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killerrobot
May 31, 2010, 04:12 PM
Enter Lauren Rosenberg of Park City, Utah. She used Google Maps on her Blackberry to get walking directions from one part of town to another. Part of those direction included walking on a road without sidewalks called Deer Valley Drive, aka Utah State Route 224.

According to court documents, instead of finding a different route or walking safely away from traffic, she walked into the street and was (surprise!) struck by a car. Now she's suing Google for in excess of $100,000.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/05/29/if-google-told-you-to-jump-off-a-cliff-would-you/

Well, title and short article say it all. There's more info in the link.

I guess if anyone could create an app for common sense, they'd be a billionaire by now.

RawBert
May 31, 2010, 05:30 PM
This reminds me of an episode of The Office (US), when Michael's navigation system told him to turn right. He immediately turned and ended up in a pond. :)

But Michael Scott has an excuse. He's a character on a sitcom.
This lady has no such excuse. She's just an idiot. In fact, I'm glad she doesn't drive.
I just hope Google doesn't just pay her to shut up and go away.

Pretty amusing.

niuniu
May 31, 2010, 05:31 PM
Is there a better word than idiot to describe this woman?

MacBOS
May 31, 2010, 05:36 PM
SAY WHAT!!!!!!!! :eek:

MrCheeto
May 31, 2010, 05:39 PM
According to Darwin, that car didn't finish the job.

XD

appleisgod
May 31, 2010, 06:00 PM
I hate to say that I live in Park City sometimes. Oh, and this lady is pure stupid.

Bonch
May 31, 2010, 06:46 PM
LOL. Women.

cantthinkofone
May 31, 2010, 08:25 PM
LOL. Women.

Greedy people. Man or Woman.

Zombie Acorn
May 31, 2010, 08:31 PM
Its a shame it wasn't a semi.

i-John
May 31, 2010, 08:38 PM
It reminds me of the story from Germany where a woman was using turn by turn and it told her to turn left and despite no road being present, turned left anyway and right into a wall.

ClassicII
May 31, 2010, 08:41 PM
Classic.

calsci
May 31, 2010, 09:33 PM
wow now that is seriously sad. she is not going to win.

MrCheeto
May 31, 2010, 09:36 PM
Dude, she lost a looong time ago.

XD XD XD

mscriv
Jun 1, 2010, 08:50 AM
wow now that is seriously sad. she is not going to win.

That's what people said about the woman who successfully sued McDonalds for the hot coffee that burned her (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants).

In our lawsuit happy society of today that denies personal responsibilty to varied degrees this woman actually has a chance of winning or at least being enough of a threat to get a settlement. I bet at the least Google adds a warning type of disclaimer to the use of it's maps.

PlaceofDis
Jun 1, 2010, 08:53 AM
That's what people said about the woman who successfully sued McDonalds for the hot coffee that burned her (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants).

In our lawsuit happy society of today that denies personal responsibilty to varied degrees this woman actually has a chance of winning or at least being enough of a threat to get a settlement. I bet at the least Google adds a warning type of disclaimer to the use of it's maps.

They already have a disclaimer. But it doesn't show up on the mobile versions, which I believe she was using. And the walking directions are still in 'beta' which also creates more disclaimers.

This is just stupid all around.

niuniu
Jun 1, 2010, 08:53 AM
I bet at the least Google adds a warning type of disclaimer to the use of it's maps.

They do already - on maps.google.uk if you select walking directions it gives a warning of some effect

roadbloc
Jun 1, 2010, 08:58 AM
This raises the question: What the hell was she doing out of the kitchen?

(I joke.)

But seriously now....

MattSepeta
Jun 1, 2010, 09:12 AM
Frivolous- Not having any serious purpose or value.

And people wonder why everything costs so much.... Now, assuming this moan wins, google is going to have to change a ton of code and whatnot to incorporate some dumb warning to the effect of mcdonalds "warning, hot coffee is hot, ********" warnings.

This woman may "win", in the most ridiculous sense of the word, but everyone else loses after google is forced to raise their price or increase ads or whatever they do to counter the $100,000+ payout.

I wonder if these people filing for punitive damages ever stop and think "Hey, maybe the big nasty corporation ISN'T evil, maybe I'M just pretty incredibly stupid and greedy..."

Anyways, why wouldn't she file charges against the driver of the car that struck her? Or heck, maybe the shoes she was wearing that carried her onto the road... Or maybe her mother for bringing her into this world to be so terribly victimized...

CaptMurdock
Jun 1, 2010, 09:27 AM
That's what people said about the woman who successfully sued McDonalds for the hot coffee that burned her (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants).

In our lawsuit happy society of today that denies personal responsibilty to varied degrees this woman actually has a chance of winning or at least being enough of a threat to get a settlement. I bet at the least Google adds a warning type of disclaimer to the use of it's maps.

I do feel compelled to point out, as the wiki article does and which I read many years ago, that the lady in question, Stella Liebeck, had to have skin grafts to repair the damage caused by third-degree burns on her thighs.

