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Old 04-21-2004, 06:54 PM   #26
Zolmaz Zo'Boto
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McDonalds coffee is the worst anyway (watered down).
It did used to be so hot that it would burn the hell out of you.
But not worth the amount of the lawsuit.

We need laws to protect our companies in America from frivolous lawsuits.
Sucks, but thats what it's coming to.



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Old 04-21-2004, 08:24 PM   #27
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We need laws to protect our companies in America from frivolous lawsuits.
Sucks, but thats what it's coming to.
No we don't Zolmaz. That is dealing with the symptom and not the problem.
We need people to be less ignorant in this country. This would allow juries to make better decisions.
We have consistently dumbed down America at home, at school in the workplace and even on the streets. Had we pushed people to actually think instead of just learn then perhaps there would be more intelligent juries.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:26 PM   #28
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Found a nice summary here.

They seem to be exaggerating the last fact about third degree burns just a little, but otherwise this stacks up with my impressions about the case.

I thought I originally read about it in Snopes, but found nothing there. A quick Google on "McDonalds lawsuit coffee" did the trick though.

Still not convinced?

Check out some of the links at the bottom of that one if you somehow think I'm making this up.

"The McDonalds Lawsuit" is so exaggerated that anyone who tries to argue for "tort reform" (often people have no idea what that means other than creating a reactionary, unConstitutional court system) on those grounds alone is a Class A fuckwad. You can find a lot of real cases of frivolous lawsuits if you look hard enough. Problem is, they are so inconsequential that they provide no grounds for a revamp of the civil justice system.

Edit: on the third Google hit I found there was a summary of the reason the temperature was so high:

McDonald's, known for its fastidious control over franchisees, requires that its coffee be prepared at very high temperatures, based on recommendations of coffee consultants and industry groups that say hot temperatures are necessary to fully extract the flavor during brewing.
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:36 AM   #29
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We need people to be less ignorant in this country.
Methinks laws protecting companies from frivolous lawsuits is just a teensy bit more realistic.
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Old 04-22-2004, 02:39 PM   #30
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Mmmk you're right . I think I only remembered hearing on the radio about one of the reasons why the person was able to sue. (There not being a warning saying not to drink immediatly) But anyhow, doesn't change the fact that greedy people want money, and will use taxpayers money to get it.
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Old 04-22-2004, 07:53 PM   #31
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Mmmk you're right . I think I only remembered hearing on the radio about one of the reasons why the person was able to sue. (There not being a warning saying not to drink immediatly) But anyhow, doesn't change the fact that greedy people want money, and will use taxpayers money to get it.
What the fuck? Did you even read my links before asserting that "Greedy people want money, and will use taxpayers money to get it"? Let's see how this old woman was greedy:

It's a reaction that many of the jurors could have understood - before they heard the evidence. At the beginning of the trial, jury foreman Jerry Goens says he "wasn't convinced as to why I needed to be there to settle a coffee spill."

At that point, Mr. Goens and the other jurors knew only the basic facts: that two years earlier, Stella Liebeck had bought a 49-cent cup of coffee at the drive-in window of an Albuquerque McDonald's, and while removing the lid to add cream and sugar had spilled it,e causing third-degre burns of the groin, inner thighs and buttocks. Her suit, filed in state court in Albuquerque, claimed the coffee was "defective" because it was so hot.

What the jury didn't realize initially was the severity of her burns. Told during the trial of Mrs. Liebeck's seven days in the hospital and her skin grafts, and shown gruesome photographs, jurors began taking the matter more seriously. "It made me come home and tell my wife and daughters don't drink coffee in the car, at least not hot," says juror Jack Elliott.

Even more eye-opening was the revelation that McDonald's had seen such injuries many times before. Company documents showed that in the past decade McDonald's had received at least 700 reports of coffee burns ranging from mild to third degree, and had settled claims arising from scalding injuries for more than $500,000.
So far: the woman was rather badly injured by this, with the medical records and photographs to prove it.

