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NFT: Woman wins coffee burn lawsuit

section125 : 5/19/2017 9:30 am
after the lid on her coffee popped off while in her car. She got 1st and 2nd degree burns according to article.

Her lawyers argued that Starbucks should warn people that the lids can pop off. She was awarded $15k for medical bills (ok reasonable) and $85k for pain and disfigurement.

I feel sorry that she got burned (ouch). Not sure what kind of disfigurement you can get from 2nd degree burns (blistering) although I'd bet it sure did sting.

I wonder if the employees put the lid on and that is why she had a case?

Anyway, common sense is always ruled out in these cases - meaning, how many of you have every had a lid pop off a drink and spill on your shirt or lap? If it was an unusual occurrence for a lid to pop off I could understand the action and award, but lids pop off all the time. She has probably had spills in her past and while they did not burn her before, it probably did happen so she should have been aware that it could happen. I'd bet most of you all check lids before drinking, even lids you put on before drinking, especially in a car.

Anyway it is no longer a shock to see these lawsuits, but it still makes me shake my head.
Starbucks sued for lid popping off - ( New Window )
There was a doc a few years ago about the  
NoPeanutz : 5/19/2017 9:41 am : link
lady who sued MacDonalds (and won) in that now infamous case over the hot coffee.
Apparently, McDs had been dangerously super-heating their coffee, as company policy, and the lady very seriously burned herself as a consequence. But I think that decision was for substantially more than $100k, and actually forced McDs to change their company policy and adopt more sensible procedures with respect to their hot beverages, and had ripple effects throughout the restaurant industry.
I think you can find it on Netflix.

The size of this Starbucks lawsuit makes me think that maybe SBux is admitting fault with respect to an isolated incident/accident.
somewhere  
mfsd : 5/19/2017 9:43 am : link
Kramer and Jackie Chiles are smiling
Who told you  
Taggart : 5/19/2017 9:47 am : link
To put the balm on?
RE: There was a doc a few years ago about the  
section125 : 5/19/2017 9:50 am : link
In comment 13476065 NoPeanutz said:
Quote:
lady who sued MacDonalds (and won) in that now infamous case over the hot coffee.
Apparently, McDs had been dangerously super-heating their coffee, as company policy, and the lady very seriously burned herself as a consequence. But I think that decision was for substantially more than $100k, and actually forced McDs to change their company policy and adopt more sensible procedures with respect to their hot beverages, and had ripple effects throughout the restaurant industry.
I think you can find it on Netflix.

The size of this Starbucks lawsuit makes me think that maybe SBux is admitting fault with respect to an isolated incident/accident.



Yeah, it was $278k I think in that one. I think you are right on the temp being excessive, although anything over 125 degrees can burn you, so 175, 190, 205, you are getting burned. I also think the number was reduced in that older lawsuit. I still question that a 78 year old woman wouldn't know that placing a hot cup of coffee between her legs in a car is a dangerous thing. We did have a big discussion here a few years back about that one.
I'm not a lawyer nor have I been to a Holiday Inn recently  
jcn56 : 5/19/2017 9:54 am : link
but don't these awards typically get knocked down after on appeal? Somehow I recall the last of these ending up with little more than medical bills and legal fees.
The rest of the story has yet to be written on this  
LCtheINTMachine : 5/19/2017 9:57 am : link
I wouldn't worry about it.
Starbucks  
pjcas18 : 5/19/2017 9:58 am : link
would probably pay the lawyers more than 100k to appeal it.

unless there is some principle that makes them need to appeal to avoid other lawsuits they pay the 100k and move on.

It's like a $10 fine for you and me. You don't question that.

Starbucks is a $20B company. 100k is a win.

Whatever happened to the ancient theory  
ktinsc : 5/19/2017 10:04 am : link
Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.
Note to self: Buy small microwave for office  
njm : 5/19/2017 10:04 am : link
The article was pretty skimpy on what she was doing when the lid popped off, but I suspect take out coffee will soon never be hotter than lukewarm.
RE: Whatever happened to the ancient theory  
Watson : 5/19/2017 10:26 am : link
In comment 13476107 ktinsc said:
Quote:
Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.


