McDonald's Hot Coffee Burns Lawsuit (GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING)
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    It has been a decade since the landmark Mcdonald's lawsuit over a spilled cup of coffee. Wow. How old am I?
    Recently, a SM member opened my eyes to some facts about that "frivolous" lawsuit that I felt needed to be shared, in case anyone else was in the dark as much as I was.

    Readers with a weak stomach may want to stop here, and find your way back to lighter subjects.



    For years I have heard people use the McDonald’s coffee case as the poster-child of what’s wrong with America jurisprudence. I often hear comments like:  ”A woman spilled coffee on herself while she was driving and then blamed McDonald’s and got millions of dollars, how ridiculous!” 

    The Insurance and Big business lobby shouts that greedy plaintiffs are driving insurance costs up and then point to the McDonald’s coffee case as an example. Being a Plaintiffs Personal Injury attorney I know that insurance companies don’t hand over millions of dollars without staunchly defending their ground.  I also know that insurance companies hire seasoned trial lawyers to defend serious injury claims.  So what I was hearing in the media about the McDonald’s coffee case  just didn’t add up.

    When doing jury voir dire in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk Counties (Interviewing the jury prior to a personal injury or wrongful death trial) the attorneys in our firm repeatedly noticed comments from potential jurors about “that ridiculous verdict” in the McDonald’s coffee case.  The McDonald’s case was filed in New Mexico, thousands of miles away but was regularly affecting us in trials right here in Tampa, Bartow, and St. Petersburg Florida.

    After investigating the particulars we came to the startling reality that the insurance lobby was seriously distorting the truth. We read the actual case and other related articles which pointed to some interesting and compelling facts.  We want to set the record straight: 

    Plaintiff:    The plaintiff was a 79 year old woman named Stella Liebeck. 

    Location:   In 1992 Stella was riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by her grandson in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

    The Scene:   Ms. Liebeck and her grandson pulled into a drive thru at a local McDonald’s Restaurant.  After purchasing the coffee, the grandson pulled the car to a nearby curb and stopped the car so Ms Liebeck could add sugar and cream to her coffee.  Stella was holding the cup between her legs.  When she removed the lid from the cup it turned over and spilled into her lap.

    What happened – The Facts: 

    Was the car stopped?

    Fiction:    I always hear “the car was moving” when Stella spilled the coffee.  Not true! 

    Truth:      The car was stopped.

    Was Stella seriously injured?

    Fiction:  Stella only suffered minor injuries.

    Truth:     Stella suffered 3rd degree burns over 16% of her body.  The burns were to her inner thighs, buttocks, perineum, and genital and groin area.  The burns went as deep as her bone.  She was wearing sweatpants which were literally burned into her skin.

    Read the rest here.

    community-manager


  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    image

    community-manager


  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    http://harmfuldruginfocenter.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/mcdonalds.jpg?w=300&h=213

    I won't post that photo, but you can click the link if you want. It is worse than the prior photo.

    community-manager


  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    This is ridiculous, but bear in mind we only know what the media have said about it, and that's rarely the whole story. Remember that "frivolous" case about the McDonald's coffee being too hot? Everybody said it was a no-brainer, of course coffee's hot, etc. But have you ever seen pictures of the poor woman's burns? (Google mcdonalds coffee lawsuit pictures if your stomach is strong enough). I would have sued too. So the kids may very well be a couple of entitled brats with parental alienation syndrome. But don't believe everything you read.

    community-manager


  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    Totally off topic @fatchickonabike , but I learned in my pr classes McDonalds spent a shit ton of money to leak that case in the media so the woman would be publically humilated but would not make comments on the case whenever the pictures were presented.  As completely evil as it sounds, McDonald's gainned so much free pr from this fiasco that lawsuit aided them to be as powerful as they are now.

    community-manager


  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    My veiw on this is every one has accidents. Yes McDonald's was at fault because they did not monitor their coffee temps and because of this lawsuit they did put cautions in the cups and they train their drive through employees to say this is hot please be careful. It could have been easily a Wendy's or Burger king..
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • CanadianMamaCanadianMama
    Posts: 10,374Administrator, Moderator
    That's awful!! There's a case like this in Surrey, BC as well, obviously their coffee is too hot!!!