Third-degree burns? I'm sorry, but if McDonald's actually expected me to drink coffee that would cause third-degree burns, I'd sue them too. That's just too damn hot.

****

Now, that said, suing Google for stepping out into traffic is unbelievably lame. Nuff Said.

tikidoc
Jun 1, 2010, 09:37 AM
I do feel compelled to point out, as the wiki article does and which I read many years ago, that the lady in question, Stella Liebeck, had to have skin grafts to repair the damage caused by third-degree burns on her thighs.

Third-degree burns? I'm sorry, but if McDonald's actually expected me to drink coffee that would cause third-degree burns, I'd sue them too. That's just too damn hot.

****

Now, that said, suing Google for stepping out into traffic is unbelievably lame. Nuff Said.

Did you read the whole article? Anything over 60C can cause scald injuries, and this is a temperature that would be unacceptably low to most coffee drinker. 190F is a pretty standard temp for brewing and serving coffee. Yes, it can burn if you spill it. If the person at the drive through window had accidentally dumped it on her, it would be a reasonable case.

mscriv
Jun 1, 2010, 09:38 AM
Third-degree burns? I'm sorry, but if McDonald's actually expected me to drink coffee that would cause third-degree burns, I'd sue them too. That's just too damn hot.

I'd suggest you stay away from the stove. It can burn you. ;)

Rodimus Prime
Jun 1, 2010, 09:48 AM
Did you read the whole article? Anything over 60C can cause scald injuries, and this is a temperature that would be unacceptably low to most coffee drinker. 190F is a pretty standard temp for brewing and serving coffee. Yes, it can burn if you spill it. If the person at the drive through window had accidentally dumped it on her, it would be a reasonable case.

umm 190F was shown to be hotter than most places. The common temp that they go for is around 140-150F (60-66C)

It is the amount of time you get to get the liquid away from you skin at the lower temps.

stanislas
Jun 1, 2010, 09:56 AM
LOL. Women.

LOL. Sexists.

niuniu
Jun 1, 2010, 09:57 AM
Maybe we need a common sense test before we start calling people adults, and giving them rights as adults...

Q. Say you have no job, no education and live on welfare. Should you have children?
A. Of course, more baby more welfare.
B. No, I'll keep them shut until I get a job.

Q. Google maps suggest you take a right onto oncoming traffic on a one way street. Do you..
A. Take the right, the laws of physics in a collision don't apply to actions taken when directed by a Google App.
B. Reconsider your route.

Gav2k
Jun 1, 2010, 10:07 AM
Sad thing is because it's America she will win! In the uk it would have been thrown out warning or not because common sense.

As for the mcdonalds drink lady. In the uk the minimum core temp for hot foods and drinks being served is 63'c. Again coffee is expected to be hot and depending on blend it could be alot hotter. Mcdonalds whould have won there case in the uk. Coffee = hot = common sense

GFLPraxis
Jun 1, 2010, 10:17 AM
While the lady is clearly an idiot, this actually highlights a very real issue with Google Maps.

She used Google Maps on her Blackberry to get walking directions from one part of town to another. Part of those direction included walking on a road without sidewalks

Last time I was in Irvine, CA, while trying to walk about two miles back to the place I was staying, Google Maps tried to take me along a highway with no sidewalk, as well. I was actually dumb enough to follow it anyway, actually- but there was enough of a foyer with bushes on it for me to walk on safely, I wasn't in the middle of the road.

Google Maps' walking directions need to account for sidewalks- they can send you into hazards. Most people, however, aren't going to follow them into an oncoming car and then sue Google for it. :rolleyes:

PlaceofDis
Jun 1, 2010, 10:52 AM
LOL. Sexists.

excellent post

+1

Plutonius
Jun 1, 2010, 11:18 AM
Anyways, why wouldn't she file charges against the driver of the car that struck her?

Not as much money....

Go for the deepest pockets :)

GoCubsGo
Jun 1, 2010, 11:20 AM
This is hilarious! Best story of stupid ever!

yg17
Jun 1, 2010, 11:47 AM
Not sure what's worse, this, or the people who drive their car into a lake because their GPS told them to.

MrCheeto
Jun 1, 2010, 11:50 AM
1. People that drink coffee and eat peppers are sadists. Who the **** enjoys singing off their taste buds?!??!

2. There should be a required nation-wide test to find these dipsticks, and place a bell and flag on them. Every one of them! They'll realize it's for their own good when the killer comes through the window jingling like Flava Flav.

This way, we could relegate them to the kiddy pools, safety elevators, and Fisher-Price sidewalks.

MattSepeta
Jun 1, 2010, 12:13 PM
safety elevators

lol I like...

Stella
Jun 1, 2010, 12:16 PM
What a retard.

Lawsuits like this should be based upon what the "normal and sane" person would do, as per UK law. Shame the states doesn't ( seem to ) take this approach rather.

This woman has only herself to blame - she should have taken more care. She is negligent, not Google.

MrCheeto
Jun 1, 2010, 12:29 PM
In America, everybody has to be "sensitive" to such people.

This is why we aren't carding people. Suddenly, if you ask to see somebody's papers you're in Nazi Germany.