Problem with Starbucks, it's their employee that puts on the lid. They make a big deal about their Baristas making personal connections and crafting the perfect drink. Is unreasonable to assume, their trained to put the lid on correctly and double check? Personally, I always recheck.
this galls me, repeatedly punishing companies for peoples mistakes  
Gross Blau Oberst : 5/19/2017 10:28 am : link
Coffee is supposed to be brewed and served hot. If you want it cooler, then remove the lid and let it air cool, or add water, milk, ice to cool it off. You have a personal responsibility as a consumer to be careful and check the items once you receive it and during handling.

The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 205 F (96 C) the better. Boiling water (212 F - 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee.
Source: https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87

Spilling anything made at that temperature, especially with clothing on and not quickly removed can and will cause burns.

If the lid was faulty, then the serving company has liability. Consumer handling of the lidded coffee while moving is a personal responsibility.

Tort reform is long overdue.

Is personal responsibilities for ones own actions a thing of the past?
RE: Whatever happened to the ancient theory  
therealmf : 5/19/2017 10:35 am : link
In comment 13476107 ktinsc said:
Quote:
Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.


I think a closer look is needed than what is given in that article. I couldn't find an article that went into any depth on the Starbucks case but the MacDonald's lawsuit, as NoPeanutz pointed out, was not as frivolous as most believe.


Quote:
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.

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.

http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

If, and I mean if, Starbucks acted similarly to McDonalds why should they not be held accountable. Clearly all the facts are not known but the race to judgement "seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.'

Starbucks has been sued before for injuries sustained by hot coffee. If they super heated their coffee to 185 degrees, as did McDonalds, why can't they be held accountable for serving coffee 40-50 degrees hotter than typically served at home? What of their responsibility?

A NY Post article stated the coffee temperature was 190 degrees. Whether that is fact or allegation I don't know.
http://nypost.com/2017/05/18/woman-burned-by-starbucks-coffee-awarded-100k/
RE: this galls me, repeatedly punishing companies for peoples mistakes  
therealmf : 5/19/2017 10:42 am : link
In comment 13476167 Gross Blau Oberst said:
Quote:
Coffee is supposed to be brewed and served hot. If you want it cooler, then remove the lid and let it air cool, or add water, milk, ice to cool it off. You have a personal responsibility as a consumer to be careful and check the items once you receive it and during handling.

The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 205 F (96 C) the better. Boiling water (212 F - 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee.
Source: https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87

Spilling anything made at that temperature, especially with clothing on and not quickly removed can and will cause burns.

If the lid was faulty, then the serving company has liability. Consumer handling of the lidded coffee while moving is a personal responsibility.

Tort reform is long overdue.

Is personal responsibilities for ones own actions a thing of the past?


Maybe the reform needed is to the regulations regarding serving temperature of hot beverages. How is it OK to serve a beverage that if sipped will burn the consumer?
I love how everyone reads a news article  
Deej : 5/19/2017 10:43 am : link
and feels like they know better than a jury that heard all the evidence.

The OP's conception that it's okay to have a defective product if it's so defective that people should just assume it will fail is nonsense to me. You sell a cup of coffee with a lid that has a drinking hole in it, and it's a defense to say "well you should know our lid is a piece of shit and you shouldnt drink though it". That's bonkers.

But I get it. There is an abject hostility in some quarters to lawsuits. I've seen it during voir dire, where there's always people who dont believe in damages. It's partly just great PR work by the Chamber of Commerce.

Starbucks can make a more effective coffee lid. They choose not to, almost assuredly because of cost. Fine, I guess (not really). But when their cheap product fails and burns a customer, it's fair that they pay.
RE: Whatever happened to the ancient theory  
Deej : 5/19/2017 10:47 am : link
In comment 13476107 ktinsc said:
Quote:
Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.