And, McDonalds had previously settled for up a a half a million dollars out of court.

Some observers wonder why McDonald's, after years of settling coffee-burn cases, chose to take this one to trial. After all, the plaintiff was a sympathetic figure - an articulate, 81-year-old former department store clerk who said under oath that she had never filed suit before. In fact, she said, she never would have filed this one if McDonald's hadn't dismissed her requests for compensation for pain and medical bills with an offer of $800.
Eight hundred dollars she asked for. Eight hundred dollars she was refused. Yeah, real greedy.

It gets better.

As the trial date approached, McDonald's declined to settle. At one point, Mr. Morgan says he offered to drop the case for $300,000, and was willing to accept half that amount.

But McDonald's didn't bite.

Only days before the trial, Judge Scott ordered both sides to attend a mediation session. The mediator, a retired judge, recommended that McDonald's settle for $225,000, saying a jury would be likely to award that amount. The company didn't follow his recommendation.
Well obviously if they don't settle for $800 they won't settle for a quarter million. But if the judge is encouraging them to do this, you just know it can only get worse.

Instead, McDonald's continued denying any liability for Mrs. Liebeck's burns. The company suggested that she may have contributed to her injuries by holding the cup between her legs and not removing her clothing immediately. And it also argued that "Mrs. Liebeck's age may have caused her injuries to have been worse than they might have been in a younger individual," since older skin is thinner and more vulnerable to injury.
Yay, discrimination against age!

A scientist testifying for McDonald's argued that any coffee hotter than 130 degrees could produce third-degree burns, so it didn't matter whether Mc Donald's coffee was hotter. But a doctor testifying on behalf of Mrs. Liebeck argued that lowering the serving temperature to about 160 degrees could make a big difference, because it takes less than three seconds to produce a third-degree burn at 190 degrees, about 12 to 15 seconds at 180 degrees and about 20 seconds at 160 degrees.

The testimony of Mr. Appleton, the McDonald's executive, didn't help the company, jurors said later. He testified that McDonald's knew its coffee sometimes caused serious burns, but hadn't consulted burn experts about it. He also testified that McDonald's had decided not to warn customers about the possibility of severe burns, even though most people wouldn't think it possible. Finally, he testified that McDonald's didn't intend to change any of its coffee policies or procedures, saying, "There are more serious dangers in restaurants."
You know, this guy could've just taken the fifth and stopped his testimony there.

Mr. Elliott, the juror, says he began to realize that the case was about "callous disregard for the safety of the people."
Not greed.

Then the six men and six women decided on compensatory damages of $200,000, which they reduced to $160,000 after determining that 20% of the fault belonged with Mrs. Liebeck for spilling the coffee.

The jury then found that McDonald's had engaged in willful, reckless, malicious or wanton conduct, the basis for punitive damages. Mr. Morgan had suggested penalizing McDonald's the equivalent of one to two days of companywide coffee sales, which he estimated at $1.35 million a day. During the four-hour deliberation, a few jurors unsuccessfully argued for as much as $9.6 million in punitive damages. But in the end, the jury settled on $2.7 million.
The juror's decided the amount, mind you, not some lawyers.

POSTSCRIPT - Following the trial of Ms. Liebeck's case, the judge who presided over it reduced the punitive damages award to $480,000, even though the judge called McDonald's conduct reckless, callous and willful. This reduction is a corrective feature built into our legal system. Furthermore, after that, both parties agreed to a settlement of the claim for a sum reported to be much less than the judge's reduced award. Another corrective feature.
Strange, for someone so greedy to continue to want less.

There, in a nutshell, is the best debunking I can do about this case. As I said, the absolute worst thing to do is try to argue for tort reform based on this case.

