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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1445203/

The title is in reference to the famous McDonald's hot coffee law suit. The film was on HBO today. I had no idea the depths of the conspiracy of Big Business to sabotage the right of the people to seek redress in the courts.

I fell for the propaganda at the time, also. "Frivolous" law suits, millions of "spilled coffee", "lawsuit jackpot"...but it was all a lie. A massive propaganda campaign to convince the people that the right to sue was rife with abuse, rampant corrupting of the purpose of law suits, etc. But it was all BS. All of it.

Not that it didn't occur on occasion, but like voter fraud, it was extremely rare that a plaintiff would receive a massive award without justification.

The McDonald's coffee lady? The coffee was approximately 190F. That was McD's corporate standard. In their handbook. The lady spilled it on herself (as a passenger, NOT a driver). She ended up with 3rd degree burns that required extensive grafts. It wasn't "ow, I spilled coffee, I'm gonna sue!". They had pictures. The burns were very severe. Even after those healed, she wasn't as strong as before. All she wanted was McD's to cover the costs of her care. They offered something silly like $800. That's where the suit came from.

The had a few other examples.

And then they showed the campaign to disinform the public. To make us think there was a problem when there wasn't. Award limits (caps). And ultimately mandatory binding arbitration (no right to sue at all). Then to top it off, they figured out that rather than fight for legislation (which they already had a lot of), it was even better to fund sympathetic judges for election to courts. They provided several examples, and even alluded to the SCOTUS being influenced by it.

This was quite an eye-opener. I am pretty sure someone here mentioned this a while back, so I will simply second their recommendation that everyone see this film. I am now completely against "tort reform", and think all award limits should be removed (and banned, at the federal level). I also believe that mandatory binding arbitration (which I can guarantee nearly everyone reading this has signed up for at some point, most likely a credit card and cell phone) should be illegal (i.e. can't require it in any contract of any kind). If the parties wish to use it, fine. But a system where the corporation insists on arbitration and then gets to choose the arbiter is totally rigged.

It's all been connected...tort reform, Citizen's United, such that now it's really difficult to achieve justice against a corporation. The whole system is rigged and/or owned. Or nearly so.

It's a disgrace.

1poorguy
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The McDonald's coffee lady? The lady spilled it on herself (as a passenger, NOT a driver). All she wanted was McD's to cover the costs of her care. They offered something silly like $800. That's where the suit came from.

And explain to me once more why McDonalds should pay for her mistake?

If I buy a knife then on the way home I trip and fall on it, can I sue the knife maker for making his darn knives so sharp?
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Simple. Because their coffee was hotter than can be consumed by a human. At 190F you are well beyond scalding. That simply isn't reasonable, and the jury agreed.

And therein lies the heart of the whole thing. The jury. The best system in all of human history, and we're allowing it to be usurped by corporations.

So, ultimately, the answer to your question is because the jury said so.
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their coffee was hotter than can be consumed by a human. At 190F you are well beyond scalding. That simply isn't reasonable

According to this website, most people like their coffee at 175 degrees or more. 190 isn't far from that, and it seems 15 degrees is a reasonable cooling allowance since customers don't drink it the instant they get it from the McDonald's counter.
http://chugginmccoffee.hubpages.com/hub/What-Is-The-Best-Tem...

Knives are sharp and coffee is hot, folks. Life sure is dangerous isn't it? Hey, here's an idea: lets just blame somebody else when we aren't careful.

and the jury agreed. So, ultimately, the answer to your question is because the jury said so.

A jury also said OJ was innocent.
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Simple. Because their coffee was hotter than can be consumed by a human. At 190F you are well beyond scalding. That simply isn't reasonable, and the jury agreed.


makes it inherently dangerous -- beyond what the
"reasonable person" would expect

( would be interesting to have the science on how long
it would take to cool from 190 to Safe
iirc, their defense was People like their coffee hot
but might not drink it till hours after purchase

... was that in the movie?
would expect it to have come out at trial
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Chugginmccoffee.hubpages.com? Seriously? I'm sure supporting McDonalds has nothing to do with that webpage... </sarcasm>

The research shows a markedly different temperature:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18226454

Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, and coffee are frequently served at temperatures between 160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C) and 185 degrees F (85 degrees C). Brief exposures to liquids in this temperature range can cause significant scald burns. However, hot beverages must be served at a temperature that is high enough to provide a satisfactory sensation to the consumer. This paper presents an analysis to quantify hot beverage temperatures that balance limiting the potential scald burn hazard and maintaining an acceptable perception of adequate product warmth. A figure of merit that can be optimized is defined that quantifies and combines both the above effects as a function of the beverage temperature. An established mathematical model for simulating burns as a function of applied surface temperature and time of exposure is used to quantify the extent of thermal injury. Recent data from the literature defines the consumer preferred drinking temperature of coffee. A metric accommodates the thermal effects of both scald hazard and product taste to identify an optimal recommended serving temperature. The burn model shows the standard exponential dependence of injury level on temperature. The preferred drinking temperature of coffee is specified in the literature as 140+/-15 degrees F (60+/-8.3 degrees C) for a population of 300 subjects. A linear (with respect to temperature) figure of merit merged the two effects to identify an optimal drinking temperature of approximately 136 degrees F (57.8 degrees C). The analysis points to a reduction in the presently recommended serving temperature of coffee to achieve the combined result of reducing the scald burn hazard and improving customer satisfaction.

140 degrees Fahrenheit is a more accurate and reasonable number.

Subjective answers from a less corporate source also provide a much lower number:

http://www.thatscoffee.com/scoop/best-temperature-to-drink-c...
...serving your coffee between 155°F and 175°F. This range leaves enough of a gap for “room temperature” drinkers to enjoy a cooler cup of coffee and “high heat drinkers” to enjoy a hotter cup of coffee. It also ensures that you don’t loose precious taste and aroma.

Note: When I worked at a local coffee shop we aimed to make our lattes and cappucinos to about 160°F. It usually took about 10 minutes for the drink to cool enough to sip – which is perfect for take out when you want to bring your coffee back to the office or to an event. It also makes the drink last longer when you having a long visit with an old friend. However, it makes the coffee near impossible to drink in a 10 minute coffee break!


(The above links are the top 2 from doing a google search for 'best temperature for drinking coffee.')
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A jury also said OJ was innocent.

No they didn't. They said the prosecution failed to make their case. From what I've read (I didn't care enough to follow that case), a lot of legal experts said the DA botched it big time. Of course, that could just have been "experts" going for their 15 minutes of spotlight.
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No they didn't. They said the prosecution failed to make their case. From what I've read (I didn't care enough to follow that case), a lot of legal experts said the DA botched it big time.



yes. they (DA) thought it would be a cake-walk
they were arrogant
sent in the second team and
they got out-lawyered.
... bad jury selection among other things.





(reminded me of Bush's attack on Iraq
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iirc, their defense was People like their coffee hot
but might not drink it till hours after purchase


No. There was no comment about that (or I missed it). Only that the old lady wasn't the first to file a complaint about excessively hot coffee at McD's.