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/06/22/bc-mcdonalds-lawsuit-hot-coffee.html

    community-manager


  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    Heated at 180-190 degrees?! How freaking unnecessary is that?! 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • Marionettevie
    Posts: 2,729Member
    jesus christ that womans burns! i have spilled hot shit on myself before and NOTHING has ever left me with anything other than blotchy redness. NOTHING...i even spilled some oatmeal on myself when i was little and the button from my pjs melted and stuck to me. and it was not nearly as bad as this womans burns.
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    TAMPA - Cynthia Gamrot loved hot coffee, until the day she says the lid popped off of a cup she got at a local drive thru and spilled all over her lap. “It was burning intensely, thousands of hot needles on me. I looked down and I could see my skin just kind of peeling off."
    Click the slide show above to see pictures of the burns Gamrot suffered - Warning, some images are graphic.
    The pictures, Cynthia says, are of 2nd and 3rd degree burns she received.  “I don't want someone to go through what I went through."
    An ambulance trip to Bayfront Medical Center and numerous trips to a plastic surgeon racked up thousands in medical bills and even more, Cynthia says, in pain and suffering. All because, in her words,” The coffee was too hot and too full. It was way up to the top."
    Cynthia sued the owner of the 4th street Chick-fil-A in St. Petersburg. In a deposition Cynthia showed us, the franchise owner stated it was corporate policy at the time to serve coffee at 170 to 200 degrees.
    According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, coffee should be served at 180 degrees.
    But the Director of Tampa General Hospital's Burn Unit says that's hot enough to cause a third-degree burn if you spill it on you. Doctor David Smith says, “There's a time - temperature relationship. The hotter the temperature, the much shorter the time. At 150 maybe 160 degrees, it takes less than one second to have a second or third degree burn."
    We wanted to see how hot coffee was served at some popular national franchises in Tampa Bay and set up our own unscientific sampling using a thermocouple on loan from USF's Chemistry Department.
    My photographer Scott and I tested 33 cups of coffee from drive-thrus at 10 national chains: McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks, Einstein's, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Hardees, Arby's and Wendy's.
    Scroll down to see the list of Tampa Bay area test locations and company responses
    While the majority of the coffee was served between 150 and 175 degrees, the hottest cups, at 180, came from the McDonalds at 1905 North Dale Mabry in Tampa, the Dunkin Donuts at 4325 on West Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa and the Krispy Kreme at 8425 on North Florida Avenue.
    The coolest, at 122 and 144 degrees came from the same Chick-fil-A where Cynthia claims she was burned. We asked the owner if he'd changed any policy since the alleged incident. Both the owner and his attorney declined to comment due to pending litigation.
    Carl Borchgrevink is a Professor at Michigan State University, who conducted 2 studies on hot liquids being served thru quick service windows after the landmark McDonald’s case of a woman who burned herself with hot coffee.  “The serving at 150 I'm okay with," he said, "but the serving at 180 or higher is dangerous.  I'm a little surprised people are still serving at that temperature given we've established that's risky from a customer's point of view."
    Borchgrevink also put together a study asking consumers what temperature they actually considered hot but safe and satisfying. “We came away with a preferred temperature of 144 to 155, with most coming close to the upper end of that range."
    If those consumers like coffee at 155 degrees, why would restaurants brew the beverage at higher temps?
    In Carl’s opinion, “195 to 205, which is often the recommended temperature to get the maximum extraction of coffee, if they wish to brew it at a slightly lower temperature you need to use more coffee. So there is, in fact, an economic argument." 
    COFFEE TEST LOCATIONS and TEMPERATURES: 

    MCDONALD'S 
    1905 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa -180 
    4009 North Armenia Avenue, Tampa -179 
    926 West Fletcher Avenue, Tampa - 174 
    2101 East 13th Avenue, Tampa -170
    BURGER KING 
    2965 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa -171 
    2601 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa - 170 
    8406 North Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa -154 
    611 South Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa -175 