I'm tired of this country and the people that are degrading it more and more every minute.

Rodimus Prime
Jun 1, 2010, 12:35 PM
I think it would be funny if Google could block this person from using any of their services with a page saying
"We are sorry but you are to stupid to our services."

yg17
Jun 1, 2010, 12:50 PM
This is why we aren't carding people. Suddenly, if you ask to see somebody's papers you're in Nazi Germany.

What does Nazi Germany have to do with some dumbass being hit by a car?

Godwin on line 3


I'm tired of this country and the people that are degrading it more and more every minute.

Then leave. If you're "tired of this country" then leave, there are about 200 other countries for you to choose from.

MrCheeto
Jun 1, 2010, 12:53 PM
Wrong. Every other country has European tastes, which is the worst taste besides Mexican taste.

I mean, when Falco and Bjork can make it...well...yeah...

niuniu
Jun 1, 2010, 12:58 PM
Wrong. Every other country has European tastes, which is the worst taste besides Mexican taste.

I mean, when Falco and Bjork can make it...well...yeah...

Valium and a light comedy. Have at it.

MattSepeta
Jun 1, 2010, 01:32 PM
What a retard.

Lawsuits like this should be based upon what the "normal and sane" person would do, as per UK law. Shame the states doesn't ( seem to ) take this approach rather.

This woman has only herself to blame - she should have taken more care. She is negligent, not Google.

(I speak only from mock trial experiences)

US Law is directly based off of UK common Law.

Criminal Negligence is based off of what a "reasonable and sane" person would do, just as you said. Rather than the courts holding true to this fairly self evident principle, they let their "Nanny" urges take hold and next thing you know, a kid cant bring his swiss army knife to school without being expelled, mcdonalds is forced to warn customers that coffee is hot, everyone is forced to wear seatbelts, and Google will now probably be forced i nto paying a large fine, as well as warning people to look out for cars.

Freedom :( ?

leomac08
Jun 1, 2010, 03:20 PM
If there was a Darwin award for stupidity this would be a top semi finalist.:D

jav6454
Jun 1, 2010, 03:36 PM
According to Darwin, that car didn't finish the job.

XD

Yes! Very eloquently put. Now, where is that car...

Gasu E.
Jun 1, 2010, 04:28 PM
Sad thing is because it's America she will win! In the uk it would have been thrown out warning or not because common sense.

As for the mcdonalds drink lady. In the uk the minimum core temp for hot foods and drinks being served is 63'c. Again coffee is expected to be hot and depending on blend it could be alot hotter. Mcdonalds whould have won there case in the uk. Coffee = hot = common sense

Mcdonald's was serving coffee at 88c.

Rodimus Prime
Jun 1, 2010, 04:53 PM
Sad thing is because it's America she will win! In the uk it would have been thrown out warning or not because common sense.

As for the mcdonalds drink lady. In the uk the minimum core temp for hot foods and drinks being served is 63'c. Again coffee is expected to be hot and depending on blend it could be alot hotter. Mcdonalds whould have won there case in the uk. Coffee = hot = common sense

I do not think Mcdonalds would of won in the UK on that one. It was shown Mcdonalds severed their coffee even hotter than the other companies by a fair margin. The reason they did this was so they could pull more of the coffee flavor out of the grounds. Basically it allowed them to use less grounds per pot to make the same strength coffee.

It was a way to cut cost. They got nailed for that. It was a lot hotter than coffee normally is.

MrCheeto
Jun 1, 2010, 04:54 PM
You people are forgetting the worst part!!!

In the end, this woman will get away with ZERO bitch-slaps or ass whoopin's!!!

ucfgrad93
Jun 1, 2010, 05:03 PM
Sad that she got hit, but it doesn't sound like she has 2 brain cells to rub together.:rolleyes:

Sun Baked
Jun 1, 2010, 05:09 PM
Think GPS navigation is the best
Oblivious to surroundings
Walk into street without looking
Blame others for your idiocy, sue google

And the "Blond Moments" keep on compounding for her... :rolleyes:

She should be in a home for wayward blonds in the padded cell for her own protection.

Osarkon
Jun 1, 2010, 05:21 PM
Sad that she got hit, but it doesn't sound like she has 2 brain cells to rub together.:rolleyes:

Well even if she did before being hit, she won't have now!

I can't believe this is actually being entertained. She needs to grow up slightly and learn what common sense is.

ihaveNFC
Jun 1, 2010, 05:37 PM
According to Darwin, that car didn't finish the job.

XD

Hilarious and so true.

Did anyone else pick up that she's suing the driver, too? Clearly it's not safe to walk on a highway. I can't imagine it being legal either.

thecartoonguy
Jun 1, 2010, 07:00 PM
Just damn. Really lady? You're going to sue Google because your...........sigh

danpass
Jun 1, 2010, 07:16 PM
http://www.danpassaro.com/img/s8/v10/p565054524.jpg

CalBoy
Jun 1, 2010, 08:31 PM
That's what people said about the woman who successfully sued McDonalds for the hot coffee that burned her (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald's_Restaurants).