Here is a scalding chart. At 195F your skin will scald almost instantly.

http://www.accuratebuilding.com/images/services/charts/hot_w...

This site says 140F will cause 3rd degree burns in 5 seconds. And in 1 second at 156F.

http://www.burnfoundation.org/programs/resource.cfm?c=1&...

Yeah, inherently dangerous.
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140 degrees Fahrenheit is a more accurate and reasonable number.

So you're saying that the biggest, most successful fast food company in the world had no idea what temperature it's customers preferred to consume coffee at? You dont think they studied that intensively and designed their machines and processes accordingly? Instead, they just wanted to burn their customer's hands and tongues and laps? That's pretty hard to swallow (yuk yuk).

Anybody, everybody who drinks coffee (or tea or cocoa for that matter) knows something. It's hot. If you buy it somewhere, your first sip carefully until you know how hot. If its cold, don't buy there again.

Those lessons are not lost on the coffee sellers, either. Customers can wait for it to cool down, but if they wait it ain't gonna heat up.

Oh there's one more thing that consumers now know. Don't spill hot liquids in your lap. But if you do, blame somebody else and sue them for it.
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http://www.burnfoundation.org/programs/resource.cfm?c=1&...


Yeah, inherently dangerous.



somehow reminds of that an aunt put baby cousin in too hot a bath .... and the poor girl had horrible scars her whole life.



.... need to take a thermometer to the 7-11 tomorrow (>:
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Corporations frequently don't test anything they aren't required to. Consider the Elixir Sulfanilamide fiasco (that resulted in several deaths). And that was a "drug", not a food. Led to Congressional action (back when Congress actually addressed real problems, instead of making up crises and then not dealing with them...but I digress...).

Always remember, corporations don't give a rip about us little people. Only if it costs them money do they give a crap.

After the judgment McD's reduced their "holding" temp to 160F.
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corporations don't give a rip about us little people.

They do care about whether you buy their products or not. They care a whole lot about that. Serving temperature is something McD knows darn well affects consumer satisfaction. Not to hot, not too cold, as Goldilocks put it.

But if you serve billions and billions of people, a few idiots are gonna slip in there now and again. And they can be jumped on by parasitic lawyers who can hire soulless jury consultants who can put addled dumkopfs onto juries.

Thanks to them, McD now serves tepid coffee to the rest of us.
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Good morning, all! I'm a progressive, yet I freely admit to finding the McDonald's coffee example rather extreme. Despite frequent pontificating on the internet (and elsewhere) to the contrary, progressives don't want to discourage personal responsibility.

I suppose I draw a somewhat different "lesson" from this story. To wit: as the OP notes, the coffee case became (manufactured and) outraged justification for pounding away about the ostensible need for broad tort reform. But denying individuals access to the courts based upon an anomalous example or two is highly irresponsible and misleading. Most juries, most of the time, reach reasonable conclusions. And when they don't, on occasion, that's a modest price (IMHO) to be paid for democratic governance.

The reference earlier in this thread to the O.J. verdict is also telling. In that case, the jury did not even get it "wrong"--not in a technical sense. I have no illusions about Simpson's innocence, but of course that's not the standard at issue. The police badly bungled the evidentiary trail and chain of custody, and thus prevented prosecutors from establishing "beyond a reasonable doubt." After the verdict, all of the cries of righteous indignation ignored that the jury system had functioned as it was supposed to. The systemic goal is not to reach verdicts that are popular with the general population; it's to enforce particular judicial standards as they apply to individual sets of circumstances.

Steve
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And explain to me once more why McDonalds should pay for her mistake?

I suppose I'll have to watch it to see how poorguy got convinced it wasn't her fault. Documentary film makers can be just as effective as Madison avenue at tweaking ones perceptions.

If I buy a knife then on the way home I trip and fall on it, can I sue the knife maker for making his darn knives so sharp?

One expects a knife to poke and cut. One does not expect ones food to put one in an ER.
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According to this website, most people like their coffee at 175 degrees or more. 190 isn't far from that, and it seems 15 degrees is a reasonable cooling allowance since customers don't drink it the instant they get it from the McDonald's counter.

Lombardi's is my idea of perfect pizza; cooked in a 750f coal fired oven that makes the cheese liquid hot, the thin crust slightly charred, properly crisp.

If I drop it on my passengers lap while handing them the pizza take-out box, do I get to sue Lombardi's for letting me carry out a piping hot pizza?

Should Lombardi's wait until it cools and get a little soggy before they let me take it away?

I'm not conflicted on this at all. Let me assume the risk . I prefer blowing on it rather than having to microwave it, turning a culinary artform to cardboard.
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makes it inherently dangerous -- beyond what the
"reasonable person" would expect


How does the pizza industry deal with people burning their mouths on the hot cheese?
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This site says 140F will cause 3rd degree burns in 5 seconds.

My wireless meat gauge alerts me when the steak is 145 internal (medium rare). DW caws 'let it rest'. Some old wives tale about the juices settling. Me, I wanna eat that sucker while it's sizzling.

I understand it cools a few degrees twixt grill and grinders, but 135 is too rare for my taste.

If I wanted raw meat I'd order sushi ;-)
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I just used DW's very accurate candy thermometer to measure the holding temperature of my Black and Decker coffee makers pot after it's been in the holding mode for 15 minutes: 165f on the nose. It does not burn me when I sip it. In fact, I micro the coffee for another :30 so it's enjoyable for a bit longer while flipping through the news pages.

Now I really have to watch that documentary.

It's not as if the ladies cup failed. She dropped it. What if it had been a quart of hot wonton soup?

Servers warn: "don't touch the plate, it's hot."

sano

progressive, not tepid
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But if you serve billions and billions of people, a few idiots are gonna slip in there now and again.


Why do you assume the woman was an idiot?
I have an IQ of right around 140 - but I've been known to accidentally spill things. Have you never spilled anything?

If you have ever spilled anything, do you consider yourself an idiot?

Or...is your whole point here that you just want to argue long after you have lost the debate?

AM
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Were the 700 people who McDonald's settled with over burns idiots as well?

Would the non-idiot move have been to go one of other similar restaurants, none of whom held their coffee at 180-190 degrees?

Maybe the idiots were the very many people who didn't know they were suffering sub-standard coffee by buying it at the places who held their coffee at lower temps.

It's not that hot liquids scald. It's that overly-hot liquid does more damage, faster, than liquid in the 160 range. It''ll still burn, but you've got a couple more seconds to get it away from your skin before the damage reaches 3rd degree level.

The legal details of this case are interesting, to say the least.

cm
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I'm sure going to try and hunt down the movie -- sounds fascinating.

I got curious about this several years ago and found a number of really good articles on it, many adding details often (ahem) "lost" when told by certain parties. Indeed, some try any angle they can to make MCD's look good....