    STARBUCKS 
    502 E. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa -173 
    1508 North Westshore Blvd., Tampa -168 
    8602 Hillsborough Ave, Tampa -172 
    1600 W Kennedy Blvd -176
    EINSTEIN 
    10802 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa - 169 
    619 South Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa didn’t have a drive thru 

    CHICK-FIL-A 
    6299 W Waters Ave, Tampa -177 
    609 South Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa - 152 
    4241 4th street st pete - 122 
    4241 4th street ( different day ) -144 
    5302 East Fowler Ave -166 
    15801 n Dale Mabry - 167
    DUNKIN DONUTS 
    7004 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa - 176 
    8714 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa -169 
    4325 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa -180 
    4404 West Gandy Boulevard, Tampa - 168 

    KRISPY KREME 
    3113 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa - 169 
    8425 North Florida Avenue, Tampa - 180 

    HARDEE's 
    4116 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa - 147 
    11010 Casey Road, Tampa no longer there 
    3795 34th Street North St Petersburg -164
    ARBY'S 
    5620 West Waters Avenue, Tampa - 150 
    2230 East Fletcher Avenue, Tampa no coffee served 
    9597 4th Street N St Pete -144
    WENDY'S 
    1615 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa - 158 
    1501 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa - 158 
    2036 North Dale
    Mabry Highway, Tampa - 151 
    3601 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa - 150
    Company responses on coffee brewing and serving policy:
    ARBY'S & WENDY'S
    Serving coffee is a small part of our business, but we use approved equipment calibrated by the manufacturer and supplier. An employee would not be able to change that to make the coffee hotter. We do provide warning labels. We’ve had no customer complaints or lawsuits related to coffee. We have online and in-store training for employees at each position including how to put the lid on safely. Our franchise stores follow the same policy using approved equipment and vendors.
    Bob Bertini 
    Wendy’s and Arby’s
    Note: This the above is not a direct quote. The information was provided during a phone interview.
     
    BURGER KING
    No response
     
    CHICK-FIL-A
    “We will not be able to meet your deadline.”
    Mark Baldwin 
    Chick-Fil-A
     
    DUNKIN DONUTS
    “Dunkin' Donuts has precise requirements, which are in line with industry standards, for brewing and serving Dunkin' Donuts coffee in our restaurants. In order to ensure a consistently high quality cup of coffee, Dunkin' Donuts requires its Franchises and their crewmembers to complete training programs that emphasize brewing best practices, serving techniques and guest safety.”
    Andrew Mastrangelo 
    Manager, Public Relations 
    Dunkin' Brands Inc.
     
    EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS
    No response
     
    HARDEE’S
    “We are going to respectfully decline to comment.”
    Jenna Petroff 
    Public Relations & Social Media Manager 
    Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc.
     
    KRISPY KREME
    “Coffee brewing equipment standards in our shops indicate an acceptable range of water temperature of 195 to 205 degrees. This general standard is applicable to all Krispy Kreme shops, including franchisees. Also, all of our shops display signage that cautions our consumers that the contents of their coffee cup may hot.”
    Brian K. Little 
    Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.
     
    MCDONALD'S
    "Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our customers.
    Our packaging meets all FDA requirements, and is designed with the safety of our customers and ease of use, in mind.
    Specific to how we brew and serve our coffee, temperatures fall well within industry standards both for coffee served in-restaurant, as well as through the drive-thru."
    Jessica Littlefield 
    Marketing Manager 
    McDonald's USA, LLC
     
    STARBUCKS
    “Starbucks brews our beverages to industry standards.”
    Company Statement


    community-manager


  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    The other thing too about the Stella case is that old people's skin is much more fragile. Having said that, pretty sure I wouldn't want to spill 200 degree coffee on my cooch, either.
    Why be a king when you can be a God?
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    Yes @curious! My grandmother's skin was like tissue paper, the slightest thing would make her bleed or leave a bruise. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • TorturedbyTWINSTorturedbyTWINS
    Posts: 1,543Member
    Thank you for posting this!  I heard someone refer to this the other day and rather than get into this whole story I said nothing.  It is the "poster child" for frivolous lawsuits, yet it is FAR from frivolous.  This was a project I had in my business class.  