We decided instead to adopt a not-insane system. One which doesnt promote people being ripped off because of information asymmetry. Or leave the masses maimed and disfigured by poorly designed products.

This is like asking: Whatever happened to the ancient theory that a human could own another human, force him to do labor, sell him, and sell his children?
RE: this galls me, repeatedly punishing companies for peoples mistakes  
Beer Man : 5/19/2017 11:17 am : link
In comment 13476167 Gross Blau Oberst said:
Quote:
Coffee is supposed to be brewed and served hot. If you want it cooler, then remove the lid and let it air cool, or add water, milk, ice to cool it off. You have a personal responsibility as a consumer to be careful and check the items once you receive it and during handling.

The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 205 F (96 C) the better. Boiling water (212 F - 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee.
Source: https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87

Spilling anything made at that temperature, especially with clothing on and not quickly removed can and will cause burns.

If the lid was faulty, then the serving company has liability. Consumer handling of the lidded coffee while moving is a personal responsibility.

Tort reform is long overdue.

Is personal responsibilities for ones own actions a thing of the past?
Yup, got to love America. The only place on earth you can sue someone for not protecting you against yourself and your stupidity.
RE: RE: Whatever happened to the ancient theory  
njm : 5/19/2017 11:31 am : link
In comment 13476205 Deej said:
Quote:
In comment 13476107 ktinsc said:


Quote:


Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.



We decided instead to adopt a not-insane system. One which doesnt promote people being ripped off because of information asymmetry. Or leave the masses maimed and disfigured by poorly designed products.

This is like asking: Whatever happened to the ancient theory that a human could own another human, force him to do labor, sell him, and sell his children?


Information asymmetry? She didn't know the coffee was hot? And a comparison to slavery? Please.
....  
Cam in MO : 5/19/2017 11:33 am : link
Quote:
I feel sorry that she got burned (ouch). Not sure what kind of disfigurement you can get from 2nd degree burns (blistering) although I'd bet it sure did sting.


Second degree burns depending on size and severity will scar. Size also makes a big difference. Most folks get burned cooking/frying and they tend to be little spots on forearms or hands that will blister, and you won't even know they were there after a few weeks. Larger areas, especially if they're to less exposed areas of skin, will leave large discolored areas of skin. It does not take 3rd deg burns to leave you scarred.

Now imagine if those large areas with 2nd degree burns were to your crotch. It's a little more than, "Damn, this sure does sting!"

Hell, my worst was from my left elbow to my left wrist when my FR jacket inexplicably caught lit and stayed lit, about 60% around my forearm. It was a bit more painful than a "sting" and I still have discoloration there after 15yrs. And yes, it was only 1st and 2nd degree.


These lawsuits are such BS  
EricJ : 5/19/2017 11:34 am : link
.
Pussy liberal horseshit  
Tark10 : 5/19/2017 11:39 am : link
When will people be responsible for their own decisions?
I don't think caveat emptor is the appropriate term  
Bill L : 5/19/2017 11:41 am : link
In this type of situation. I think he means whatever happened to application of common sense. The time we are distinct. Not that this is necessarily a situation where common sense was lacking, just that it seems like a better term.
The thing that makes you shake  
pjcas18 : 5/19/2017 11:44 am : link
your head is if they had a warning label on the cover that said "cover may be loose, take caution" or something like that, then they're probably not liable, but without that warning, the general public cannot be assumed to realize this hot beverage with a less than one cent cover, might be a little bit dangerous.

it seems like the reasonable man theory has sunk so low it's more like the barely functioning person theory.
Ok Deej, fair points, to a point.  
ktinsc : 5/19/2017 11:51 am : link
Consistent brake failures or gas tanks blowing up in car lines are above and beyond the ability of the average consumer to discern at the point of sale. Consumer protections are appropriate at this level.

