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McDonalds, hot coffee

Ketchups

Member
Dec 16, 2017
483
269
San Diego, CA
The coffee was being served over a safe and reasonable temperature, Too hot to drink, and capable of third degree burns in seconds. McDonald's had previously paid out over $500k to 700+ cases of people with burns.
Mind you, Lieback was an elderly woman. The elderly have thinner/more frail skin.
Wiki said:
"Liebeck's attorneys argued that, at 180–190 °F (82–88 °C), McDonald's coffee was defective, claiming it was too hot..."
"Since Liebeck, McDonald's has not reduced the service temperature of its coffee. McDonald's policy today is to serve coffee at 80–90 °C (176–194 °F),[33] relying on more sternly worded warnings on cups made of rigid foam to avoid future liability, though it continues to face lawsuits over hot coffee.[33][34] The Specialty Coffee Association of America supports improved packaging methods rather than lowering the temperature at which coffee is served. The association has successfully aided the defense of subsequent coffee burn cases.[35] Similarly, as of 2004, Starbucks sells coffee at 175–185 °F (79–85 °C), and the executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America reported that the standard serving temperature is 160–185 °F (71–85 °C)."

If something is "too hot to drink", I simply don't drink it nor spill it on myself.
 

hill

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
1,324
679
Lake Forest, CA
.......snip......
If something is "too hot to drink", I simply don't drink it nor spill it on myself.
unfortunately, the rest of the world isn't as resilient, smart, intuitive, & nimble as you & i. oh, wait, I have spilled scalding coffee on myself, but I at least reacted fast enough to pull the scalding clothes away from my skin. I concede to your superiority.
;)
.
 

Ketchups

Member
Dec 16, 2017
483
269
San Diego, CA
unfortunately, the rest of the world isn't as resilient, smart, intuitive, & nimble as you & i. oh, wait, I have spilled scalding coffee on myself, but I at least reacted fast enough to pull the scalding clothes away from my skin. I concede to your superiority.
;)
.
:D
haha, I've burned my tongue plenty of times! (thirst > burn)
but I've never spilled anything hot on myself...unintentionally :p
 
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bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,743
Columbia River Gorge
The issue came down to that particular McDonald's had been warned during inspections that the coffee temperature was too hot. They chose to ignore that warning simply because it was easier to brew at that temperature which allowed them to pour it and not serve immediately, while still serving a hot cup.

It's foreseeable that coffee could spill, that a lid could come off, that someone could be burned. So between that and the fact they had been warned in writing about the temperature, the lawsuit was appropriate.
 

NeverFollow

Active Member
Aug 9, 2010
1,278
732
haha, I've burned my tongue plenty of times! (thirst > burn)
but I've never spilled anything hot on myself...unintentionally
I burn my tongue time to time after reheating my coffee in my microwave for too long time.

I wish microwaves have an infrared thermometer to keep heating liquids
below 60 degree Celsius or 140 degree Fahrenheit.

I don't think it would be difficult to have a tiny hole just above the center of the microwave,
to put an infrared thermal sensor above, and add a special button to activate the temperature limiter,
like le Popcorn button that certain microwave have.

ThermoHAWK 400 - Touchless Infrared Thermometer
thermohawk-400-touchless-infrared-thermometer-xl.jpg




Hot Water Burn & Consumer Safety: Chart - Accurate Building Inspectors ® | 1-800-640-8285 |
hot_water_burn_scalding.gif
 

Ketchups

Member
Dec 16, 2017
483
269
San Diego, CA
The issue came down to that particular McDonald's had been warned during inspections that the coffee temperature was too hot. They chose to ignore that warning simply because it was easier to brew at that temperature which allowed them to pour it and not serve immediately, while still serving a hot cup.

It's foreseeable that coffee could spill, that a lid could come off, that someone could be burned. So between that and the fact they had been warned in writing about the temperature, the lawsuit was appropriate.
yeah but if the coffee drove the lawyer off a cliff, who's at fault?
:p
 
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S'toon

Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
3,702
3,644
AB
The real case was much more horrific than the myth that has grown up around the case. It wasn't a "frivolous lawsuit."


 
Last edited:
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Ketchups

Member
Dec 16, 2017
483
269
San Diego, CA
The real case was much more horrific than the myth that has grown up around the case. It wasn't a "frivolous lawsuit."



"In general, elderly, who represent the fastest growing population, have been shown to be particularly susceptible to burn injuries (Pham et al., 2009). This is due to thinning skin, decreased sensations, mental alterations, or other contributing factors (Pham et al., 2009, Gerstein et al., 1993)."
Pathophysiologic Response to Burns in the Elderly

Not everyone is going to suffer the same 'horrific' injuries. Also, the material of her pants played a role as well.

Nevertheless, it was an unfortunate incident and I'd hate to see anyone experience that. I would have covered her medical expenses in good faith and not any admission of guilt/liability.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
13,102
39,904
Michigan
Since there's a whole thread now, I'll repeat what I PMed ketchups:

And that is why I get frozen coffee.. :)
(or cut the normal version with water)
 

hill

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
1,324
679
Lake Forest, CA
If you haven't seen it, the documentary 'Hot Coffee' about this case is a great watch.
HOT COFFEE, a documentary feature film
The only group that truly knows how onerous & powerful the insurance industry is, are those people that have had their house burn down with what's sold to you as "full replacement coverage",
(Yep - that was our 3950² foot home .... & a year later? we're still fighting for the rest of the payout) & maybe all negligence/tort attorneys know how bad the industry is .... maybe also people that watched John Travolta's performance in the movie, "A civil action" .... presuming movie watchers actually believe its horrific message. With each push from the insurance Lobby, tort attorney's recoveries - for their injured customer gets horribly worse & worse, even when weighed against the fraud claims.
.
 

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