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I've heard both, and I remember in my elementary library, we had a little black sambo book. I really liked it, but didn't realise it was racist.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KC Kid

Joe says:

I also think the sisters were reasonable to sue. I would have in their position

Actually suing over this is questionable at best. What has the world come to. Probably the same ***** that is suing McDonalds for being too large or spilled coffee in the drive up. What a crooked society we live in. You know better than that Joe!!
I don't have an opinion on this suit, but I do on the McD's coffee suit:

http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...spilled+coffee
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael

Or how about suing the company that made her dress because the fabric didn't provide sufficient protection?
Well, actually, children's pajamas are supposed to be flame retardant. There is actually a law now bc people sued. Do you think the law is stupid? Would you call the parents who have sued over the years stupid, too? Cloth is flammable, fire burns, duh! Paint has lead in it, don't eat it, duh!

I think it is also important to remember that the jury is not just given the generic question, "who's right, who's wrong" but specific matters of law, certain standard that are already law, to decide. If we knew more about consumer protection law, it may be harder to say the lawsuit was stupid.

Here are some famous consumer liability suits and expalnations of factors in these cases:

http://www.leesfield.com/speeches/ihl_speech18.htm
 

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The original lawsuit as reported seems a little silly, but as usual, we don't know many facts. That is why, if one doesn't like to see people getting lots of money they don't deserve, register to vote, and hopefully get called for jury duty.

Lawsuits have to make past initial hearings and what not before they ever go to trial.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael

And what do you do if something is hot enough to burn you? Don't put it on your skin, in your mouth, etc. I still don't see how this woman spilling coffee on herself by prying off the lid between her knees is in any way McDonald's fault.
Juries often take this into consideration, that it may be a certain percentage of the plaintiffs fault. For example, the point in question may have been- how much worse were her injuries than they would have been bc McD'S knowingly served their coffee at a much higher temperature than other restaurants, at a temperature they knew was causing unusally bad burns to many people, and to people who they knew intended to drink the coffee in their cars, according to their own market research.

Is it McD's fault that her burns were much worse than one would anticipate from normal coffee? I don't see how you could not say yes to that.

I myself have had their coffee quite often over the years, and had trouble even holding the cup! I would ask for ice and had to put in about 5 ice cubes before I could even contemplate testing its temperature. It is not unreasonable to expect that a certain percentage of people who are going to purchace coffee are going to accidentally spill it, and design the product accordingly. Just It has happened to all of us. Thank goodness it is usually not at 190 degrees (only 22 degrees below boiling)

Cars hopefully don't have designs that will make them more dangerous in the event of a crash. Is it Fords fault you are a bad driver and crashed? No, is it their fault that you experienced worse injuries as a result of a design that they knew would cause more injuries than the normal car? yes.

A normal person should expect coffee to be hot, but do most people expect it to be as hot as McD's? Fact presented in the trial said no. Just as we all understand that you can die in a car crash, but do we expect that our car will be designed to in the event of a crash (take your pick) explode on impact? force the engine into our vital organs, let the seatbelts give way? No.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael

Ford could make the safest car possible but if I wreck it while trying to open the sunroof I don't see how that's their fault.

I guess you can explain it as much as you want, I know what you're trying to say, I'm just not going to agree with it.
I don't think you do really understand. Of course it wouldn't be Fords fault if you crashed in a normal car, just as it wouldn't be McD's fault if someone spilled normal coffee on themself. It is not the spilling at issue, it is the product and how it contributes to make the spilling (the plaintiffs fault) worse.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert

That's where IT is wrong. The spilling SHOULD be the issue. Her actions and negligence caused her to be burned by hot liquid.
YES YES, the spill was her fault, but spilling coffee is a very common, forseeable event. It happens all of the time, something that McD's knew. No doubt the plaintiff is partly responsible, but the question is, does McD's have any responsibility?

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The only thing McD's is responsible for is that their coffe was a bit hotter than another place's causing the burn to be a bit more severe than if she spilled it from somewhere else.
I am glad we agree.

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But, the coffee temperature did not cause her to spill it on herself.
Well, of course not. But it did cause increased burns, burns of a level she would never have anticipated, you admit that yourself.

She was trying to get compensation for her burns (from excesive heat + the spill= her+McD's fault), not stains out of her clothes (from the spill= her fault alone). Not to mention her original suit was only for medical bills, she sought no punitive damages, the jury gave that to her on their own.

I don't think anyone here believes that it is impossible for an event to be caused by more than one factor.
 

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That BBQ thing is actually like an extreme example of pool owners being responsible for keeping children out of their pool.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MsRuthieB

Damn, you're good


ETA: Bank, what do you think of this?

http://www.musiccdsettlement.com/english/default.htm

Someone at work joined the suit. Says anyone can be included...settlements range from $5 to $20.
I remember when I was a kid, they busted somebody for price fixing milk, and since so many people buy milk, they gave everyone coupons or something to be used at all the grocery stores who were in on it. But I was very little, maybe I don't remember so well.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert

First of all, I would never be so stupid as to hold a hot cup of coffee between my knees and try to open the lid in a vehicle, one that was probably moving at the time. If the car had hit and bump and spilled, would you also sue the road crews?