As I recall, one factor in the trial was that MCD's had already been cited multiple times for violations of the health code by serving liquids too hot. The woman originally asked only for coverage of medical expenses and was told "No". She got an atty and asked only for medical expenses plus atty expenses and was told "No." When the jury ruled in her favor, the punitive penalty was based on their repeatedly flaunting violations of the law and callous attitude toward her situation.

I *think* there was also a moment in the trial where a MCD person was on the stand and the woman's atty handed him/her a cup of coffee at the MCD temperature and was asked to drink it on the spot. Wouldn't do it. (So much for those who say "That's how people like their coffee!")

When asked what kind of coffee they like, most people say something like "rich, dark roast" but the reality of is that only about 25% do. (I guess people don't like to say things like "milky, sweet coffee".) If you take coffee and pile on additives, that lowers the temp.

In any event, looking forward to the movie.
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They do care about whether you buy their products or not.

Right. That's probably why they ignored so many previous complaints or tried to buy the people off with low-ball payments. They didn't want to get their name in the papers for this. They are mainly interested in moving the product, and only secondarily interested in consumer satisfaction (and then only to the extent that it contributes to moving the product). If their coffee burns some people, and nobody hears about it, they can continue to move the product.

Serving temperature is something McD knows darn well affects consumer satisfaction. Not to hot, not too cold, as Goldilocks put it.

Except theirs was too hot. They didn't follow the Goldilocks principle. They said that the temperature of the coffee couldn't be lowered. According to them, it wasn't that they wouldn't lower the temperature, but that they COULDN'T. So, they were not at fault. But then, when they lost the case, they immediately lowered the temperature.

Thanks to them, McD now serves tepid coffee to the rest of us.

Most of the time the coffee now follows the Goldilocks principle. Also, it's now in line with the temperature of coffee at other businesses and at people's homes. But if they're serving you tepid coffee, try bringing a suit. Go up against their legal team. Or, you could just try going somewhere else for coffee if you don't find customer satisfaction there. If there are lots of you, you could organize a boycott.

culcha
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Please give us your feedback after you've seen it, BG.

Oh...and the bit no one is talking about from my OP...mandatory binding arbitration. The woman's case was pending when they made the film, but that was over a year ago. The case was heard. She lost. Perhaps with cause, perhaps not. The movie alleged that KBR "lost" her rape kit. So I'm not surprised if there is insufficient evidence to go to trial. (KBR apparently also locked her in a shipping container, which her congressman seemed to corroborate in the film as he was the one who sent feds to rescue her.)

Regardless of the outcome (or even the veracity) of the rape case, mandatory binding arbitration should be illegal as a contractual stipulation. No one should ever have to sign away their Constitutional rights so they can get a job, or a credit card, or a cell phone. Al Franken (D-MN), in the film, agreed.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/kbr-could-win-ja...
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No. There was no comment about that (or I missed it). Only that the old lady wasn't the first to file a complaint about excessively hot coffee at McD's.

I disagree it was excessively hot. One of the many times this topic came up I started looking at gourmet coffee websites to "prove" that McD's coffee was too hot. But every site I went to (including Starbucks, IIRC) recommended serving coffee at 175-185 degrees. Brewing temperatures are of course much higher, and the typical drinking temperature is lower. But most establishments serve coffee at those temperatures. That's the industry standard.

Bottom line is that there is a reasonable expectation that coffee is served hot. If McDonald's spilled the coffee on her, I could see her point. But she's the one who spilled the coffee. I'm impressed she had better lawyers than McDonald's, but this was her fault.
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Goldilocks Principle?

anything like Goldrushes Principle?


(>:
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Brewing temperatures are not much higher. A rolling boil is 220 deg F.
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If you take coffee and pile on additives, that lowers the temp.



I have read (somewhere a long time ago) that if you add cream to your coffee the cream will help to maintain the temperature longer.

AM
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Not that it didn't occur on occasion, but like voter fraud, it was extremely rare that a plaintiff would receive a massive award without justification.

But what is justification? There's one going on with Motrin right now. A child ended up with a horrible condition that will, yes, give her health problems for the rest of her life. They're awarding something like $63 million dollars because of "failure to adequately warn of the possibility of the issue."

However, the condition essentially amounts to an allergic reaction. And there have been allergy warnings on those products for pretty much ever.

And the problem was, the kid had an issue, they took her back to the doctor a couple of times. And the doctor told the family to keep giving her Motrin. And doctors are absolutely aware of allergy issues with ibuprofen.

And this isn't unique to Motrin, it's all ibuprofen. And the warnings are essentially identical on all ibuprofen products. It happened to be that Motrin, rather than Advil, was this family's ibuprofen of choice.

So, the child has an issue, causing her pain and fever. She's given Motrin. It gets worse. They take her back to the doctor, who prescribes more Motrin, and the child ends up in a horrifying spiral.

And the makers of Motrin are on the hook for $63 million dollars. Which will of course be taken to MORE courts.

Who's liable? Why? And I do mean that... why? Why not the doctor? Why not ALL makers of ibuprofen who don't have the warning?

Is this child in a horrible situation and her parents will be coping with it (as well as the child) for the rest of all of their lives? And are the healthcare bills insane? Absolutely, yes.

But $63 million?

I have a child with lots of allergies. I live in fear that at any time he could develop a new allergy to a previously well tolerated substance. And that substance could be anything.

If it's apples, do I get to sue Motts? How about the orchards that grew the fruit? Monsanto? I'm sure they have deep pockets. They must have something to do with apples!!!!

Where is the line between personal responsibility and not?

Was this the first time she'd ever gotten McDonald's coffee? The first time at that restaurant? Did she not know from any previous experience how hot their coffee was served?

I've been burned before. Actually, by coffee. From a restaurant. I had to go to the hospital and everything. I'm not minimizing her pain.

What I am wondering is why I don't have millions and millions of dollars because of it.

And when you look at it, people sue for a lot of things:

1) The cost of the litigation - legal costs are expensive
2) Healthcare costs. Huh. Maybe if we did something about those we wouldn't have so many problems?
3) Loss of income/loss due to the issue - okay. But if you add up time out of work, and even X years of lost income, etc., these awards are way more than people had in any lifetime.
4) Pain and suffering. And here's where things get expensive.

However, when the pain and suffering is caused by an entity with deep pockets, the awards get rather outsized.

I'm not saying the system isn't broken. It is.

But in so MANY ways that what you're talking about barely scratches the surface.

GSF
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Were the 700 people who McDonald's settled with over burns idiots as well?

Food for thought: How many cups of coffee does McDonald's sell in a year?

I fired up the Google, and according to these guys, the number is half a billion. I don't know how accurate that is, but even if it off by an order of magnitude, it means those 700 cases are infinitesimal compared to the number of cups sold.


http://www.franchise-hit.com/franchisors-news-wire/McDonalds...
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.... need to take a thermometer to the 7-11 tomorrow



150• fresh made
.... too hot for me, add ice to bring
it down to 125
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If you have ever spilled anything, do you consider yourself an idiot?

Well, yes, I usually mumble something to that effect to myself when I do that.