In our lawsuit happy society of today that denies personal responsibilty to varied degrees this woman actually has a chance of winning or at least being enough of a threat to get a settlement. I bet at the least Google adds a warning type of disclaimer to the use of it's maps.

Frivolous- Not having any serious purpose or value.

...

incorporate some dumb warning to the effect of mcdonalds "warning, hot coffee is hot, ********" warnings.



mcdonalds is forced to warn customers that coffee is hot,
Contrary to popular opinion (which was to a great extent shaped by McDonalds through their PR department), the infamous coffee case was correctly decided, and the warning which emerged as a result of this case is actually not mandated, nor does it provide any legal protection to corporations who do what McDonalds had done.

What is often left out of the mythos of the case is that McDonalds was aware that their coffee makers were defective (such that some kept coffee even above 88C, practically at boiling), and that the coffee was being heated well beyond standard temperature ranges in order to achieve higher yields per cup of ground coffee. Nor was Mrs. Liebeck the first person to sue (and win) McDonalds over coffee that was too hot. From 1982-1992, McDonalds had paid out to over 700 other individuals who had been burned by their coffee, and this number does not reflect those who suffered from smaller burns and didn't think to sue. Stella Liebeck simply represents the most famous of these litigants (and the one who was the most injured).

In the end, McDonalds had chosen to make a business decision that was similar to Ford's decision not to recall the Pinto; the cost of changing the policy was greater than the occasional Stella Liebeck, and that is why the policy is still largely in effect. No one should sympathize with McDonalds or any corporation that engages in that kind of calculus, because the company is fully aware of the costs of noncompliance and their inaction is in fact negligence.

Did you read the whole article? Anything over 60C can cause scald injuries, and this is a temperature that would be unacceptably low to most coffee drinker. 190F is a pretty standard temp for brewing and serving coffee. Yes, it can burn if you spill it. If the person at the drive through window had accidentally dumped it on her, it would be a reasonable case.

Food should not cause 3rd degree burns. A scald is very different from having 6% of your body (in the most sensitive parts mind) burned to the 3rd degree, and having an additional 16% burned to lesser degrees. If those who serve food want to serve it at such high temperatures, then it is incumbent upon them to take appropriate precautions to protect patrons, and when these protections fail, accept responsibility for the risk they are taking.

One blessing that has come out of the coffee case is that cups were redesigned and made safer. We've all benefitted from this change.

I'd suggest you stay away from the stove. It can burn you. ;)

That's quite different from what happened in the McDonalds case. Imagine if your favorite restaurant habitually handled meat and vegetables inappropriately and thereby increased your risk of being contaminated with dangerous strains of E Coli, all because implementing a safer kitchen routine would cost a little more per serving. If you were to be injured by this cost-cutting measure, you'd have the right to expect compensation. You didn't demand lax safety standards, nor did you have good reason to suspect safety standards weren't being followed.


Lawsuits like this should be based upon what the "normal and sane" person would do, as per UK law. Shame the states doesn't ( seem to ) take this approach rather.

That is the standard for torts in the US. All actions must be appropriate to what a "reasonable" person would do. In this case, not being cognizant of one's surrounding is clearly unreasonable, so the case will probably be dismissed at the first hearing.

However, I think Google would do well to implement a warning on their mobile maps. I know I've seen the warning on the browser version, but as mobile phones become more heavily relied upon as GPS devices, it will help prevent more stupid accidents.

Although I do wonder how someone could overlook such an obvious mistake; crossing a highway is usually not recommended for pedestrian, so it's interesting that none of Google's cartographers caught that...

runlsd
Jun 1, 2010, 09:17 PM
I feel like people and lawsuits like these should be counter-sued for stupidity.

Nermal
Jun 1, 2010, 09:24 PM
Last time I was in Irvine, CA, while trying to walk about two miles back to the place I was staying, Google Maps tried to take me along a highway with no sidewalk, as well. I was actually dumb enough to follow it anyway, actually- but there was enough of a foyer with bushes on it for me to walk on safely, I wasn't in the middle of the road.

I just did a little experiment and looked up the walking route from my house to my work with both Google Maps and Bing Maps. Both suggested that I go down a "car-only" road. Bing at least gave correct driving directions; Google tried to send me the wrong way down a one-way street.

CaptMurdock
Jun 1, 2010, 10:18 PM
I'd suggest you stay away from the stove. It can burn you. ;)

Lemme write that down..."stay...away...from...stove...can...burn..." Got it, thanks!

Seriously, though...third-degree burns? Usually, as Calboy points out, hot liquid causes second-degree (scalding) burns. Causing burns necessitating skin grafts...:eek:

upinflames900
Jun 1, 2010, 10:22 PM
I feel like people and lawsuits like these should be counter-sued for stupidity.

AGREE!