    Off topic:  My DH told me that a young boy got hit in the chest with a baseball and it stopped his heart causing brain injury from lack of oxygen.  The parents sued the makers of the bat (and possibly the ball) saying that the bat made the ball go too fast and they WON.  Has anyone heard of this case?  This does sound frivolous to me... but I wasn't on the jury.  Don't you know that baseballs can seriously hurt you and there is an inherent risk to playing sports?
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    @torturedbytwins It would make more sense to sue the person who aimed the ball at his chest. I've never heard of that. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • pdxmama
    Posts: 1,467Member
    Goddamn! I'm totally guilty of using the coffee case as an example when I'm talking about the frivolity of lawsuits in the US. After seeing that picture I'll need to seriously reconsider that.
  • sybil
    Posts: 27Member
    The coffee story is the one that is always used for the example of frivolous lawsuit epidemic.  Frankly, I do still believe that the first lawsuit was frivolous.  

    My grandfather will have waitstaff microwave the coffee that comes to him fresh off the burner becuase he says its not hot enough.  Yet he wont drink it until it cools off.  I very seriously doubt even if the coffee cup was fire red, with HUGE black lettering stating YOU WILL BURN THE SHIT OUTTA YOURSELF IF YOU SPILL THIS ON YOURSELF would have done anything to stop it.  She opened a coffee cup on an unstable surface and basically, it was her fault.

    However, I see the story where the lady took the lid off herself in a car, on her lap as a COMPLETELY different scenario as the one where the lid popped off.  The one where the employee had not properly put the lid on was at fault and she should sue the crap out of that place
  • cheesehead4ever
    Posts: 1,139Member
    I remember reading the true story posted on the now defunct Miss Mannrs board. Unreal!
  • ConfusedDad
    Posts: 134Member
    Sooo I spent 10 years working for McDonalds. 2 things I learned in the Many many classes I took with them. 1) In reality the payout McDonalds made for that case really only amounted to $20,000. McDoanlds standard for the brewing temp of their coffee is actually 202 degrees. It looses a lot of heat by the time it makes it to the cup obviously. Their coffee makers actually cant be set to brew any lower than 180 deg. Unless its not working properly of course.

    McDonalds as far as I know has yet to be successfully sued, they go through great lengths to cover themselves, when they build stores they go as far as statically placing the lights to prevent shadows on the floor (so people cant say they tripped because of a shadow) Every case McDonalds managed to settle it outside of court.

    Frivolous lawsuits are insane here, honestly they should make a law that prevents people from suing for stupid shit.
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    @ConfusedDad Can you elaborate on what you mean by this: 

    "McDonalds as far as I know has yet to be successfully sued"

    ...because  Ms. Stella won her case against McDonalds, as far as any news article I can find.


    And I'm sorry. I know that coffee is suppose to be hot. But if that cup of coffee did this to her legs, what would it do to her throat?
    image


    There is a BREWING temperature, and then there is a temperature that is safe for human consumption. And 200 degrees, or even 180, is not it.

    community-manager


  • ConfusedDad
    Posts: 134Member
    As far as we were informed in our classes (ive taken every class for mcdonalds with the exception of the Owner/Operator courses) McDonalds always managed to settle, as compared to a judge ordering the company to pay...
    I'll look in my books, but im pretty sure it was actually the Owner of the store that she sued, not McDonalds itself..I know not a big difference just habbit of what theyve drilled into our heads.

