheated coffee is bitter as all get out, but some people like it that
IIRC, in the McD's case there was also testimony that at 190 degrees F,
could water down the coffee and get an extra 6 - 8 cups more out of every
pound as compared to, say Dunkin Donuts coffee, because at the high
heat McD's used, there was much more coffee "aroma". In other words,
McDs was saving money on ground coffee by serving the extra hot liquid,
and refused to make changes despite the prior incidents because McD s was
trying to make extra profits on the coffee.
Shades of the Ford Pinto or the Chevy / GM pick up trucks with the side
You've never seen my wife drink coffee. I know other that do also. In
some cases, the coffee has to travel some distance on a take out and it is
just getting to what others consider the minimum temperature. Can't please
Smart ones use cup holders or the seat next to them. Personally, I've never
seen anyhone hold it in ther crotch but you seem to think it is normal.
The problem w/ that "logic" is that most coffee is brewed at roughly
those temperatures. The real problem w/ the case is that the idiot who
spilled it wouldn't own up to her own stupidity and the jury didn't have
enough sense to send her packing...
Not so. The evidence showed that McD was selling its coffee at 10 or
actually I think it was 20 degrees hotter than the competition.
They did this on purpose so that it would stay hot longer.
Since then, McD has lowered the temp of its coffee, so we can't verify
this directly now.
Plus they were selling it at this temp through the drive-thru window,
and it's foreseeable and probably known, and probably known by mcd
that many customers hold the coffee in their lap. (I"m saying
probably. I don't know what proof was offerred or what the jury
decided on that. They might have concluded that other companies knew,
or that poeople who themselves bought coffee at drive-thrus worked for
mcd, and mcd "should have" known.)
She had second degree burns over much of her legs etc. and the
competition's coffee would not have done that.
She admitted she spilled it. It's obvious anyhow.
The punitive part of the verdict, which as great as the injury was,
was still most of the verdict, was large because McDonalds is large.
If it was a guy who owned one restaurant and netted 50,000 dollars a
year, a 5, 3, maybe even 1 thousand dollar punitive amount might have
been considered by the jury enough to punish him, to make him hurt.
In this case, they took the profit that McDonalds made on coffee
alone, for only one day, and I think they took only a portion of that,
and that was the punitive amount. Anything less would have been petty
change to a company as big as McDonalds. The amount was decresed a
lot on appeal, and I don't know what fraction of the coffee amount
they ended up with.
This is the way punitive damages have worked for I believe more than
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