If you want to link me some real trial summaries where you can demonstrate greed was shown, by all means do so. And please, give me the list of 8 outrageous ones that happen to be urban legends so I can link to Snopes and save my time.
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:00 AM   #32
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Mrs. Liebeck's age may have caused her injuries to have been worse than they might have been in a younger individual
So, only younger people are allowed to buy coffee from McDonald's? That's the lamest fucking thing I've ever heard. Sure, the damage would have been less extensive on a younger person, but it wasn't a younger person that got burned. I can't believe someone actually said that. "It's ur fault cuz ur old!!1!!" And this Mr. Appleton guy should not be allowed to interact with members of the same species, as he isn't much of a human being himself. Thank you, Ares, for providing those links. Up until now, I thought that was just another frivolous lawsuit. Now, I wish the old lady had gotten more.
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:08 AM   #33
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Actually, after reading those links, I figured I should point out something you misread.
Ms. Liebeck tried to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her medical expenses. McDonalds offered her $800. She sought mediation, but McDonald's refused.
I thought $800 seemed a little low for 8 days in the hospital and skin grafts, but, $20,000 is still a very reasonable amount. Them offering her only 800 is a slap in the face.
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:01 AM   #34
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Buh? Hmm, $800 did seem a bit odd, but I was rather sure that's all she was asking for... still, my point remains. She was asking for a small fraction of what the lowest likely settlement would be. And, McD's had paid off considerably higher sums (than $800) to other victims of their coffee in settlements.

Why do I get the feeling they thought they could get away with it because she's an old lady?

Sorry for the late response but I've been out of town since Friday evening.
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:11 PM   #35
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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...irl_violence_1

12 year old girl woke up from a coma from being beaten at a b-day party.
Some guy kissed this girl on the cheek acting on a dare.

The 36-year-old mother of the birthday girl apparently was offended, because the boy was supposed to be her daughter's boyfriend. So the mother allegedly urged her daughter to "handle your business," an order police said meant the girl was supposed to defend the family's honor.

Nicole was scratched, pummeled, kicked and stomped by as many as six women and girls, police said. She was in a coma for nearly three weeks and is still hospitalized. Her family said she may have permanent brain damage.
wow...I knew it all along...moms are evil!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:43 PM   #36
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The woman in the original article should be sterilized. That kind of bullshit reasoning does not need to be passed on to more idiot spawn. I hope she suffers long for the death of her idiot son, who MADE UP HIS OWN MIND to drive while drunk.

His death is his own fault, and the mother should have to pay the city for property damage, as well as his girlfriend for him wrecking her car.



The problem in this society is that people are too god damned cowardly to fess up and admit they made a mistake. It is not the fault of the company who made the fucking beer that your son got drunk and killed himself. Once that beer leaves the retailer, it is no longer their responsibility.

It is not the fault of the people who sold your ass a coffee that you drove with it, between your legs, well god damned aware that its really bloody hot, because you didn't order an iced coffee, did you? No you ordered a nice steaming cup o joe. Wakes you up in the morning, and feels good on cold days.

AND YOU SPILLED IT ON YOURSELF AND BURNED YOURSELF OH NO. I guess those people sold you a defective cup of coffee because it was hot and you held it between your legs...while you were driving, and you're not exactly young and limber are you. No. You're not. But why would it be your fault? You're a THE DAMNED POSTER CHILD FOR HUMAN PRECISION AND EXPERTISE.

People need to wake the fuck up and realize that they are responsible for their actions, and not anyone else. Sure, if an attendent is mopping a floor and doesn't have a sign up to be careful, and you slip and shatter your tailbone, you can sue'em. That's negligence in the workplace.

But if your son decides to buy a 6 pack of your product, take it to a friends house, chug it all down in a blaze of glory, then get bored, jack's his woman's car and starts the long drive home only to careen off the road into a telephone pole, totalling the car and killing himself in the process, its his own motherfuckin fault.