    I beleive the MINIMUM for their coffee is around the 150 160 range, which wouldnt get checked till after the full brew cycle (4 and a half minutes) for a regular size pot.
  • jacigirl6354
    Posts: 199Member
    Not taking either side here, but I'm wondering if those are actually Stella's legs? Pardon me, but they look a little "young" to be that of a 79 y/o. They are pretty tan, no veining at all and no excess skin or wrinkles around the knees. If they are indeed hers, man, I would love to have her genes, she has great legs! 
    After making my original post, I found a video interviewing Ms. Stella and her family, the graphics on there are MUCH worse! Yikes...
    The really screwed up thing is, while there is no need for coffee to be molten lava hot, people would bitch to high heaven if it were too cold! 
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    @jacigirl6354 Yeah... this was the least disconcerting photo I could find to post. The others were much more graphic and horrible. There's a link up there with a more comprehensive photo, if folks can stomach to see it.

    community-manager


  • GingersnapGingersnap
    Posts: 9,696Member
    Damn.

    #1 I don't drink my coffee that hot.
    #2 Color me ignorant about the facts of this case.
    image
    “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ― Joseph Campbell
  • WhoDatIsWhoDatIs
    Posts: 1,453Member
    That poor woman.
    You and me, we go way back.
  • ConfusedDad
    Posts: 134Member
    As much as I agree that coffee doesn't need to be that hot, apparently a LARGE group of random people apparently like it that way.

    When McDonald's wants to make a change in any of their products in the slightest they get random people to visit one of 3 test kitchens in the US. Depending on the results they get from a few thousand people then they try it out in the stores, certain Regions do that specific change (or run that product) and depending on how their sales and comments do they decide what their going to do next.

    I'm not sure if they changed it yet (it's been almost 3 years since I've worked their) but I know New England stores had different standards for their coffee then the rest of the country, New England was big on the Newman's Own Coffee while the rest of the country was still getting a blend that McDonald's got on their own.
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    Wow! The poor woman and her 'frivolity'!
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss
  • krissyandthree
    Posts: 257Member
    The one picture posted is definitely not the legs of a 79 yr old woman.
  • AnonUser28
    Posts: 2,043Guest
    It's a horrible shot. It is out of focus and overexposed. No wonder you can't make out any veins or wrinkles.
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    @krissyandthree there are other photos. The links are posted above, if you want to look.
    I will not post them here.

    community-manager


  • LLBLLB
    Posts: 5,622Member
    Maybe it's just me but the legs in the posted pic and the ones in the linked one don't even look like the same woman!
  • mami_of_3mami_of_3
    Posts: 163Member
    Remember that every one is different and ages different. My grandmother is 79 herself and her legs look like those of a teenager! No wrinkles, she has great color and you can see veins only on one of her legs and only because she has circulation problems(real bad on that leg)
    If you change their diaper, they will immediately poop in the new one.
    If you mop the floor, they will spill something.
    If you put on fresh socks, you will immediately step on whatever was spilled.
    If you're tired, they will not be.
    If you love them, you will see the beauty in it all.
  • krissyandthree
    Posts: 257Member
    @love. It really has nothing to with legs, lights, veins...more with the placement. I compared pics, totally different areas.
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    I'm sorry, as I've stated, I am not posting the other photos here.

    I'm sure everyone's Google machine works much the same way as mine does.

    community-manager


  • lizzyb5077
    Posts: 24Member

    I had an unfortunate experience with McDonalds coffee a couple years before this womans suit.  I was only 6 or 7 at the time, and my mom would get a coffee in the drive thru whenever we would leave the house.  She always handed it off to me (yes I was in the front seat) to hold while she drove.  I usually put the coffee between my legs to hold and all the other hundreds of times it was fine. This particular incident, she had to stop quickly or some kind of extreme manuever and the coffee spilled in my lap.  I had sever burns to my inner thighs I didnt go to the ER but my mom took me to the pediatrician the next day when she couldnt relieve the burns with aloe or other over the counter meds.  I'm 30 now, and there are still scars from where the coffee spilled. My burns were no where near the extent of this woman's burns, but still left a reminder of what happened.

  • lawschoolmommylawschoolmommy
    Posts: 241Member
    @meandmy243, no. They do not just say "ps this is hot". They reduced the temperature of their coffee. It could not have easily been another chain because other chains weren't heating their coffee so dangerously hot.

    Stella originally only asked for her medical bills to be paid and McDonald's refused. The punitive damages were added by a jury of men and women who decided McDonald's had not only been negligent, not only GROSSLY negligent, but that they and their legal team had been engaging in very shady practices.

