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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
lamarca BS: Ridiculous Warnings and Announcements (183* d) RE: BS: Ridiculous Warnings and Announcements 16 May 02


Pseudolus, yes, you're wrong - the injured woman wasn't driving. Full descriptions of the case may be found here or here.

For those who don't want to bother with the above websites, here is a description of the case from a Wash. State Consumer Law site:

Myth: An opportunistic old woman launched a frivolous lawsuit when she spilled her McDonald's coffee on her lap.

Truth: Stella Liebeck was sitting in the passenger seat of her grandson's car holding a coffee after purchasing it from a drive-through window of a McDonald's. When she opened the lid to add cream and sugar, she spilled the coffee.

The simple accident caused third-degree burns on more than 6 percent of her body. She was treated in a hospital for a week. McDonald's served coffee 20 or so degrees hotter than the industry standard. The woman underwent numerous skin-graft surgeries as a result of her third-degree coffee burns to her thighs and groin area. She had permanent scarring on more than 16 percent of her body.

McDonald's had already ignored more than 700 similar claims of coffee burns, many involving children. The company even ignored a request from the Shriner's Burn Institute in Cincinnati to turn down its coffee.

McDonald's refused to pay the then 79-year-old woman's initial medical expenses totaling $11,000. McDonald's actually countered with an offer of $800. And they also refused to turn down the heat on their coffee. Left with $20,000 unpaid bills, she finally hired a lawyer.

A mediator later recommended the parties settle for $225,000. Again, McDonald's refused and the case went to trial.

McDonald's representatives lied to the court and jury about the existence of other claims. A jury reduced the original verdict of $200,000 to $160,000 for contributory negligence - Liebeck spilled it on herself.

Based on McDonald's annual profits of more than $1 billion annually, and more than $1.3 million gross daily coffee sales, the jury levied two days of coffee sales receipts as punitive damages for a punitive damage award of $2.7 million.

A judge later reduced the $2.7 million jury award to $480,000. McDonald's later settled the case for an undisclosed amount, requesting the deal be kept sealed. Most major newspapers ignored the judge's reduction and the final outcome of the case.

So, 'Catters, please don't perpetuate the story that a foolish and greedy old woman brought this entirely upon herself, and sued the poor, innocent large corporation, McDonalds. McDonalds has neither your or my best interests at heart; they are only interested in their bottom line, no matter how unhealthy, environmentally damaging or dangerous their products are...

BTW, the growth in the popularity of Buffalo Wings, "Drummettes" and other miscellaneous chicken parts dishes in the last 20 years stems from the chicken industry trying to market the chicken parts McDonald's leaves behind when they order massive quantities of breast meat for their Chicken McNuggets and other McChicken meals...


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