But hot coffee? That seems low tech enough for the consumer to handle.
RE: The thing that makes you shake  
Deej : 5/19/2017 11:54 am : link
In comment 13476272 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
your head is if they had a warning label on the cover that said "cover may be loose, take caution" or something like that, then they're probably not liable, but without that warning, the general public cannot be assumed to realize this hot beverage with a less than one cent cover, might be a little bit dangerous.

it seems like the reasonable man theory has sunk so low it's more like the barely functioning person theory.


That's a good point. Current thinking is that disclosure is a substitute for regulation. It's a concept we see across society. E.g. people who say sunlight if the best disinfectant for political corruption. Except it isnt -- we see lobbyists and interested parties donate money to pols (both parties), we see those entities getting special treatment. There is no shame.

We dont always defer to warning labels. You cant see an unsafe car with a window sticker saying "warning: you will die in any accident over 5 MPH". The flip side is that some warning labels really do help. You just get numb to them when a pack of peanuts warns you that it may have been processed in a facility where they process peanuts.
RE: RE: RE: Whatever happened to the ancient theory  
Deej : 5/19/2017 11:58 am : link
In comment 13476260 njm said:
Quote:
In comment 13476205 Deej said:


Quote:


In comment 13476107 ktinsc said:


Quote:


Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.



We decided instead to adopt a not-insane system. One which doesnt promote people being ripped off because of information asymmetry. Or leave the masses maimed and disfigured by poorly designed products.

This is like asking: Whatever happened to the ancient theory that a human could own another human, force him to do labor, sell him, and sell his children?



Information asymmetry? She didn't know the coffee was hot? And a comparison to slavery? Please.


I wasnt talking about this case with information asymmetry. Though in this case, one could certainly believe that Starbucks knew a lot more about the dangers of the lid than she did (I dont know the facts).

As for the slavery reference, we've been posting too long for you to take everything I write as 100% serious. It was argument by absurd analogy.
RE: Ok Deej, fair points, to a point.  
Deej : 5/19/2017 12:05 pm : link
In comment 13476286 ktinsc said:
Quote:
Consistent brake failures or gas tanks blowing up in car lines are above and beyond the ability of the average consumer to discern at the point of sale. Consumer protections are appropriate at this level.

But hot coffee? That seems low tech enough for the consumer to handle.


Well in the McDonalds case, which I've read about extensively, the issue was that they were selling coffee that was so hot that it was, medically speaking, unfit for human consumption.

Here I take it that the lid was allegedly unsafe and Starbucks knew about it. Why shouldnt that be something we protect consumers from? Why the hell should Starbucks sell a lid -- plainly designed for you to drink coffee from and which Starbucks knows that people use for that purpose -- that falls off and causes dangerous contents to spill out? Why not build a better lid?

How did the lid pop off? By normal usage? Was she drinking from it, or holding it between her legs (etc.)?
I have read some documentation of the Micky D's case  
ktinsc : 5/19/2017 12:36 pm : link
but I won't claim my readings to be extensive. And I agree that their coffee is too hot to drink immediately upon purchase. I do like their coffee however. It is the only thing that they serve that is fit for human consumption in my opinion. I would pass by several starbux to get coffee at McDonalds if I were in need of coffee. I also know that I need to let it sit for at least ten minutes before I drink it.
I like the knee jerk reactions based on very little information given  
oghwga : 5/19/2017 12:38 pm : link
this is current America, read the Facebook news blurb and get angry.

Deej making sense here thank you.

as an aside, I like my coffee with enough milk to cool it off and make it drinkable. They sell coffee sleeves because coffee is too hot to hold but it's ok to drink? That's my wife's superpower, if she spills it on herself it will burn but she can certainly drink it.
the McDonald's coffee burn lawsuit  
PaulBlakeTSU : 5/19/2017 12:38 pm : link
is one of the most misunderstood law suits in recent memory.
RE: I like the knee jerk reactions based on very little information given  
pjcas18 : 5/19/2017 12:42 pm : link
In comment 13476394 oghwga said:
Quote:
this is current America, read the Facebook news blurb and get angry.