    It wasn't "oh, this poor lady deserves millions for her injury". It was "you have been intentionally acting badly and must be punished."

    Btw, anyone know how the jury came up with that "ridiculous" number that was going to be such a spanking to McDonald's? The number was how much money McDonald's made on average for coffee sales in ONE day.
  • essgirl
    Posts: 610Member
    I think people should take responsibility for their own actions. If I put a cup of hot coffee between my legs and it spilt I wouldn't blame the person who made the coffee I would blame myself for doing something so stupid.....
  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    Be that as it may, @essgirl, I should think that coffee that is intended for my mouth will not actually eat through my flesh.
    Why be a king when you can be a God?
  • essgirl
    Posts: 610Member
    Fair point @curious but she hadn't yet added the milk or cream which would have cooled it down enough to make it drinkable.
  • Gracenikki
    Posts: 9Member
    The documentary "Hot Coffee" covers the details of this case quite well, and also some other cases where tort reform had had an impact. The case about the young family and their unborn child's disability as a result of blatant medical malpractice is especially concerning.
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    essgirl said:

    Fair point @curious but she hadn't yet added the milk or cream which would have cooled it down enough to make it drinkable.



    That's also a fair point, but what about people who drink it black?
    It's not like McDonald's has 2 separately temp'ed coffee pots, one for people who take milk and sugar set at a higher temperature, and another at a cooler temp for those who take it black....

    community-manager


  • AnonUser27
    Posts: 1,698Guest
    I don't remember if this has been said or not but.....here's the point.

    The coffee was too hot. Burned the shit out of her legs no matter which picture you look at. She didn't sue to make millions. She sued for the amount that her insurance didn't cover.
  • storm
    Posts: 1Member
    @ meandmy243  Just in case someone else has not already said this.  You erroneously stated that McDonald's did not monitor their coffee temperature.  This is untrue.  Not only did they know the temperature of the coffee, it was their policy to keep it that hot.  Their employee manual stated the coffee was to be brewed at a temperature of 180 degrees.  This was not an "accident" on their part.  The coffee was that hot intentionally.  In addition, the coffee was served in Styrofoam cups.  As most people know, Styrofoam melts.  The cup simply collapsed when she tried to remove the lid.  She wasn't being clumsy. 

    Someone else mentioned that because she was old and her skin was thin, she was injured more than another younger person would have been.  First, the temperature of the coffee would have caused 3rd degree burns in a matter of seconds no matter who it was  Secondly, it legally doesn't make any difference how old she is or what her health was like before the accident.  There is a common law legal doctrine that states the defendant must "take their victims as they find them", a quotation from the judgment of Lord Justice Lawton in R v. Blaue (1975). 

    This case still ticks me off when people talk about it.  Not only did this poor woman suffer horrendously, when McDonald's could have prevented it, she was humiliated and vilified by the media, all because wealthy soulless pieces of trash wanted to keep their millions.
  • BeachyBeachy
    Posts: 4,697Member
    Brava @storm! And welcome!
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt.
  • KatieRN
    Posts: 54Member
    Wow I never realized all of the details:( 
  • ameier23
    Posts: 103Member
    I recently found out these facts as well. I was really surprised.
  • Rachely
    Posts: 54Member
    wow. i never knew the facts. thank you for the post. DAMN. 
  • cassie77775
    Posts: 58Member
    Wow
  • bg1234
    Posts: 54Member

    wow i was not aware of all that

     

  • CherryfriesCherryfries
    Posts: 192Member
    OMG....I feel like a total jerk for making stupid ass comments about this myself. After seeing those pictures, I will never say anything so dumb. If I ever hear anyone say something stupid like I have, I will correct them and tell them about those horrible pictures.
  • rorysmom1
    Posts: 64Member
    Gross.  They have a warning on the cup that contents are extremley hot. For that matter one can always ask for a cup of ice to cool it down 
  • nottheone
    Posts: 51Member
    Ugh,that's seriously gross. And unnecessarily hot. I never knew all the details about the "hot coffee" story.