The State of _______ vs. ______________ (insert dumba$$ name) on counts of:
- endangering the public's average IQ level
- acting ridiculously stupid
- being completely retarded
- failing to abide by common sense

Sentence - retake 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades

Don't panic
Jun 2, 2010, 12:27 PM
Mcdonald's was serving coffee at 88c.

this seems to be a reasonable price for a cup of coffee. did it include tax?

killerrobot
Jun 2, 2010, 12:37 PM
Santa Monica woman takes the heat in Google case
An L.A. County woman sues the search engine giant over directions that allegedly led to her being struck by a car. But another woman, also named Lauren Rosenberg, bears the brunt of public abuse.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0502-google-map-mistake-20100602,0,3238788.story

Man this would suck - having the same name and getting random calls from strangers calling you stupid. It's a good thing she has a sense of humor.

renewed
Jun 2, 2010, 12:46 PM
Maybe we need a common sense test before we start calling people adults, and giving them rights as adults...

Q. Say you have no job, no education and live on welfare. Should you have children?
A. Of course, more baby more welfare.
B. No, I'll keep them shut until I get a job.

Q. Google maps suggest you take a right onto oncoming traffic on a one way street. Do you..
A. Take the right, the laws of physics in a collision don't apply to actions taken when directed by a Google App.
B. Reconsider your route.

LMAO. Post of the day.

mscriv
Jun 2, 2010, 02:38 PM
If those who serve food want to serve it at such high temperatures, then it is incumbent upon them to take appropriate precautions to protect patrons, and when these protections fail, accept responsibility for the risk they are taking.

Let's keep the facts in mind and as many posters have already mentioned, let's use some reasonable common sense here.

Liebeck was in the passenger's seat of her Ford Probe, and her grandson Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. She placed the coffee cup between her knees and pulled the far side of the lid toward her to remove it. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of coffee on her lap. Liebeck was wearing cotton sweatpants; they absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin as she sat in the puddle of hot liquid for over 90 seconds, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin.

She knowingly ordered a beverage that she knew was at an elevated temperature. The beverage was served in a cup with a warning label regarding temperature and a secure top to aid in preventing accidental spills. She purposefully removed this top in "not so ideal" conditions, the passenger seat of a car, and of her own negligence spilled the beverage on herself. She then remained in that state for "over 90 seconds".

Her own lawyer argued that the temperature of the beverage should be measured in accordance with the amount of time it would take to cause a burn.

Liebeck's lawyers presented the jury with evidence that 180 F (82 C) coffee like that McDonald’s served may produce third-degree burns (where skin grafting is necessary) in about 12 to 15 seconds. Lowering the temperature to 160 F (71 C) would increase the time for the coffee to produce such a burn to 20 seconds. (A British court later rejected this argument as scientifically false.[14]) Liebeck's attorneys argued that these extra seconds could provide adequate time to remove the coffee from exposed skin, thereby preventing many burns.

However, as mentioned above, Ms. Liebeck took over 90 seconds to respond to the situation. Based on this information even a beverage at a lower temperature would have produced the same degree of injury due to her failure to respond immediately. In layman's terms, grandma should've listened to Snoop and "dropped it like it's hot". ;)

Also, regarding McDonalds perceived negligence in serving their coffee at such a high termperature, 180 F (82 C).

Though defenders of the Liebeck verdict argue that her coffee was unusually hotter than other coffee sold, other major vendors of coffee, including Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Wendy's, and Burger King, produce coffee at a similar or higher temperature, and have been subjected to similar lawsuits over third-degree burns.

Home and commercial coffee makers often reach comparable temperatures. The National Coffee Association of U.S.A. instructs that coffee should be brewed "between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit [91–96 C] for optimal extraction" and consumed "immediately". If not consumed immediately, the coffee is to be "maintained at 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit".

Here's where we fail the "reasonable standard" test because other restaurants serve their coffee in the same temperature range. If McDonalds coffee was served at a standard significantly above the reasonable standard than the argument would be valid. Unfortunately the evidence doesn't support that.

Ms. Liebeck won because...
Applying the principles of comparative negligence, the jury found that McDonald's was 80% responsible for the incident and Liebeck was 20% at fault. Though there was a warning on the coffee cup, the jury decided that the warning was neither large enough nor sufficient.

I'm not a lawyer and I don't claim to understand the historical precedence or legal specifics of the "principles of comparative negligence". But, in my mind, given the other facts, this part is ridiculous. No one can argue that Ms. Liebeck is less than 100% at fault for spilling the coffee on herself. But hey, in our world today there is no such thing as an accident or personal responsibility. Hey, if I was juror on the case I would have felt bad for the poor lady as well. The circumstances were unfortunate, but that doesn't mean it was McDonald's fault.

I'd suggest you stay away from the stove. It can burn you. ;)

That's quite different from what happened in the McDonalds case. Imagine if your favorite restaurant habitually handled meat and vegetables inappropriately and thereby increased your risk of being contaminated with dangerous strains of E Coli, all because implementing a safer kitchen routine would cost a little more per serving. If you were to be injured by this cost-cutting measure, you'd have the right to expect compensation. You didn't demand lax safety standards, nor did you have good reason to suspect safety standards weren't being followed.