Deej making sense here thank you.

as an aside, I like my coffee with enough milk to cool it off and make it drinkable. They sell coffee sleeves because coffee is too hot to hold but it's ok to drink? That's my wife's superpower, if she spills it on herself it will burn but she can certainly drink it.


yeah, this thread is filled with anger and outrage. Way to mis-characterize and sensationalize, something you practically accused others of doing.

Pot? Kettle? which one are you?
Just a few posts that I read PJ that inspired my post  
oghwga : 5/19/2017 12:53 pm : link
These lawsuits are such BS
EricJ : 11:34 am : link : reply
.
Pussy liberal horseshit
Tark10 : 11:39 am : link : reply
When will people be responsible for their own decisions?

Yup, got to love America. The only place on earth you can sue someone for not protecting you against yourself and your stupidity.

this galls me, repeatedly punishing companies for peoples mistakes
Gross Blau Oberst : 10:28 am : link : reply
Coffee is supposed to be brewed and served hot. If you want it cooler, then remove the lid and let it air cool, or add water, milk, ice to cool it off. You have a personal responsibility as a consumer to be careful and check the items once you receive it and during handling.

The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 205 F (96 C) the better. Boiling water (212 F - 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee.
Source: https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87

Spilling anything made at that temperature, especially with clothing on and not quickly removed can and will cause burns.

If the lid was faulty, then the serving company has liability. Consumer handling of the lidded coffee while moving is a personal responsibility.

Tort reform is long overdue.

Is personal responsibilities for ones own actions a thing of the past?

Whatever happened to the ancient theory
ktinsc : 10:04 am : link : reply
Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.
when I'm drinking my espresso in Starbuck's, which is not unusual  
Del Shofner : 5/19/2017 12:55 pm : link
as there is one right next door to my office, I have asked for it with no lid, since the espresso comes nowhere near the top of the cup and I otherwise toss the lid immediately, which seems wasteful.

Nope ... the guy says he's got to give it to me with a lid. At least I'm safe!
RE: Just a few posts that I read PJ that inspired my post  
pjcas18 : 5/19/2017 12:57 pm : link
In comment 13476433 oghwga said:
Quote:
These lawsuits are such BS
EricJ : 11:34 am : link : reply
.
Pussy liberal horseshit
Tark10 : 11:39 am : link : reply
When will people be responsible for their own decisions?

Yup, got to love America. The only place on earth you can sue someone for not protecting you against yourself and your stupidity.

this galls me, repeatedly punishing companies for peoples mistakes
Gross Blau Oberst : 10:28 am : link : reply
Coffee is supposed to be brewed and served hot. If you want it cooler, then remove the lid and let it air cool, or add water, milk, ice to cool it off. You have a personal responsibility as a consumer to be careful and check the items once you receive it and during handling.

The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 205 F (96 C) the better. Boiling water (212 F - 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee.
Source: https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87

Spilling anything made at that temperature, especially with clothing on and not quickly removed can and will cause burns.

If the lid was faulty, then the serving company has liability. Consumer handling of the lidded coffee while moving is a personal responsibility.

Tort reform is long overdue.

Is personal responsibilities for ones own actions a thing of the past?

Whatever happened to the ancient theory
ktinsc : 10:04 am : link : reply
Caveat emptor? Failure to accept personal responsibility for our actions seems to be a recurring theme throughout our society.


My apologies, there were more replies than I thought in that class. Still don't think it's the way I'd characterize the thread, but more than I thought, I apologize.
I am an angry old man, officially.  
oghwga : 5/19/2017 1:55 pm : link
I have the cardigan and the slacks to prove it.
But hey, thankfully you're still here to enlighten the  
ktinsc : 5/19/2017 2:05 pm : link
Unwashed masses.
It's just so odd to me that people's reaction  
Deej : 5/19/2017 4:20 pm : link
is basically "that what happens when you drink coffee, bitch" and not "boy Starbucks should fix the lids on their coffee".