Or...is your whole point here that you just want to argue long after you have lost the debate?

You mean the popularity contest? Yeah, I'm fine with losing that. The upside is, I learned a lot. Especially:

1) I can do whatever dumb thing I want and get rich from it as long as I know where to find the right lawyer and give him most of my money;

2) OJ didn't do it, or even if he did and there was a trail of blood from the scene to his house and his car and his DNA was a perfect match to the killers, it doesn't matter if I know where to find the right lawyer and give him most of my money; and

3) "Sano" must mean sane in Spanish or some language, a rare commodity here, and sykesix means smart person in the language of the planet Xanu.
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I've been burned before. Actually, by coffee. From a restaurant. I had to go to the hospital and everything. I'm not minimizing her pain.

What I am wondering is why I don't have millions and millions of dollars because of it.


Did you have 3rd/4th degree burns? Did the restaurant pick up your hospital tab? Did you sue?

If you can, watch the film. See for yourself. If you rely on the media reports of the time you'll be convinced (as I was) that she just wanted a secure retirement (she was elderly). After seeing the film I realized that what we heard was heavily filtered and biased. And all the subsequent "citizens for..." groups were actually fronts for corporate lobbies.

Ultimately, and I think this was the larger point of the film, we have to trust our jury system to do the right thing**. They get all the information, we just get what the press tells us. Sometimes they will mess up. But mostly they get it right. If we can prevent corporations from buying elections for judges, and get rid of the award limits, the courts/juries will do fine. Juries are made up of people just like us. Favoring personal responsibility, etc. If they think a suit is frivolous, they won't award anything. You wouldn't. I wouldn't. I don't think we're that atypical.

1poorguy

**And as I typed that I flashed to the GITMO situation...interesting to me that we didn't trust our courts to do the right thing with the detainees there, so we violate our Constitution (and, more generally, our ideals) and detain those people without trial. Worse than debtor's prison because at least the debtors could be bought out of prison by someone ponying up the cash.
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1) I can do whatever dumb thing I want and get rich from it as long as I know where to find the right lawyer and give him most of my money;

No. That's what all the lobbies that popped up (and Dubya, too...he championed award caps in Texas as governor, and as POTUS) wanted you to believe. That was the spin. Give a little info, make it sound as ridiculous as possible ("she spilled her coffee on herself in the car!"), throw the award amount into the mix ($5M, I think) without context, and rile everyone up.

I fell for it too. I was a huge proponent of tort reform back then. I allowed myself to be a sheep.

The OJ thing is wrong, also. I know someone who actually DID follow the trial (I was totally uninterested). OJ didn't do it. He hired someone to do it. That's why there was very little blood on him, or in his vehicle. And why the bloody glove was too small. He stood nearby and watched, possibly distracting the victims as the assailant attacked, and some sprayed on him. Drops. Which is what they found. Given how badly the prosecution handled their case the jury did come to the correct verdict, even if OJ should have been tossed in prison forever (and would have been had the case been handled properly).

What I think we've learned is that you don't trust our jury system. Which is your prerogative. I choose to trust it a lot more than legislated limits on lawsuits sponsored by corporate lobbies.

1poorguy
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The OJ thing is wrong, also. I know someone who actually DID follow the trial (I was totally uninterested). OJ didn't do it. He hired someone to do it. That's why there was very little blood on him, or in his vehicle.

How did he cut his hand? How did Nichole's blood get on his socks and in the Bronco? Why was OJ's blood found at the crime scene?
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Nicole's head was almost cut off. The blood sprayed all over the porch (so I'm told). The killer would have been covered in blood. Not drops. Covered. OJ was not covered.**

But I don't want to go down that road in this thread. The DA's office did not do their job well, and the jury reached the appropriate conclusion based on what they had. If they didn't have enough, blame the DA not the jury.


**Some people think blood spray is an exaggeration, and some movies may do so a bit. But in martial arts there are knife techniques which involve a strike that both opens up your opponent AND shields your eyes from blood spray so you are not momentarily blinded by salty blood. You don't use a knife and walk away clean.
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"1) I can do whatever dumb thing I want and get rich from it as long as I know where to find the right lawyer and give him most of my money;"
------------------------------------
One thing we should remember, NTJ, is that both state and federal courts have long imposed sanctions on attorneys for filing frivolous lawsuits. That's an aspect of tort "reform" that has been present for decades and which precludes most outlandish outcomes. Sure, we can always cherry-pick a few exorbitant rewards, and juries can and do occasionally engage in some form of nullification, but those outcomes are not typical.

No one in this thread has attempted to cast OJ in positive moral terms. We should all, however, _want_ good, aggressive lawyering--in particular from defense attorneys. That's a check on overreach by the state, an issue on which limited-government advocates should (in theory) concur. The classic maxim in the law is (roughly): better ten guilty defendants go free than a single innocent one go to prison.

Steve
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No one in this thread has attempted to cast OJ in positive moral terms. We should all, however, _want_ good, aggressive lawyering--in particular from defense attorneys. That's a check on overreach by the state, an issue on which limited-government advocates should (in theory) concur. The classic maxim in the law is (roughly): better ten guilty defendants go free than a single innocent one go to prison.



Classic ,yes.... not sure anyone still believes it

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackstone%27s_formulation )

and a similar thing might apply to torts --the insane awards aren't because the plaintiff 'deserved' that much, but in order to deter the corporations. Because they're going to do a cost-benefit on any danger ... some of us want the cost to be high enough they'll consider fixing whatever
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A jury also said OJ was innocent.

No they didn't. They said the prosecution failed to make their case. From what I've read (I didn't care enough to follow that case), a lot of legal experts said the DA botched it big time.


It didn't help that the prosecution's main witness, Mark Fuhrman, was caught perjuring himself (He claimed he never used the "N" word, but the defense had him on tape doing exactly that.) So anything he said about gathering evidence was reasonably in doubt. Then there was the glove that was far too small for Simpson's hand.

Count No'Count
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flightdoc101: Brewing temperatures are not much higher. A rolling boil is 220 deg F.

You got a link for that claim? The boiling point of water is 212°.

Count No'Count
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If you take coffee and pile on additives, that lowers the temp.

I have read (somewhere a long time ago) that if you add cream to your coffee the cream will help to maintain the temperature longer.

AM


Many years ago, I heard that some guy wrote a Master's Thesis on this subject. He explored whether it is better to add the cream immediately or to wait. I forget the details, but he was clever enough to make an interesting thesis instead of the usual dull, dry junk.

Count No'Count
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JT: and a similar thing might apply to torts --the insane awards aren't because the plaintiff 'deserved' that much, but in order to deter the corporations. Because they're going to do a cost-benefit on any danger ... some of us want the cost to be high enough they'll consider fixing whatever

The outsized awards were in recognition of the fact that an award of "only" a few millions is not likely to affect today's large corporations at all. They can just pay the costs as "overhead". No need to change the way they do business.