First, you seem to have missed the sarcasm and second, your analogy fails the precedent of "reasonable expectation". You are correct in stating that there is a reasonable expectation that food served in a restaurant is prepared free from exposure to contaminants. In other words, food is intended to be served in a capacity that does not pose any potential risk and that belief is reasonable. Ordering a hot beverage that contains a warning label carries a different expectation and therefore a different measure of reasonable belief regarding the potential risk involved. In fact this argument was made in the Bogle v. McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd case in the United Kingdom where someone was suing for the same reason as Liebeck.

Indeed, on the evidence, I find that the public want to be able to buy tea and coffee served hot, that is to say at a temperature of at least 65 C, even though they know that there is a risk of a scalding injury if the drink is spilled.

I think this is pretty self explanatory unless you want to argue that it is "unreasonable" for someone to believe that they could be burned by something that is HOT if they do not take proper precautions. This brings me back to my point that you quoted. You might want to be careful around the stove, those things get hot, like really hot. :D




I'd suggest you stay away from the stove. It can burn you. ;)

Lemme write that down..."stay...away...from...stove...can...burn..." Got it, thanks!

Seriously, though...third-degree burns? Usually, as Calboy points out, hot liquid causes second-degree (scalding) burns. Causing burns necessitating skin grafts...:eek:

See above and thanks for having a good sense of humor. ;)

renewed
Jun 2, 2010, 04:46 PM
First, you seem to have missed the sarcasm and second, your analogy fails the precedent of "reasonable expectation". You are correct in stating that there is a reasonable expectation that food served in a restaurant is prepared free from exposure to contaminants. In other words, food is intended to be served in a capacity that does not pose any potential risk and that belief is reasonable. Ordering a hot beverage that contains a warning label carries a different expectation and therefore a different measure of reasonable belief regarding the potential risk involved. In fact this argument was made in the Bogle v. McDonalds Restaurants Ltd case in the United Kingdom where someone was suing for the same reason as Liebeck.

Since we are bringing up restaurant examples, a good analogy would be raw food warnings. The restaurant warns you that consuming undercooked foods or raw foods can potentially cause health problems etc... so if you eat raw or undercooked food and get sick, how are you going to sue the restaurant?

So it comes to the whole point... If you get burned by a cup of coffee that says "Caution: HOT", how are you going to sue the restaurant?

Anyone who is on this lady's side in the lawsuit is an idiot; and yes I mean it. She got burned by a cup of coffee, yes that sucks but at the same time McDonald's shouldn't be responsible for an accident that she was solely responsible for.

JNB
Jun 2, 2010, 04:56 PM
Let's keep the facts in mind and as many posters have already mentioned, let's use some reasonable common sense here.

<snip>

QFT.

Good breakdown and spot-on analysis. I bet they never select you for jury duty. ;)

Abstract
Jun 2, 2010, 04:58 PM
This raises the question: What the hell was she doing out of the kitchen?
(I joke.)
But seriously now....

I laughed. :D I'm a huge fan of inappropriate comments.

Its a shame it wasn't a semi. forklift....with lasers tapes to each fork.

Fixed.

Stella
Jun 2, 2010, 05:34 PM
That is the standard for torts in the US. All actions must be appropriate to what a "reasonable" person would do. In this case, not being cognizant of one's surrounding is clearly unreasonable, so the case will probably be dismissed at the first hearing.

Then you have to think 'what is a sane american' person.

The lawsuits thrown about is pathetic - fat people suing fast food restaurants 'for making them fat' - comes to mind. There are lot of other examples.

CalBoy
Jun 2, 2010, 10:03 PM
Let's keep the facts in mind and as many posters have already mentioned, let's use some reasonable common sense here.

Of course. The truth is, however, that with most tort cases the public hears only a few tidbits typically meant to magnify the apparent stupidity or ludicrousness of the case. The same thing has happened with the McDonalds coffee case.



She knowingly ordered a beverage that she knew was at an elevated temperature. The beverage was served in a cup with a warning label regarding temperature and a secure top to aid in preventing accidental spills. She purposefully removed this top in "not so ideal" conditions, the passenger seat of a car, and of her own negligence spilled the beverage on herself. She then remained in that state for "over 90 seconds".

Her own lawyer argued that the temperature of the beverage should be measured in accordance with the amount of time it would take to cause a burn.

However, as mentioned above, Ms. Liebeck took over 90 seconds to respond to the situation. Based on this information even a beverage at a lower temperature would have produced the same degree of injury due to her failure to respond immediately. In layman's terms, grandma should've listened to Snoop and "dropped it like it's hot". ;)

The jury knew all of this, of course, and deducted from her award by an appropriate amount. They did find her partially liable for the tort, as is customary by tort procedure.

Despite Liebeck's own breach of duty (the legal term for not doing what a reasonable person would do), McDonald's still increased the magnitude of the end result by keeping the coffee so hot. The type of pants Liebeck was wearing, while unfortunate, doesn't factor in here because the excessive temperature of the coffee would have still caused severe burns, and in general defendants are held liable even when the harm done to a plaintiff is more than typical or could have been theoretically lower (unless of course the plaintiff proceeded to be even more negligent after the tort).