The Chamber of Commerce has done a staggering job getting it's anti-liability message out there, and getting it to stick. They have convinced a lot of people that all the undeservings out there are getting rich with junk lawsuits.
RE: Pussy liberal horseshit  
David in LA : 5/19/2017 4:42 pm : link
In comment 13476269 Tark10 said:
Quote:
When will people be responsible for their own decisions?


Getting litigious is only restricted to liberals?
I wouldnt have had  
RinR : 5/19/2017 5:02 pm : link
a case (I dont think) because I take the lid off, pour in half-and-half and put the lid back on. If it then pops off it could be argued I didnt put it back on correctly.

Cant tell from that short article if thats what she did but I am guessing no.
RE: It's just so odd to me that people's reaction  
njm : 5/19/2017 5:03 pm : link
In comment 13476677 Deej said:
Quote:
is basically "that what happens when you drink coffee, bitch" and not "boy Starbucks should fix the lids on their coffee".

The Chamber of Commerce has done a staggering job getting it's anti-liability message out there, and getting it to stick. They have convinced a lot of people that all the undeservings out there are getting rich with junk lawsuits.


True story. After the last of us had left the nest my parent's were thinking of selling the house and getting to a town with lower property taxes. Next door neighbor introduced my mother to a friend who was a real estate agent. My dad did a "sale by owner" and sold the house. Two years later my mother got subpoenaed. Seems the real estate agent, at home, had trouble opening a glass jar of food. To help, she tapped it vigorously with a dinner knife, and when she tried to open it again the glass broke and she cut her hand. Sued the food company on a product liability ground. My mother was called because she was listed as a client who the agent lost due to the injury (lost income). She actually had to testify at trial. The story was similar with many of her other "clients". Jury awarded $10k and told the company's attorney they awarded it because the felt sorry for her.

Hence the reason for my heightened skepticism.
And to David in LA  
njm : 5/19/2017 5:04 pm : link
I have no idea what the plaintiff's political affiliations were, nor the lawyers.
njm, I was just being sarcastic  
David in LA : 5/19/2017 5:14 pm : link
people can be pretty shitty on both ends of the political spectrum, I just hate when people try to make it as if it's a trait of only one specific party.
The McDonald's case is often cited  
81_Great_Dane : 5/19/2017 6:23 pm : link
by people arguing against "out of control" unreasonable jury awards in lawsuits, and in favor of tort reform. But

1) McDonalds had a lot of burned customers, but felt it the number and the cost of settlements was not enough to change their practices.
Quote:
Other documents obtained from McDonald's showed that from 1982 to 1992 the company had received more than 700 reports of people burned by McDonald's coffee to varying degrees of severity, and had settled claims arising from scalding injuries for more than $500,000.


2) The jury's punitive damages figure was based on a couple of days' coffee revenue. Pretty well thought-out. Hardly "out of control."
Quote:
They awarded Liebeck US$200,000 in compensatory damages, which was then reduced by 20% to $160,000. In addition, they awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages. The jurors apparently arrived at this figure from Morgan's suggestion to penalize McDonald's for one or two days' worth of coffee revenues, which were about $1.35 million per day.


3) The award was reduced anyway.
Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants - ( New Window )
_______________  
I am Ninja : 5/19/2017 6:28 pm : link
Did someone really raise caveat emptor?

Maybe if the coffee turned out to be hot motor oil instead.

Lol some of you guys.
I'd actually like to know who the people are  
Bill L : 5/19/2017 6:30 pm : link
That cause companies to write things like "don't stick you hand on the moving blade"" on a lawnmower or "this is not free candy; don't eat this" on the desiccant they put in electronics cartons. Because you know they're there because somebody tried it. I want to know who those people are...and avoid them.
People keep saying  
Daniel in MI : 5/19/2017 6:43 pm : link
"when will people take responsibility for their actions" and "she should know not to put the coffee between her legs."