Count No'Count
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Nice post clump, Count.
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The outsized awards were in recognition of the fact that an award of "only" a few millions is not likely to affect today's large corporations at all. They can just pay the costs as "overhead". No need to change the way they do business.

exactly what I was trying to say..
your version clear (>:
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Brewing temperatures are not much higher. A rolling boil is 220 deg F.


Does coffee boil at a higher temp than water?
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I disagree it was excessively hot. One of the many times this topic came up I started looking at gourmet coffee websites to "prove" that McD's coffee was too hot. But every site I went to (including Starbucks, IIRC) recommended serving coffee at 175-185 degrees.

Starbucks "brews" at 175, but serves at a lower temperature. Burger King, Wendy's all serve at lower temperatures. McDonald's required franchisees to serve at 185.

You can get scalded as low as 140 (even less for children), but the scale rises geometrically with temperature from there. At 150 you can get a spill, but wipe it off in time to avoid burning. At 160 you have a second or two. At 180 you are burned the moment the liquid hits your skin, and at 185 you have second or third degree burns before you can even react.

If McDonald's spilled the coffee on her, I could see her point.

Her point was that McDonald's had already had 700 incidents of "burned" customers. They should have known it was a danger but continued to serve it that way anyway, even though such a high temperature was unnecessary.

And by "spilling" it, I think it's exaggerated. She sloshed a bit over the edge, which burned her fingers, which caused her to drop the cup, which went into her lap and created instantaneous burns requiring skin grafting in her lap. When corporations knowingly serve dangerous products they take on a risk, which McDonald's did.

Was she entirely blameless? No, I guess not. But then serving coffee that hot to people at the drive thru is just asking for trouble - and given that I drink coffee every single morning, and have spilled some from time to time, it would never occur to me until afterward that the coffee I get at McDonald's is so significantly more treacherous than that I am used to getting at home or any other restaurant.

PS: A Bunn coffeemaker brews coffee at 150 degrees. Given the "scalding scale" runs from 140-190, and follows an asymptotic trajectory upwards, 185 is pretty significantly irresponsible.
 
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Corporations are evil and are conspiring to burn everyone to their death, especially Mickey D's, who serve food with faces and which tastes good. It's deplorable to see people enjoying themselves while they are eating. They lure you in their restaurants only to attempt to kill you with scalding coffee. I'm glad people like you are finally on to them.
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I'm glad people like you are finally on to them.

I'm sorry you're so totally clueless about this discussion, and the subject in general.
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Her point was that McDonald's had already had 700 incidents of "burned" customers. They should have known it was a danger but continued to serve it that way anyway, even though such a high temperature was unnecessary.


700 incidents in ten years. McDonald's serves half billion cups a year. So roughly speaking, that's about one incident every ten million cups. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than burned by a cup of McDonald's coffee. If McDonald's coffee was really dangerously too hot, then people would be getting burned all the time. But they aren't.

I suspect but there's no way to know for sure, that given the low rate of occurrence that those outliers are due to things like equipment malfunction or inattentive employees rather than policy. If that's the case, then it's McDonald's fault. But that wasn't alleged in the unfortunate woman's lawsuit.
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700 incidents in ten years. McDonald's serves half billion cups a year. So roughly speaking, that's about one incident every ten million cups. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than burned by a cup of McDonald's coffee. If McDonald's coffee was really dangerously too hot, then people would be getting burned all the time. But they aren't.

700 incidents that they *know about*.

That's a fair number of incidents, given probable reporting rates.

Most likely, it doesn't get reported unless someone needs to go to the ER or worse. And what fraction of store owners report complaints to district, and on up the chain?

rj
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1pg says

"A jury also said OJ was innocent."

No they didn't. They said the prosecution failed to make their case. From what I've read (I didn't care enough to follow that case), a lot of legal experts said the DA botched it big time. Of course, that could just have been "experts" going for their 15 minutes of spotlight.

I did follow the trial, and the LAPD grossly mishandled the evidence. There was no real case put before the jury, and if they had convicted they would have been a lynch mob.

(Do I think OJ did the murder? Yes, but it sure wasn't proved in court.)
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NailThatJello says

But if you serve billions and billions of people, a few idiots are gonna slip in there now and again. And they can be jumped on by parasitic lawyers who can hire soulless jury consultants who can put addled dumkopfs onto juries.

Did you once get sued for doing something irresponsible? You sound like it.


Thanks to them, McD now serves tepid coffee to the rest of us.

Just like all their competitors who were smart enough not to expose themselves to lawsuits. It's not "tepid," it's a reasonable temperature.

The reason McD made their coffee at 190° was so it could be left sitting on a counter for ten minutes when the servers were rushed, and then it would still be "hot enough."
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BenHurJudah says

Corporations are evil and are conspiring to burn everyone to their death, especially Mickey D's, who serve food with faces and which tastes good. It's deplorable to see people enjoying themselves while they are eating. They lure you in their restaurants only to attempt to kill you with scalding coffee. I'm glad people like you are finally on to them.

You're not as smart as you think you are.
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700 incidents that they *know about*.

That's a fair number of incidents, given probable reporting rates.


Remember, that wasn't 700 a year. That was 700 over ten years. 70 a year, in other words. Okay, let's say the true number is really closer to 7,000. Actually, let's round up and say the true number is closer to 10,000, or 1,000/year. That is still a fantastically small number given the amount of coffee sold. The "error" rate is so infrequent that I have to suspect that it occurs mostly in the event equipment malfunction or operator error, as opposed to policy.

McDonald's isn't stupid. They don't set the coffee temperature out of blind allegiance to some snobbish principle. They serve coffee at the temperature their customers expect. They want you to be satisfied enough that you'll come through the drive-thru tomorrow and get another cup. That's why they do, and as company they do that as well as anyone. If they were getting complaints the coffee was too hot, they'd turn it down in a New York minute. Why wouldn't they?

People slip and fall when they mop the restrooms, I'm sure they get plenty of complaints, but they still mop them. Why? The number of people who like clean restrooms way outnumbers the number of people turned off by the logistics of keeping the restrooms clean. Same with coffee temperature.
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People slip and fall when they mop the restrooms, I'm sure they get plenty of complaints, but they still mop them. Why? The number of people who like clean restrooms way outnumbers the number of people turned off by the logistics of keeping the restrooms clean. Same with coffee temperature.

IANAL, but it is clear those are different. First, when they mop the floor they often close the room. And they always put out caution signs. From there it is what "a reasonable person can expect".

So, should a "reasonable person" expect burns severe enough to require skin grafts if they spill a cup of coffee??

The jury said "no". I find myself in agreement with them.

(And none of this addresses the larger point that such deliberations belong in the hands of a jury, not among legislators trying to impose limitations on what a jury can award. To do otherwise basically says we don't trust our jury system, and instead trust limits imposed by legislators who are influenced (or out-right purchased) by corporate lobbying groups. I'll stick with the juries, thank-you-very-much.)

1poorguy
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Remember, that wasn't 700 a year. That was 700 over ten years. 70 a year, in other words.

