Scalded by Coffee, Then News Media: By Retro Report October 21st, 2013

In 1992, Stella Liebeck spilled scalding McDonald’s coffee in her lap and later sued the company, attracting a flood of negative attention. It turns out there was more to the story.


Source: NYTimes


Category: Legal, Really, really bad calls, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

6 Responses to “Scalded by Coffee, Then News Media”

  1. seth1066 says:

    This article left out the fact that McDonald’s purposely left out of the discovery process their past payouts to other customers for coffee burns. This was a major precipitant for the jury to levy the initial high amount of punitive damages.

  2. denim says:

    Even though I am on your commenter banned list, thank you for this report from the NYT.
    The pictures were worth 10,000 words. I had always though she deserved every penny of the award.

  3. weekender823 says:

    Another missing piece is that the lawsuit originally included the coffeemaker manufacturer (Bunn?). They escaped by producing a work order from McD for increasing the hold temp from the 165 F they usually built to. Why you ask? Because in restaurant dining customers finished their breakfast before the coffee was cool enough to drink. The cost savings in reduced free refills is huge.

  4. DeDude says:

    And the reason they kept this coffee at such an excessive temperature in spite of previous payouts, was that the alternative of giving people a less scalding product in a better insulated cup would cost them less. They knew that the hot temperature would cause severe injury to those unfortunate people involved in the inevitable spills. They made a calculated business decision that the cost of those injuries would be less than the cost of better cups with lower temperatures. The jury did exactly what it was supposed to do – increase the cost of choosing to hurt the costumers rather than giving them a safer product. Litigation works in many of the places where government regulation fail.

  5. bmz says:

    The problem is that few people will take the time to watch this. I dealt with the issue when advanced to me, by saying: “how unbelievably elitist of you to believe that you can read one paragraph and know more about a case than the jury who listened to testimony for a full week.”

  6. DeDude,

    no kidding. and, also, “Tort Reform”, as paraded by fools, seen in the clip, like Kasich and Will, means to keep the Individual away from that forum of, potential, redress..

    also, ‘flash’ mentioned, in the clip, this Docu..“Eye-opening indictment of the way big business spins the media.” —Variety – See more at:

    goes into further detail..