Given that Liebeck was in her 70s at the time, one wouldn't expect her to be able to remove the burning sweat pants as rapidly as, say, a spry 20 year-old.

Consequently, this is also the part of the award that was not very large (comprising less than 20% of the original award), and after factoring out Liebeck's penalty due to breach of duty, it was actually less than some of the other coffee cases McDonalds had settled. The true impact of the jury's decision came from the punitive damages, which they decided should be worth two days of coffee revenue. Personally, I think we need some reform in the area of where punitive damages should go, but that isn't really what we're discussing here.


Also, regarding McDonalds perceived negligence in serving their coffee at such a high termperature, 180 F (82 C).

Ahh, I was expecting to see as much. While I normally recognize wikipedia as a good source of information about many topics, this quote of yours really highlights one of its most dangerous flaws.

That "evidence" you quoted is actually derived from a biased blog (overlawyered.com), which then does not have adequate citations (in fact none that I can see) for where the blogger got his information from.

Moreover, at the time of the trial, the McDonald's QA witness who testified didn't contest the claim that the coffee was kept hotter than other places. Seeing as how that was the evidence the jury had at its disposal, their decision is thus still correct. We also have to realize that 18 years later, many more places may in fact keep coffee above 80 C, but that doesn't mean that was the case in 1992.


Here's where we fail the "reasonable standard" test because other restaurants serve their coffee in the same temperature range. If McDonalds coffee was served at a standard significantly above the reasonable standard than the argument would be valid. Unfortunately the evidence doesn't support that.

While I've already covered one aspect of this (whether or not the coffee was really served at a 'standard' temperature), there is still one other reason why this logic doesn't stand for tort claims.

In the torts arena, simply doing what everyone else is doing isn't a complete defense. For example, at one time no railroads put up fences or signs warning people of danger. What actions are deemed reasonable is always kept in line with what can and should be done relative to cost and physical limitations. 200 years ago no one would have expected coffee to be kept within certain temperature boundaries since it was very difficult to do.

In 1992 there really wasn't much stopping McDonalds from monitoring their coffee better or keeping it a little cooler. Their choice to keep the coffee that hot was a business decision akin to the Ford Pinto. Doing the right thing simply costs more, and so the company didn't do it. That was the evidence the jury heard, and that is why they arrived at such a decision.


I'm not a lawyer and I don't claim to understand the historical precedence or legal specifics of the "principles of comparative negligence". But, in my mind, given the other facts, this part is ridiculous. No one can argue that Ms. Liebeck is less than 100% at fault for spilling the coffee on herself. But hey, in our world today there is no such thing as an accident or personal responsibility. Hey, if I was juror on the case I would have felt bad for the poor lady as well. The circumstances were unfortunate, but that doesn't mean it was McDonald's fault.

She is fully at fault for spilling the coffee, but not for burning herself to the 3rd degree. That part was outside of her control but in McDonald's control (to an extent). That is what they were found liable for. The punitive damages awarded to Liebeck were seemingly out of spite on the jury's part because McDonald's executives and witnesses had come off as callous and calculating. Like I said before, that part of the judgement I can agree needs reform, but the rest of the case was correctly decided.


First, you seem to have missed the sarcasm

No, it's hard to miss such an obvious attempt. I didn't appreciate the implication that you were making. It should not be obvious that a beverage can require skin grafts if handled incorrectly. Coffee and cooking devices simply can't be compared.


and second, your analogy fails the precedent of "reasonable expectation". You are correct in stating that there is a reasonable expectation that food served in a restaurant is prepared free from exposure to contaminants. In other words, food is intended to be served in a capacity that does not pose any potential risk and that belief is reasonable. Ordering a hot beverage that contains a warning label carries a different expectation and therefore a different measure of reasonable belief regarding the potential risk involved. In fact this argument was made in the Bogle v. McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd case in the United Kingdom where someone was suing for the same reason as Liebeck.

There is no reasonable expectation to expect such severe burning when handling a cup of coffee. No one is saying that one should expect absolutely no injury at all, but the severity of these injuries is far outside the realm of reasonable. The coffee was near boiling. I don't care how talented you are, you can't drink a cup of near-boiling coffee, never mind the huge potential for senseless injury that can result from such a hot beverage for both employees and customers.

If it was really so reasonable to expect, people wouldn't have been litigating against McDonalds for a decade prior to Liebeck, the judge would have dismissed the case immediately, and McDonalds would have appealed the verdict. The fact that McDonalds settled the case for a sum more than the judge's ruling tells us that they were afraid of the trial judge's reduction being overturned, and for a broader appellate court ruling that would have opened them up to a far larger review of their practices.


I think this is pretty self explanatory unless you want to argue that it is "unreasonable" for someone to believe that they could be burned by something that is HOT if they do not take proper precautions.

Again, no one argues with the fact that Liebeck was stupid to try to open her coffee cup while balancing it between her legs. Even the jury acknowledged that. However, it's the extent of the damage that was above and beyond what a reasonable beverage should cause that is the issue. 3rd degree burns are simply unacceptable from a beverage, and McDonalds was well aware of the issue long before Liebeck had her grandson take her to the drive-through that day.