Yeah, I know. Do you think they have 70 cases a year of salmonella? Of horsemeat being discovered in the burgers? Of dead mice laying on the floor in the store room?

They serve coffee at the temperature their customers expect.

See, that's where you have it wrong. People "expect" coffee to be served at a temperature they're used to. At home it's about 140. At Denny's it's about 150. At Starbucks it's about 160. Only at McDonald's was it required to be 185 and sometimes as high as 190.

People do have an expectation, and McDonald's temperature was far above that.

People slip and fall when they mop the restrooms, I'm sure they get plenty of complaints, but they still mop them. Why? The number of people who like clean restrooms way outnumbers the number of people turned off by the logistics of keeping the restrooms clean. Same with coffee temperature.

But those are entirely inequivalent examples. It's not "the same" with coffee temperature. You cannot mop the floors without getting them wet. (And then, at least, they put down warning cones. The McDonald's cup didn't have so much as a "hot" label on it.)

Do you not find it interesting that since McDonald's have made it's "morning coffee" merchandising push of the last 5 years they have somehow found it acceptable to serve coffee at their now standard 158 degrees - and their sales are up? "People" don't seem to mind.

Oh, and in the McDonald's case: the judge (not the oh-so-easily persuaded jury) called McDonald's behavior "reckless, callous and willful."
http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm
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Only at McDonald's was it required to be 185 and sometimes as high as 190.

I'm just curious as this confirms, on the rare occasions I'd get a McDonald's breakfast with coffee, that the coffee was always WAY TOO DAMN HOT. I had to pop the top and wait 15 minutes for it to vent before I'd even risk putting in sugar and cream, let alone take a sip.

Is there any explanation in all this for "why" this was McD's policy? I'm guessing it was because they didn't want to deal with complaints about the coffee being cold, but that still stretches logic. Serving coffee that hot makes about as much sense to me as serving ice cream chilled down to -200°F.
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PS: A Bunn coffeemaker brews coffee at 150 degrees. Given the "scalding scale" runs from 140-190, and follows an asymptotic trajectory upwards, 185 is pretty significantly irresponsible.

It's interesting that this McDonald's coffee case has entered urban folklore as an example of a frivolous law suit and outrageous jury rewards.

In my b-school business law course it was presented as a cut-and-dried, textbook case of corporate irresponsibility and liability. McDonalds knew its coffee was being served dangerously hot, had settled bunches of lawsuits and still required franchises to serve scalding coffee.
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It's interesting that this McDonald's coffee case has entered urban folklore as an example of a frivolous law suit and outrageous jury rewards.

In my b-school business law course it was presented as a cut-and-dried, textbook case of corporate irresponsibility and liability.


Yes, that was the point of the film (if you haven't seen it, you really should). The corporate lobby PR machine kicked into high gear to create what you just described. And they met with dazzling success such that many states (especially Texas, IIRC) have awards caps. Sometimes they are ridiculously low for the damage inflicted (they covered one case where a young man was going to need something like $5M for lifetime care, which the jury awarded, but the judge reduced to the statutory limit of something like $1.2M).

Those lobby groups all tried to sound like "concerned citizens". But they were all fronts for the corporate lobby trying to limit the right of the people to seek redress against them in the courts.

And while I hate to beat the Dubya drum four years after he's out of office, but he was a HUGE proponent of these limits. He harped on them consistently as governor of Texas (signing limits into law), and continued harping on them as POTUS (mentioning them in multiple SotU addresses). We can't blame it all on him (well, Texas can), but he did give the corporate lobbies even more clout.

1poorguy
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Is there any explanation in all this for "why" this was McD's policy? I'm guessing it was because they didn't want to deal with complaints about the coffee being cold, but that still stretches logic.

My (admittedly dim) recollection was that many (though not all) customers who purchased coffee from the drive-through would actually drink the coffee quite some time later - ie., when they were done driving. So McDonald's would heat the coffee well above 'normal' drinking temperature, so that it would be closer to that 'normal' drinking temperature when the customer finally drank it.

Albaby
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See, that's where you have it wrong. People "expect" coffee to be served at a temperature they're used to. At home it's about 140. At Denny's it's about 150. At Starbucks it's about 160. Only at McDonald's was it required to be 185 and sometimes as high as 190.

Okay, I'll bite. What was McDonald's motivation to serve coffee hotter than what people expected? What possible benefit could they get from doing that? If your one job is to serve food, why not serve it at the spot on temperature people want? This isn't like the Ford Pinto where McDonald's is saving money by serving too hot.

I submit that people really do expect coffee to be hot. I'll reference a similar lawsuit that was dismissed, as there is a good discussion of this very issue.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1365042.html

It turns out the ANSI standard for home coffee makes is for coffee to be brewed at 200 degrees, and held at a minimum temperature of 170 F. That *is* the industry standard.

But those are entirely inequivalent examples. It's not "the same" with coffee temperature. You cannot mop the floors without getting them wet. (And then, at least, they put down warning cones. The McDonald's cup didn't have so much as a "hot" label on it.)

You can't brew coffee without hot water. The McDonald's cup did have a warning label on it, and the plaintiff even said she saw it.
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Kinda makes sense, since drinking and eating in the moving vehicle can be considered distracted driving and is a citeable offense for a driver.
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McDonald's isn't stupid. They don't set the coffee temperature out of blind allegiance to some snobbish principle. They serve coffee at the temperature their customers expect. They want you to be satisfied enough that you'll come through the drive-thru tomorrow and get another cup. That's why they do, and as company they do that as well as anyone. If they were getting complaints the coffee was too hot, they'd turn it down in a New York minute. Why wouldn't they?

This is quite a string of unsupported assertions.

It seems more likely that the set the temperature our of blind allegiate to the snobbish principle of maximizing profits, becaues people complain about cold coffee and want it replaced. Providing it at 190F guarantees that if it sits for ten minutes, it's still hot. And that if a customer gets it at 190F, drive-thru customers are probably in Kansas by the time they figure out that the coffee is stale or bitter or weak or ... and it's not McD's problem any more. Customers will also probably tolerate bitter, lousy coffee better if it's at 190F because they can taste it so poorly when it's that hot.

I might also round up your estimate of incidents by another factor of ten. Even that might be low -- probably the large majority of people who burn themselves on coffee probably figure that it's their own problem.

rj
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True.

But the victim wasn't driving. Her son-in-law was, IIRC.
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It seems more likely that the set the temperature our of blind allegiate to the snobbish principle of maximizing profits, becaues people complain about cold coffee and want it replaced. Providing it at 190F guarantees that if it sits for ten minutes, it's still hot. And that if a customer gets it at 190F, drive-thru customers are probably in Kansas by the time they figure out that the coffee is stale or bitter or weak or ... and it's not McD's problem any more. Customers will also probably tolerate bitter, lousy coffee better if it's at 190F because they can taste it so poorly when it's that hot.

Well, yes. Logically if McDonald's is getting complaints about cold coffee they would increase the temperature. That makes perfect sense to me.