Grow the fuck up and take responsibilty, shit.
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:01 AM   #37
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I guess those people sold you a defective cup of coffee because it was hot and you held it between your legs...while you were driving, and you're not exactly young and limber are you.
Hey, numbnuts, how about reading the articles before opening your mouth. The woman was in the PASSENGER SEAT of a STOPPED VEHICLE. She was not blaming McDonald's for spilling the coffee, but, at the temperature at which they serve their coffee, it only took 2-3 seconds to cause 3rd degree burns, unlike virtually everywhere else where it took quadruple that. McDonald's knew about the dangers, having settled on more than one 3rd degree burn case. How about getting the facts before getting your panties in a bunch, hmm? Remember, reading is FUNdamental!
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Old 04-27-2004, 08:20 AM   #38
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and he drove home dead.
That....is quite an achievement.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:14 AM   #39
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Glad to see McDonald's is finally waking up and fighting back.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:30 AM   #40
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The problem in this society is that people are too god damned cowardly to fess up and admit they made a mistake
That's only part of the problem in this society Foust. The other part is the parents in this society that constantly defend their kids no matter what.

Years ago my brother was caught popping milk cartons in the lunch room. They didn't call my mom, just gave him 2 weeks of cleaning up the lunchroom. After about a week he decided he didn't want to clean the lunch room anymore, but wanted a paddeling instead. To get the ok for a paddeling they had to call my mom. She thought a minute and said "yeah, give him the paddeling and still make him clean up the lunch room another week". Ouch....Thanks mom!

Another story..about 6 years ago my son was arrested for going 103 in a 45. We parked his car and I can't remember how long he was on restriction. Came time to go to court, the DA suggested we get an attorney to try and save his license. I said "no, he's guilty and deserves whatever the sentance is". I looked at the DA and said "here we have a 17 year old boy caught going 103 miles an hour. Why in the hell would you want to save his license". He said "mam, some parents get an attorney and fight these things". I said "I'm sorry, I'm not one of those parents".
It was about 4 months from the incident that he went to court, so that was 4 months we didn't allow him to drive, then the court suspended his license for 6 months. A total of 10 months of no driving, we made him take the fine out of his savings, and we made him pay for his own insurance after that. Believe me, when he did get his license reinstated he appreciated being able to drive and became a much more responsible driver. His insurance finally came down about 3 years ago when he turned 21. Now he eagerly waits for the day he turns 25 with a clean driving record. The cost of his insurance has kicked his ass for the last 6 years.

Sometimes you gotta suck it up and watch your kids suffer thru it.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:37 PM   #41
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i applaud those actions.


I agree, parents today are under the impression that their kids are always right.

Also I realize I had my facts misplaced, I didnt see the link to the mcdonalds story and just recalled some of the stuff i read from comments here, so my bad on that one Still though, coffee is hot and it'll burn if you're not careful. Nothing but herself stopped her from setting the coffee down on a surface not as sensitive as elderly woman flesh


That aside, I still stick by my comments that people need to grow the fuck up. I'm getting sick and tired of hearing stories about people suing over events brought upon themselves by their lack of attention / lack of intelligence.

The woman who sued the tobacco company after 25 years of smoking, she gets lung cancer. And she fucking won too.

The guy that sued McDonalds for "making" him fat.

That fucking woman suing the company that made the beer that her son chose to drink and chose to drive home, choosing the girlfriend's car. That one pisses me off the most. I the grief of her dead son, combined with the psychic will of Darwin causes her to kill herself so she stops pissing in the gene pool.
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:00 PM   #42
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I'm hoping they pass the bill to cut down of frivolous lawsuits. Burning yourself on hot coffee, suing tobacco companys because you get lung cancer, suing a fast food joint because you got fat are just frivolous lawsuits. Coffee is hot, tobacco gives you cancer and to much fast food will make you fat. It's common sense and I think that's the type of things they mean by frivolous lawsuits.