Then you have to think 'what is a sane american' person.

The lawsuits thrown about is pathetic - fat people suing fast food restaurants 'for making them fat' - comes to mind. There are lot of other examples.

Contrary to what most people believe, the idea of our legal system being filled with legions of frivolous lawsuits is almost entirely imaginary. Most lawyers are shrewd enough to know when they have a case, and they are most often the first line of filtration. Even when some bad ones fail to be ethical, pretrial motions take care of the balance as judges don't like to proceed with a shaky case when more meritorious ones are waiting in the docket.

mscriv
Jun 3, 2010, 09:44 AM
^^^ I appreciate the explanation CalBoy and as I stated above I am not a lawyer and thus do not fully understand tort law. If the facts regarding the coffee temperature in Wiki are indeed wrong then that could change things in regards to the reasonable expectations of the situation. That being said, I still think this case is an example of our society's denial of personal responsibility. Something unfortunate happens and we rush to blame anyone or anything but ourselves. Or we take advantage of the fact that sometimes companies would just rather settle than deal with the time and cost of legal action.

Thanks again for the friendly debate. :)

renewed
Jun 3, 2010, 01:15 PM
What I see in this forum is the common misguidance in the US that people believe that companies are "innocent" and the people suing are the "evil" ones...

If people were "evil" and out for themselves, this would apply in multitude to companies which in itself are soulless entities made up out of the same "evil" people that sue other people. On top of it they are run by individuals who give a crap about their employees, much less their customers and other stakeholders, and who only care about "shareholder value" and maximizing profits, including their own. If people cut corners (and they do) then companies do so even more, especially since the individuals at the top are insulated from any liability. Liability falls to the companies or the fall guy down the foodchain while they themselves are insured against litigation on the companies dime. If they actually end up getting fired, they walk away with golden parachutes. That's a recipe for negligent behavior if I ever saw one.

For the same reason that corporate leaders have no issue firing people and cutting wages and benefits and then increasing their own bonuses for a "job well done" do they have no issue cutting corners for the sake of profit. They are protected, so why should they care?

All this demonstrates that people in the US have been brainwashed by corporate America to simply roll over and take every kick in the face for the delusion of the "American Dream" that they some day may strike it rich as well while the truth is that if you weren't born into the right family and/or didn't go to the right university the doors of the club will always be closed to you.
Cheers,

Ahmed

Yes, Google caused this lady to walk down a road with no sidewalks and when it looked like she would make it, they sent the exact car that drives around doing street view to take her out. :rolleyes:

Your post is irrelevant to this thread and on top of that it is full of fallacies. Sounds like you have been scorned down the line somewhere and have blinders on.

Antares
Jun 3, 2010, 06:00 PM
Just watch some cities and states start making laws that bar people from "distracted walking." Just like they are doing with "distracted driving." Eventually, you will not be "allowed" to use a cell phone while walking. Not just the stupid people...but everyone...just like they've done with cars. It's only a matter of time. And we will all have those stupid few people to thank.

As a side note: I hate the term, "common sense." Mainly for the fact that there is no real way to define it. The concept is a fallacy. Yet people like to use the term as a synonym for stupidity. "Common sense" infers that all humans contain some knowledge by "instinct," without any learning. Essentially, that you are born already knowing, for example, that fire will burn you, don't put your finger in the socket because you will be shocked, etc...which we know is definitely not the case.

JackHobbs
Jun 9, 2010, 12:00 PM
The other thing to worry about in these cases is that sometimes the company or organisation doesn't even go to court. Insurers frightened of paying out huge awards and/or legal bills advise their clients to pay up. If you are poor or an opportunist or just plain immoral, I can see the appeal of making a spurious claim against a big organisation in the hope that you get a huge payout. This is especially true if some ambulance chasing solicitor is advertising on TV about sueing on your behalf and it not costing you anything. Trouble is, all of us pay either by higher costs or because we lose a little more independance as individuals in a nanny society. That's in the UK as well as the U.S.

I'm off to cook my dinner now. I will be supervised as I use the sharp knife to cut up my vegetables.

colourfastt
Jun 9, 2010, 01:17 PM
Just watch some cities and states start making laws that bar people from "distracted walking." Just like they are doing with "distracted driving." Eventually, you will not be "allowed" to use a cell phone while walking. Not just the stupid people...but everyone...just like they've done with cars. It's only a matter of time. And we will all have those stupid few people to thank.

As a side note: I hate the term, "common sense." Mainly for the fact that there is no real way to define it. The concept is a fallacy. Yet people like to use the term as a synonym for stupidity. "Common sense" infers that all humans contain some knowledge by "instinct," without any learning. Essentially, that you are born already knowing, for example, that fire will burn you, don't put your finger in the socket because you will be shocked, etc...which we know is definitely not the case.

I wouldn't mind this. I can't count the number of times I've been bumped into by some nitwit blathering on his cell and not watching where he's going.

longball11
Jun 10, 2010, 11:29 PM
LMAO this bitch should lose her driver's license.