I might also round up your estimate of incidents by another factor of ten. Even that might be low -- probably the large majority of people who burn themselves on coffee probably figure that it's their own problem.

I also think that people who burn themselves are the ones responsible :)
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And if you are ever on a jury you can, weighing all the testimony, come to that conclusion. That's fine.

I suspect if you ever watch the film you'll see it's not as "pat" as you make it out to be.
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Okay, I'll bite. What was McDonald's motivation to serve coffee hotter than what people expected?

Profits.

190-200 degrees is the temperature at which you get maximum extraction. Brewing at even a slightly lower temperature you have to use more coffee to get the same number of cups of coffee of equivalent strength. (I can't believe with the number of posts in this thread no one has pointed this out).

It is reasonable to expect coffee hot enough to leave a tender red sploch of a burn mark that might even blister off the top layer of skin if you are clumsy enough to dump your coffee onto your lap. It is not reasonable to expect coffee hot enough to burn down to the bone and put you in the hospital for 8 days which was how hot the McDonalds coffee was. This had nothing to do with making sure that the customer's coffee was "hot". It was the direct result of making more money by being able to use a smaller amount of coffee to brew x number of cups. Given that McDonalds sold millions of cups of coffee such practice actually added up to a nice chunk of change for McDonalds and the fact that they had burned customers in the past was simply not enough of a motivation for them to change their brewing practice because even with settling the other suits it was coming out ahead financially.

This lawsuit was a "hot" topic amongst lawyers in Houston at the time not because of the facts of the case - which were pretty cut and dried and rather obvious as to McDonald's liability but because of the impressive juggernaut of pr misinformation and spin that the company put out. And although the jury was not swayed, public opinion obviously was.
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Well, yes. Logically if McDonald's is getting complaints about cold coffee they would increase the temperature. That makes perfect sense to me.

60% of McDonald's business is at the "drive thru." And in the morning it's even higher than that.
http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/drive-th...

Given that most people are going to drive somewhere (the office?) and then drink the coffee, I would guess McDonald's wanted to make sure it was *really hot* so it would still be hot minutes later. (I don't remember them ever actually stating a reason during the court case.)

I also think that people who burn themselves are the ones responsible :)

We're wearing you down, I can tell ;) Do you think that people who eat contaminated meat are also responsible themselves? How about those who get electrocuted by a power drill that looks like all the other power drills they've ever used?

It turns out the ANSI standard for home coffee makes is for coffee to be brewed at 200 degrees, and held at a minimum temperature of 170 F.

"Brew" temperatures and "serve" temperatures are different, and there is a very big difference in scalding properties between 170 and 185. Notice how the curve bends sharply upwards between 160-170 and goes off the charts at 180 and above.
http://www.accuratebuilding.com/services/legal/charts/hot_wa...
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190-200 degrees is the temperature at which you get maximum extraction. Brewing at even a slightly lower temperature you have to use more coffee to get the same number of cups of coffee of equivalent strength. (I can't believe with the number of posts in this thread no one has pointed this out).

Ah, but we're not talking about the brewing temperature, we're talking about the holding temperature. Virtually all coffee is brewed at 200+ degrees, even home coffee makers are this hot. As it is brewed the coffee goes into an urn or carafe where it is kept at serving temperature. McDonald's can set the holding temperature to whatever they want.
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See, that's where you have it wrong. People "expect" coffee to be served at a temperature they're used to. At home it's about 140. At Denny's it's about 150. At Starbucks it's about 160. Only at McDonald's was it required to be 185 and sometimes as high as 190.


FWIW, this week I Measured Starbucks and 7-11
at 150
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PS: A Bunn coffeemaker brews coffee at 150 degrees. Given the "scalding scale" runs from 140-190, and follows an asymptotic trajectory upwards, 185 is pretty significantly irresponsible.


This isn't true. My Bunn MyCafe brews at 200 degrees F and my former Cuisinart K-Cup brewer did 192 degrees which definitely made inferior coffee. 150 degrees doesn't do the job.

et
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This isn't true. My Bunn MyCafe brews at 200 degrees F and my former Cuisinart K-Cup brewer did 192 degrees which definitely made inferior coffee. 150 degrees doesn't do the job.

Agreed.

After brewing, my Black and Decker carafe sits on the built in hot plate and holds at 165, confirmed with my wifes very accurate candy thermometer.
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This isn't true. My Bunn MyCafe brews at 200 degrees F and my former Cuisinart K-Cup brewer did 192 degrees which definitely made inferior coffee. 150 degrees doesn't do the job.

Yes, my mistake. It was "serves" at "150", not brews. Now I can't find the link, but it was a Consumer Reports type review of the coffeemaker. My mistake.
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"and their sales are up? "People" don't seem to mind."

Could it be that all sizes are $1?
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Okay, I'll bite. What was McDonald's motivation to serve coffee hotter than what people expected? What possible benefit could they get from doing that? If your one job is to serve food, why not serve it at the spot on temperature people want? This isn't like the Ford Pinto where McDonald's is saving money by serving too hot.


Companies do a great many silly things. At some point, someone at McDonals thought that because most people drink their coffee 10 minutes after they buy it at the drivethrough, it needs to be hotter.
Afterwards, despite the many (serious) and certainly many more not so serious and unreported injuries, they stuck with the policy likely for no better reason than pure bureaucratic inertia.
In any case, they decided to lower the temperature of their coffee to a non-lethal level, and have apparently not suffered any ill effects.

One of the most fascinating (and infuriating) things I have learned in my time in the capital markets and in observing companies and organisations is just how many obviously bone-headed decisions are made and never reversed, or only changed very late, gradually and obliquely, so that no one suffers a loss of face.
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We're wearing you down, I can tell ;) Do you think that people who eat contaminated meat are also responsible themselves? How about those who get electrocuted by a power drill that looks like all the other power drills they've ever used?

I don't, but hold that thought...

"Brew" temperatures and "serve" temperatures are different, and there is a very big difference in scalding properties between 170 and 185. Notice how the curve bends sharply upwards between 160-170 and goes off the charts at 180 and above.

Right, so you are brewing and 200+ and holding the temperature at 170 (as per the ANSI standard for home coffee makers). So what's the temperature of a freshly brewed cup of coffee at home? I dunno. You pick a number. But the number is somewhere in that ballpark. Keep that number in mind.

Back to your first point. I expect meat to be safe to eat, but I realize there are some safe handling rules I need to follow as I prepare it. Same with the drill. I expect the drill itself to be safe but I realize that I shouldn't touch the bit while it is spinning. Some burden is on the operator.

One of the main arguments of the plaintiff and in this thread is that McDonald's was serving coffee much hotter than normal, so the coffee was "defective." But it really wasn't that much hotter. If we look at your chart it looks like the scalding starts in about 0.25 seconds at 170 and about 0.10 seconds at 185. Just for the sake of argument, let's say McDonald's coffee was hotter than normal. Even at 160 you can get scalded in half a second. Undoubtedly getting burned by 185 degree coffee is worse, but coffee doesn't become "safe" at <insert the temperature you think most home coffee is served at>. Safer maybe, but not safe. You can scald yourself just fine with 160 degree coffee. No one should be thinking "I don't have to be careful with hot coffee because it is safe if I spill it on myself." The normal SOP is to NOT spill it.

But Liebeck did spill it. She spilled a product commonly served at a temperature that is unsafe if you spill it on yourself. Even if it was a little cooler it still would have been unsafe. The coffee was not defective. She had a reasonable expectation that it was hot. She was the operator. It was her responsibility not to spill it.

The only one argument that makes sense to me is that McDonald's coffee was too hot, and therefore her injuries were worse than they otherwise would have been. But I don't even buy that. In one of the dismissed coffee lawsuits I mentioned, the coffee maker was set at 185 by the Bunn technician. If Bunn is setting their commercial coffee makers at 185 that pretty much makes it the industry standard. I think people expect and are accustomed to hot coffee and what happened to Liebeck was a freak accident.

Back to you :)
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Did you once get sued for doing something irresponsible? You sound like it.

Nope. How about yourself? And by the way do you still beat your wife?
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deliberations belong in the hands of a jury, not among legislators trying to impose limitations on what a jury can award. To do otherwise basically says we don't trust our jury system, and instead trust limits imposed by legislators who are influenced (or out-right purchased) by corporate lobbying groups. I'll stick with the juries, thank-you-very-much

I wouldn't give our legal system to legislators either. Yes, because they are easily bought.

But you overlook the fact that nowadays, juries are also bought. If you have the money to hire a big legal team including jury consultants. A big reason OJ got off the hook is because the jury consultant did a good job for her deep pocketed client. Plus some very slick courtroom lawyering.

What kind of jury would put priority for "the glove don't fit, you must acquit" circus lawyering, over rock solid DNA evidence? A legally-rigged jury, that's what kind. That trial was a disgrace to the jury system and the judge as much or more than to the prosecution, which had a mountain of evidence that the jury chose to ignore.
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I submit that people really do expect coffee to be hot.

What an outrageous claim! Tone it down, will ya? :-)

It turns out the ANSI standard for home coffee makes is for coffee to be brewed at 200 degrees, and held at a minimum temperature of 170 F. That *is* the industry standard.

Oh, my. We've overlooked the impacts of cup, cream, sugar and spoon here. From your source,
In Barnett and Oubre the courts reported that the industry-standard serving temperature is between 175° and 185°>?F... home coffee makers that claim to follow the standard (a voluntary step; ?no statute or regulation requires compliance) must brew and hold coffee at a temperature that does not fall below 170°. The lower temperature limit assures generally acceptable drinking temperature when pouring into a cold cup, adding cream, sugar and spoon. Coffee served at 180° by a roadside vendor, which doubtless expects that it will cool during the longer interval before consumption, does not seem so abnormal as to require a heads-up warning.

I rarely buy coffee any more because its not hot enough for my taste. That has damaged the US economy.

Then again, society has protected me from lap burns, thank you very much. Now if you can just do something about stopping nuclear war and global warming and the general rape of the planet, I'll really be thankful.
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That trial was a disgrace to the jury system and the judge as much or more than to the prosecution, which had a mountain of evidence that the jury chose to ignore.

From the post mortems I have read on this trial (as I said earlier, I didn't follow it at the time, beyond what I couldn't escape since it was in the news constantly), the blame has been placed firmly on the shoulders of the prosecution. They were ineffective, even incompetent. The LAPD also mishandled some of the evidence, calling it into question.

None of what I read blamed the jury, and in fact most say the jury came to the "proper" conclusion based on what they were given. OJ was innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecutor failed miserably in proving him guilty.

And that's not even considering the hypothesis that OJ was present, but not the actual killer. He didn't have nearly enough blood on him if he had been on the porch where Nicole was nearly decapitated.

Though I do find the idea of a "jury consultant" unsettling. I don't think we should allow such a thing in this country. I would argue that the lawyers shouldn't know a thing about any of the jurors until they start screening them with their questions. (Or is that the way it does happen, and I just watch too many movies?? ;-)

1poorguy
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Though I do find the idea of a "jury consultant" unsettling. I don't think we should allow such a thing in this country. I would argue that the lawyers shouldn't know a thing about any of the jurors until they start screening them with their questions. (Or is that the way it does happen, and I just watch too many movies?? ;-)<?i>

The defense and prosecution rightfully should be able to exclude jurors they think are biased against their case.

I read somewhere that Marcia Clark essentially ignored their jury consultants recommendations and went by gut instinct. O.J.'s jury consultant, by contrast got several of their top picks seated in the jury box.
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a nice chunk of change for McDonalds and the fact that they had burned customers in the past was simply not enough of a motivation for them to change their brewing practice because even with settling the other suits it was coming out ahead financially.

Actually if you read the court transcripts one of the more "enlightening" parts was where the McDonalds engineer talked quite openly about doing a "risk" analysis that indicated they would make more money with the high temp coffee process (less coffee needed and it stays "fresh" longer so fewer dump and changes)as compared to the costs of litigation and lawsuits.

He quite openly admitted that McDonald's didn't care if they hurt the customer...or he gave that perception.

Also the coffee cup design had been a issue for some time with a tendency to collapse with very little pressure....but again a redesign would cost money, cost more for the cup, and what would you do with the large inventory of old style collapse-o-cups?

McD's coffee cups today are a completely different and safer design and they ask you if you want cream and sugar and put it in now prior to giving you the coffee so you no longer have to mess around pulling off a lid and putting things in.....

...all a result of this lawsuit.

Safer cup design
Safer procedure of putting cream/sugar into coffee prior to delivery
and they lowered the temperature (slightly)/

Of course if this lawsuit had not cost them this large settlement then it is possible that McD's would never have changed things...or maybe they would have since they "care" a great deal about the customer <---that is sarcasm dudes.

The drive for lower costs with a loss of fear of customer lawsuits for wrong doing or uncaring view of the public is a likely outcome of so called tort reform....at so my logic and knowledge of human greed would indicate.

The case was instructive but folks have learned the wrong lessons due to the wonders of PR and deep advertisement pockets.

md
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The defense and prosecution rightfully should be able to exclude jurors they think are biased against their case.

I read somewhere that Marcia Clark essentially ignored their jury consultants recommendations and went by gut instinct. O.J.'s jury consultant, by contrast got several of their top picks seated in the jury box.



that actually makes more sense .i'd heard LA hired a 3d rate consultant to save money


does seem there's things the court should know (about jurors), but also maybe things they shouldn't
(and some that can't be hidden --



[and just weird stuff: i'm certain that i was rejected last time i went in because i spent the break talking to the woman next to me about Tolstoy.... defense asked neither of us any questions ...but rejected us both right after break
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The defense and prosecution rightfully should be able to exclude jurors they think are biased against their case.

Of course. And that should come out during screening. In front of the judge. Not behind the scenes by a consultant with armies of private investigators.

1poorguy
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