The issue, in part, is negligence. In the former McDonald's case, it was demonstrated that they were heating their coffee up WAY above industry standards or necessary for coffee. And that there had been prior issues/problems/complaints.

She may have done something silly putting hot coffee there, but she did it with a reasonable expectation that if it spilled she'd be in for a "damn, that's hot!" not 2nd degree blistering burns and extensive damage.

It's like when car companies determined that the cost of fixing known flaws is too costly compared to deaths that might occur. That's not OK.

Individuals and companies both have responsibilities. More often than not, when these headlines are made, people get very flawed information that makes the lawsuits seem as ridiculous as possible. That's not an accident. It's a media strategy.
RE: People keep saying  
chuckydee9 : 5/19/2017 6:56 pm : link
In comment 13476796 Daniel in MI said:
Quote:
"when will people take responsibility for their actions" and "she should know not to put the coffee between her legs."

The issue, in part, is negligence. In the former McDonald's case, it was demonstrated that they were heating their coffee up WAY above industry standards or necessary for coffee. And that there had been prior issues/problems/complaints.

She may have done something silly putting hot coffee there, but she did it with a reasonable expectation that if it spilled she'd be in for a "damn, that's hot!" not 2nd degree blistering burns and extensive damage.

It's like when car companies determined that the cost of fixing known flaws is too costly compared to deaths that might occur. That's not OK.

Individuals and companies both have responsibilities. More often than not, when these headlines are made, people get very flawed information that makes the lawsuits seem as ridiculous as possible. That's not an accident. It's a media strategy.


Also when it came time to settle that case, Mc Donald's took absurd stances instead of simply paying for her damages.. if they had simply paid her $15k for damages, no one would've known or cared.. after going over there details of the lawsuit, I definitely think Mc Donald's to blame and should actually get the scrutiny rather than everyone bashing the lady.. If you know you are at even partial fault.. except some responsibility and take the settlement agreement.. usually those agreements are fair and only cover damages..
RE: I'm not a lawyer nor have I been to a Holiday Inn recently  
DeaconBlues : 5/19/2017 7:17 pm : link
In comment 13476089 jcn56 said:
Quote:
but don't these awards typically get knocked down after on appeal? Somehow I recall the last of these ending up with little more than medical bills and legal fees.

The jury awarded 2M in damages, the judge reduced it to 2.5 times damages 85k in medical bills. Judge called it the worse case of corporate negligence he had ever seen. MD had over 700 complaints of the coffee being too hot. Coffee was kept at 200 degrees.
If they allowed lawsuits where you could sue yourself for damages  
xman : 5/19/2017 8:33 pm : link
most people would be fabulously rich. Every careless stupid move would be rewarded.

I realize it was the ladies first trip to the starbucks and she didn't know. Was she careless for a moment? Did she take a shortcut and get burned? Who knows but who would a jury side .
RE: There was a doc a few years ago about the  
short lease : 5/20/2017 5:09 pm : link
In comment 13476065 NoPeanutz said:
Quote:
lady who sued MacDonalds (and won) in that now infamous case over the hot coffee.
Apparently, McDs had been dangerously super-heating their coffee, as company policy, and the lady very seriously burned herself as a consequence. But I think that decision was for substantially more than $100k, and actually forced McDs to change their company policy and adopt more sensible procedures with respect to their hot beverages, and had ripple effects throughout the restaurant industry.
I think you can find it on Netflix.

The size of this Starbucks lawsuit makes me think that maybe SBux is admitting fault with respect to an isolated incident/accident.


I remember at the time thinking another frivolous lawsuit from a money hungry patron and her lawyer(s).

Then I watched an 1.5 hour documentary about the case that was released about 2 years ago(?). She deserved the money ....
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