I think things like sueing Firestone for bad tires which resulted in death or injury, sueing McDonalds because you slipped on their wet floor and sueing a company because you got a bad perm that made your hair fall out will still be considered justifiable lawsuits.
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Old 04-28-2004, 02:17 AM   #43
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That aside, I still stick by my comments that people need to grow the fuck up. I'm getting sick and tired of hearing stories about people suing over events brought upon themselves by their lack of attention / lack of intelligence.
I agree whole-heartedly, I just don't think the coffee one is all that frivolous. McDonald's, while not responsible for the woman spilling the coffee on herself (which was reflected in the jury's decision), was guilty of knowingly serving a dangerous product (much hotter than safe standards) with no warning whatsoever. Now, the woman suing Coors needs to get bent. How she can blame Coors, who neither sold him the beer, nor poured it down his throat, is well beyond me. And then someone suing a tobacco company for contracting cancer when there is a warning right there on the side of the pack? Sheesh.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:28 AM   #44
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Regarding the coffee, ok, perhaps it was so many degrees hotter than industry standards. A typical person would not have known that. A typical person would KNOW that the coffee is hot and take care handling it.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that if it wasn't hot, maybe lukewarm, she would have been the first in line to pitch a hissy.

But I'm in full agreement. So few people accept responsibility, or the consequences of their actions. Maybe this woman is blindsided by grief, but at this point, it's hard to say. Maybe she's assuaging guilt of her own for failure as a parent (I'm not saying she was...but she may feel that way).

Maybe she's just a peevish, vindictive bitch. Who's to say?
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:47 PM   #45
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If it was just the one woman with the coffee, you might have a point.

But accidents do happen, and you cannot expect every single person to treat their morning cup of coffee with the same amount of care as a barrel of nuclear waste. It should be hot, certainly, but we aren't talking about taking it down to even a moderately cool level... just down from 180 degrees to, oh, say, 150. You won't get instantaneous third degree burns from that, and it will still be too hot to drink right away.

I'm ending any discussion about that case, because apparently nobody wants to read any of the articles I linked before jumping right on to their conclusions.

suing tobacco companys because you get lung cancer,
Guess what? The tobacco companies admitted in court that they knew their product was carcinogenic, and yet refused to warn their consumers. Want me to dig up something on that one too to prove it? And in all likelihood you have a specific case in mind that never happened. The actual "Big Tobacco" settlement, in which the fines were distributed to the states and not the victims, was exactly because the companies did not warn smokers of the risks. How would you feel if you drank a certain brand of orange juice every morning, then discovered after 25 years of this it was giving you cancer? The general public quite simply did not know the full risks of smoking until relatively recently.

Like I said, in the vast majority of cases where people claim there is a frivolous lawuit, it's either an urban legend or a hideously distorted version of a true story. The courts don't hand out money like a state lottery; hell, most of the fines imposed are punitive damages for the companies, not compensation for the victims. The idea is to keep companies from knowingly misleading their consumers with dangerous products.

I don't think there is any debate to make about the original article posted here, but I'm appalled that you are so uninformed as to think the courts just hand out money to anyone who sues. There are some lawsuits you can call frivolous, but chances are they are so inconsequential you probably wouldn't even care about them.
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:45 AM   #46
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Ah, I didn't catch the stuff way up above, I may have skimmed it, so my apologies on misunderstanding the McDonald's snafu.

But the second half of my post was aimed at this woman who seems to be suing just about anyone who came within breathing room of the doomed car. Wouldn't you call this...well, frivolous maybe isn't the word...but unjustified, perhaps?
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:15 AM   #47
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And I'm confident this one will be tossed aside.

The great thing is you have the right to sue anyone you want for any reason, really. You're the one floating the bill, though, if it turns out your time is wasted.

It's a knee-jerk reaction, but not just to sue. Rather, to displace grief. The mother needs someone to blame other than her son, because in her mind her son is still the victim, and not the criminal [for lack of a better word]. Someone has to be at fault, and she's flailing blindly for a scapegoat.

Not that anyone will fall for it. Eventually she will realize where the fault lies, and accept it even if it hurts her even more than the loss has.

I have no empathy for the son, who was foolish enough to do what he did. But I'm hesitant to call the mother a bitch, or even degrade her methods, evne though they are clearly misguided. I have a lot of sympathy for a parent in that situation.
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