One "wolfpuppy" stated it was his/her/its job to 'educate'.
To that I must respond with, if that's your purpose in life, you are abysmally
to attempt to educate anyone on much of anything it appears, if in fact your
of the 'facts' on the lawsuit involivng McDonalds and the hot coffee is an
It has been over a decade since that lawsuit made the national news and STILL
PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT OF THE FACTS! Keep listening to Hollywood deadheads
wolfpuppy and you'll get as smart as Howdy Doody!
FWIW the facts are:
McFacts about the McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit
Everyone knows what you're talking about when you mention "the McDonald's
lawsuit." Even though
this case was decided in August of 1994, for many Americans it continues to
"problem" with our civil justice system.
The business community and insurance industry have done much to perpetuate this
don't want us to forget it. They know it helps them convince politicians that
"tort reform" and
other restrictions on juries is needed. And worse, they know it poisons the
minds of citizens
who sit on juries.
Unfortunately, not all the facts have been communicated - facts that put the
case and the
monetary award to the 81-year old plaintiff in a significantly different light.
According to the Wall Street journal, McDonald's callousness was the issue and
even jurors who
thought the case was just a tempest in a coffee pot were overwhelmed by the
The facts of the case, which caused a jury of six men and six women to find
was unreasonably dangerous and had caused enough human misery and suffering that
no one should
be made to suffer exposure to such excessively hot coffee again, will shock and
McFact No. 1: For years, McDonald's had known they had a problem with the way
their coffee - that their coffee was served much hotter (at least 20 degrees
more so) than at
McFact No. 2: McDonald's knew its coffee sometimes caused serious injuries -
more than 700
incidents of scalding coffee burns in the past decade have been settled by the
and yet they never so much as consulted a burn expert regarding the issue.
McFact No. 3: The woman involved in this infamous case suffered very serious
third degree burns on her groin, thighs and buttocks that required skin grafts
and a seven-day
McFact No. 4: The woman, an 81-year old former department store clerk who had
filed suit against anyone, said she wouldn't have brought the lawsuit against
the Corporation not dismissed her request for compensation for medical bills.
McFact No. 5: A McDonald's quality assurance manager testified in the case
Corporation was aware of the risk of serving dangerously hot coffee and had no
plans to either
turn down the heat or to post warning about the possibility of severe burns,
even though most
customers wouldn't think it was possible.
McFact No. 6: After careful deliberation, the jury found McDonald's was
liable because the
facts were overwhelmingly against the company. When it came to the punitive
damages, the jury
found that McDonald's had engaged in willful, reckless, malicious, or wanton
rendered a punitive damage award of 2.7 million dollars. (The equivalent of just
two days of
coffee sales, McDonalds Corporation generates revenues in excess of 1.3 million
from the sale of its coffee, selling 1 billion cups each year.)
McFact No. 7: On appeal, a judge lowered the award to $480,000, a fact not
in the media.
McFact No. 8: A report in Liability Week, September 29, 1997, indicated that
Gilliam, 73, suffered first degree burns when a cup of coffee spilled onto her
also indicate that McDonald's consistently keeps its coffee at 185 degrees,
20 degrees hotter than at other restaurants. Third degree burns occur at this
just two to seven seconds, requiring skin grafting, debridement and whirlpool
cost tens of thousands of dollars and result in permanent disfigurement, extreme
disability to the victims for many months, and in some cases, years.
The most important message this case has for you, the consumer, is to be aware
of the potential
danger posed by your early morning pick-me-up. Take extra care to make sure
children do not
come into contact with scalding liquid, and always look to the facts before
decision about any publicized case.
Courtesy of Legal News and Views, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers