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View Poll Results: McCafe
Hot Coffee is Hot 6 54.55%
Sue McDonald's right now and expect to win 5 45.45%
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:32 PM   #531
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

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Originally Posted by Thirdguy View Post
This is going to get repeated a lot. In the testimony found on the link Jeff provided, and many other articles on the subject, McD not only admits that the coffee was hotter than it's competitors (meaning it's hotter than people expect) but that it knew burns could be caused by the coffee. As Jeff said I don't think a reasonable person (including myself) expect coffee capable of burning my mouth. If you are going to serve coffee cable of burning a person's mouth, I think you should let them know that.
I don't think anyone is debating either of these points. In fact, I think that's exactly the point I'm making - that anyone would know that the coffee at that temp could burn you, even if there is a little variance on how quickly.

Quote:
As I said they were 20% responsible according to the decision, and they had there reward reduced by as much. Despite being a fascist, you are actually quite reasonable.
The original decision. This never reached a final decision - it was settled before the appeals court made a final ruling. However, irrelevant - I think Phu and I are arguing that the individual should maintain full responsibility because McD didn't do anything negligent. Really, the argument seems to be centered around whether or not a warning label should have been required. You mentioned negligence - the standard for negligence is failing to uphold a duty that a reasonably prudent person would have followed in a similar situation. That is why so much testimony about other restaurants came into play: presumably, they are reasonable too.

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I don't think Jeff is saying people are stupid, but people cannot make informed decisions without all the information. We believe then that it is the responsibility of a business to inform it's consumers of any unusual risks.
I believe this as well - people should be informed. And all the relevant information WAS available in this case - coffee was hot. Hot burns. There is no secured information that would have changed anyone's decision in this case. If the clerk had said "Just so you know ma'am, this coffee is 158 degrees" she wouldn't have said "Oh, then nevermind - I'll go somewhere else." Therefore, any extra information would have been irrelevant to her decision.

Quote:
Wrong. Again court testimony said coffee at 155% (the way it comes at most places according to testimony) would not cause third degree burns.
A little premature with your "wrong" call here. 155 degrees indeed does cause burns, as does liquid all the way down to 120ish degrees. See above.

Quote:
I don't think McD's was malicious in it's intent, but I do feel they were negligent which is a form of liability if I am not mistaken.
If reasonable people would have done the same thing (which evidence showed that warning labels were not prevalent in the industry) then its not negligent. If there was no duty, there is no negligence. And if there was an intervening cause (her taking off the lid) then there is no negligence. I think these are all pretty arguable, as has been espoused at length in the above posts.

Quote:
Again she did not use it wrong. She took a normal everyday risk under the assumption she had normal everyday coffee. None of that seems stupid to me. It seems quite mundane and routine. It became not mundane and routine when McD's handed her coffee they knew could cause 3rd degree burns.
Okay, this is where we really start to derail. Are you really arguing that spilling coffee on yourself is not using it wrong? Seems like thats NOT the function of coffee. She clearly did something that the product was not intended to do - be spilled in a lap. One can argue the merits of whether her actions leading up to that are relevant (which I believe they are, as she removed the lid on her hot coffee while still in her car, not parked, etc), but I think it's quite clear that her injury occurred because of the product being incorrectly.

Quote:
You may be right about it not actually be inordiantely hot, but McD's actually believes it to be so through their own testimony. As I said above, it is because they think it is unusually hot that they should tell their customers.
I'd like to see this testimony. I don't see it. The only illusion to this I see is through that clearly biased article posted above. McD actually argues that this temperature, while not always used in the industry, is within the realm of acceptable practices. I don't think they ever use the word "unusual." I could be missing it - if so, feel free to direct me to the citation.


In the end, this is a really just down to a pretty clear distinction - you believe that McD should have had some duty to warn their consumers that their coffee was hot. You believe this because you believe that their coffee was "unusually hot."

Phu and I (first and last time I'll ever say that, probably) believe that this warning is irrelevant and silly. Speaking only for myself, I believe this for three reasons. First, the coffee was not so unusually dangerous as to require a special warning. It was within temperatures normally understood to make coffee taste the best, and that many coffee makers recommend. Indeed, the steam was coming off of it. Second, I believe that our legal system should respect individuals enough to allow them to assume their own risks when they know the relevant information. To place blame on the shoulders of McD disavows the individuals ability to choose their own destiny. Third, and most significant, is that had a warning label been on the coffee cup, in real life, it would not have made any difference. The existance of the "coffee is hot" warning label does nothing to prevent the type of injury that occurred, it ONLY serves to insulate the company against litigation. Thus, the "she needs to know" arguments are irrelevant - this info would not have influenced her decision to consume that coffee, or to take off the lid. Because she already knew that the coffee was hot! That's all the label is telling her!
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:43 PM   #532
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirdguy View Post
Secondly you omit the temperature suggesting of the Burn analysis again. It suggest serving hot drinks at 140 degress +/- 15 degrees. Not 180 degrees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burn Journal
Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, and coffee are frequently served at temperatures between 160F (71.1C) and 185F (85C).
...
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 14015F (608.3C) 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 136F (57.8C).
They don't keep an eye on the temperature of stuff from the time it leaves the place of cooking to sitting on a surface waiting somewhere to be delivereed, and then just before they hand it to you.

Cooling occurs between serving and drinking. Hot coffee is still hot.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:10 AM   #533
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

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herd or mob
I remember mob being reserved for australian animals, I think emus and kangaroos? Also heard of groups of deer being a gang.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:04 AM   #534
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

To Allen and Phu, I'm just curious - would your opinion of this change at all if the coffee had been hotter? Say served at 250 degrees?

From what I've been reading, for Allen, it the key here seems to be that she had spilled the coffee on herself, not the temperature at which the coffee was served at.

Phu seems to be focusing greatly on saying that the coffee was not significantly above industry standards (which again, I don't necessarily agree with, but for the purposes of this case, we assume your assertion is untrue since it was not brought up as a point of fact in the case), which leads me to believe his opinion would change if the temperature was higher?

Please clarify for me if I'm wrong.

Oh, Phu, the plaintiff was not actually driving the car, if it makes any difference for you. She was the passenger. Honestly, if I spilled something hot on myself on the passenger side, I'd probably be able to peel sweat pants off, at least off my crotch pretty quickly.

I think part of the point the plaintiff was trying to make regarding the regular use of coffee:

1) Many of McDonald's customers drink their coffee in their car.
2) Spills like this are not uncommon.
3) McDonald's knew of this, yet continued to serve the coffee at an inordinately high temperature.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:21 AM   #535
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

To Jeff, I'm just curious - would you play a game you couldn't win?
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:48 AM   #536
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Red face Re: food/restaurant thread

I'm on my phone in san Antonio, so please forgive any typos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esper3k View Post
To Allen and Phu, I'm just curious - would your opinion of this change at all if the coffee had been hotter? Say served at 250 degrees?

From what I've been reading, for Allen, it the key here seems to be that she had spilled the coffee on herself, not the temperature at which the coffee was served at.

Phu seems to be focusing greatly on saying that the coffee was not significantly above industry standards (which again, I don't necessarily agree with, but for the purposes of this case, we assume your assertion is untrue since it was not brought up as a point of fact in the case), which leads me to believe his opinion would change if the temperature was higher?

Please clarify for me if I'm wrong.
My argument is a bit more complex than that. My argument is that the coffee was hot, and the customer knew of that fact. She knew it because all other restaurants serve coffee hot (at roughly the same temperature, especially when talking burn potential), coffee is normally served hot, etc. Because of this knowledge, if the only reason that she was injured was because of that heat, then she assumed that risk when she, with knowledge, bought the coffee. This effectively negates your "warning was inadequate" because any warning that would have been provided would have not changed the woman's injury- because it only would have provided knowledge she already had (caution: hot coffee). Because of this, so long as she had knowledge the coffee was injuriously hot, the temperature is irrelevant (all other things being equal). my opinion changes when mcdonalds, say, puts lead into their coffee for flavor, and doesn't tell anyone (or tells people in a way so abstract that they are not able to find out).

Quote:
3) McDonald's knew of this, yet continued to serve the coffee at an inordinately high temperature.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you're just highlighting the plaintiffs argument, but it still seems like the temperature was not "inordinately high."

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Old 07-16-2010, 07:56 AM   #537
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

Can the opposition please explain why you honestly believe that a consumer would not have a a majority of the fault for this. I mean handling even a warm beverage over a sensitive body area seems like trouble.

Especially when you factor in doing this in a moving vehicle.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:59 AM   #538
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

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Originally Posted by lordofnight991 View Post
I'm on my phone in san Antonio, so please forgive any typos.



My argument is a bit more complex than that. My argument is that the coffee was hot, and the customer knew of that fact. She knew it because all other restaurants serve coffee hot (at roughly the same temperature, especially when talking burn potential), coffee is normally served hot, etc. Because of this knowledge, if the only reason that she was injured was because of that heat, then she assumed that risk when she, with knowledge, bought the coffee. This effectively negates your "warning was inadequate" because any warning that would have been provided would have not changed the woman's injury- because it only would have provided knowledge she already had (caution: hot coffee). Because of this, so long as she had knowledge the coffee was injuriously hot, the temperature is irrelevant (all other things being equal). my opinion changes when mcdonalds, say, puts lead into their coffee for flavor, and doesn't tell anyone (or tells people in a way so abstract that they are not able to find out).



I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you're just highlighting the plaintiffs argument, but it still seems like the temperature was not "inordinately high."
aka a warning label saying this coffee is fucking hot dumbass was not going to negate her from taking off the lid in her car?

I mean probably, but I don't see how you could use a hypothetical scenario like this for a case. If the woman says yeah a label would have stopped me I had no idea, plays dumb, the end.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:28 AM   #539
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

I wish I had never mentioned hot coffee. Now I want to kill myself. By pouring hot coffee directly on my face.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:29 AM   #540
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Default Re: food/restaurant thread

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Originally Posted by skeletalpeacock View Post
aka a warning label saying this coffee is fucking hot dumbass was not going to negate her from taking off the lid in her car?

I mean probably, but I don't see how you could use a hypothetical scenario like this for a case. If the woman says yeah a label would have stopped me I had no idea, plays dumb, the end.
But that's not what she argued, for good reason. Remember - she has to convince a jury of her peers of what she's saying. Not many people are going to believe that truly a warning-label would have stopped her from purchasing the coffee. Not many people are going to believe that she didn't know it was injuriously hot. That's why the plaintiff's argument instead rested on this idea of surpassing industry standards of heat - which has been duly addressed in the above posts.
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