J T wrote:
$50,000 medical cost for a cup of coffee burn seems
Although I am in agreement that such awards make but little sense, it
wasn't her foot or hand that got burned.
Where something is wholly or even just substantially my fault, I 'take
the hit'. Maybe I am out of step with this world ... but I really do
think that this is the right thing to do.
Stella could tell from her fingers that the coffee was hot. Coffee, by
its very nature, is normally served hot. Stella chose to put it between
her legs ... the serf in the window did not put the coffee there. Then
Stella, and no one else, spilled the stuff.
As a juror ... well, it's a good thing for Stella that I was not on that
In Ireland, the great cliffs of Moher stand some 800 feet above the sea.
There are no guardrails. Last year 6 people were blown over the edge
because they stood too close to it.
There has got to be some "Peter Principle" at work here. Something along
the lines of morons being able to harm themselves no matter how clearly
hazards are marked.
The thing is 800 feet in the air ... that's marking enough!
Coffee, even at 160 degrees, is hot. That's warning enough.
If this is in reference to the "3rd degree burns from the McDonalds' coffee"
story, that particular story has been discredited for years now. Not only
did no one receive any money, it is virtually impossible to receive 3rd
degree burns, which means burns through the full epidermal layers of the
skin resulting in charred flesh, from even scalding hot liquid.
Are you claming that this story is an urban myth? If so then a quick google
shows quite a few articles that indicate that the lawsuit was real.
For instance here are a couple of references to the lawsuit in the NY Times:
Here are a few commentaries on the lawsuit:
A lawyer friend told me that that story was an urban myth, apparently he
should have done more research, as I should have.
I still find it hard to believe that coffee can cause full thickness burns
unless it was literally boiling and being poured continuously onto the
victims skin. Even being held against the skin by the clothing, it seems
very unlikely that a hot liquid could burn thru the epidermal layers of the
skin. Blisters, yeah, burned through? I don't think so.
Whatever the terms of the "secret" agreement between the woman and McDonalds
were, she didn't get rich suing them.
Here ya go, If your interested here is a link
to the facts of the case. I am not sure why
someone would attempt to sound demeaning instead
of just posting a link to the facts. I am however
not the demeaning kind of guy so I will post the
link for you.
Discredited? Google "Stella Liebeck".
If you know with certainty that "no one received any money" then you
must be privy to information which is bound by a nondisclosure
agreement. The only thing that is known with certainty by anybody
other than Stella, McDonalds, the lawyers, the judge, the bank, and
the IRS is that there was a settlement for something less than
While it may be "virtually impossible to receive third degree burns .
. . from scalding hot liquid", according to the testimony of the
surgeon who performed the repairs on her, Stella Liebeck did in fact
somehow manage it. Now it may be that he was mistaken on that point,
however McDonalds' lawyers appear to have been unable to prove it in
I don't know where you get the idea that "that story has been
discredited". It isn't something that somebody made up, it's a matter
of public record. If you call the Albuquerque courthouse they'll
probably be willing to sell you a copy of the transcript.
The only real point of contention is whether the temperature at which
the coffee was served was in fact excessive. According to published
standards and the opinion of numerous coffee experts (none of whom
appear to have been brought into the trial) it was not, but according
to a survey of establishments near the one in which the coffee was
purchased it was in excess of what a "reasonable man" would expect.
On Sep 4, 7:13 pm, email@example.com (J T) wrote:
It sounds like you are presuming the property owner would
appraise the individual of any hazards. In general it is entirely
possible for people to legally be on the property without the
knowledge of the property owner. Obvious examples include
police and firemen.
A city used a similar argument when a drunk sued after falling
down an open manhole. In his ruling the judge observed that
"An inebriated man has as much a right to a safe street on
which to walk as a sober man, and far greater need."
The duty a landowner owes varies from state to state. In most state the duty is
greater to an invitee than it is to a licensee, than it is to a trespasser. And
the duty also varies depending how obvious the danger is. Without knowing what
state you're in, the status of the person on the property, and the particular
danger to that person, it's impossible to say if the landowner owes a duty.
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