Have you read the links in the thread I linked to? The car wasn't moving. She was sitting in the passengers seat in the parking lot.

And once again, yes, all of these things are stupid to do, the issue at hand is whether McD's has some portion of responsibility for having coffee that is much hotter than what a normal person would expect. That is all I am arguing, and you, Robert even agreed with me on that point, ("The only thing McD's is responsible for is that their coffe was a bit hotter than another place's causing the burn to be a bit more severe than if she spilled it from somewhere else.") Since it is perfectly reasonable to assume that people will spill their coffee a good percentage of the time, these burns in excess of what one would expect from coffee were forseeable (and already documented) by McD's.

"Second of all, and most importantly, if I spilled my own coffee, then its still my fault, no one else's.

Call me foolish, but I am one of these people who can accept responsibility for anything I do out of sheer stupidity and carelessness that results in harm to myself."

Robert-

say you are driving in the snow and lose control of your car bc you are foolishly driving a little too fast and crash. Your seatbelt fails. If your seatbelt hadn't failed, you would've had moderate injuries, but would have recovered fine. But bc it failed, you end up paralyzed. Who's fault is it that you are paralyzed?

Of course it is partly your fault. But fault doesn't have to be 100% one way or the other. The seatbelt or auto manufacturer would have to be at least partly (if not mostly) responsible for the fact that you are paralyzed, no?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert

Thalia, yes I did read the article you provided the link for... however, I am willing to bet that the car in fact was not 100% stopped. She sounded quite impatient in all of this and I'll bet first placed the cup between her knees and realized she could not do it unless the car was stopped, so then asked for the car to be pulled over while she popped the lid.

I think the entire truth was not actually presented. I completely doubt the claim of the car being fully stopped before the coffee was placed between her knees.
The facts are presented. And according to your assessment of the case, non of this would matter, only that the woman spilled the coffee.

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As for the seatbelt issue... apples and oranges there. I buy a car equippeed with government mandated and tested seatbelts deliberately designed for protecting a person in a crash.
But a car wasn't made for speeding, or driving recklessly, it would obviously be 100% your fault that you are paralyzed just like bc the woman played a role in her burns, she was 100% responsible for them as your argument goes. Cars were not designed for crashes. They were originally and are still primarily built with the intention that they will be used properly and not crash. But over the years, as people saw that the possibility of people using cars improperly and crashing was a common and forseeable possibility, they began to design cars more safely (and I have no doubt that some lawsuits may have pushed this process along). This is analogous to spillage of coffee being a forseeable consequence of coffee. The fact that there are now (but not in the beginning) safety features on cars is analogous to McD's now serving coffee at a lower temperature, and with warnings on the cup.

The fact that there is no "government mandate" that coffee be a certain temp does not make this apples and oranges. There is general written and case law that provides for general consumer protection in the matter of product safety, under which this was covered, or else a judge wouldn't have let this go to trial to begin with.

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The coffee was purchased to drink, not to spill on one's self.
The car was purchased to drive safely, not foolishly.

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Thalia, hehehe, you must have been head of your school's debate team were you?
We're just not gonna agree on this, no matter which way we slice it or which examples we can use back and forth, I will always believe that she caused her own injuries due to her own negligence and will further believe that all such lawsuits should be turfed. Am quite happy that here in Canada, our courts refuse to award such large settlements for such frivolous cases.
No, I don't think we will agree on this.


Yes she did cause her own injuries, but they were worse bc of McD's something isn't 100% one persons fault. As far as the monetary settlements-

Quote:
Liebeck, ...sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused...

The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck [/i]20 percent at fault in the spill.[/i] The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds' coffee sales....

The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 -- or three times compensatory damages -- even though the judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful.

No one will ever know the final ending to this case.

The parties eventually entered into a secret settlement which has never been revealed to the public, despite the fact that this was a public case, litigated in public and subjected to extensive media reporting. Such secret settlements, after public trials, should not be condoned.
Judges have the power to reduce large awards, and McD's negotiated the final offer, not to mention, the woman didn't even ask for any punitive award to begin with. I'm not sure this case is an example of greedy person seeking frivolous lawsuit.

But I do agree that the plaintiff should not get all of the punitive award. I think that after a certain amount, it should go to some organization that is related- burn hospital in this case. But punitive damages are a way to punish and dissuade a business from acting with negligence, those should not be done away with.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tova

A lot of people are clusmy and spill a little coffee once and awhile but they shouldn't have to suffer severe burns because of it.
You just nicely summarized what I have been so verbose about, Tova.


We agree to disagree.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael

Here we go again.
McDonalds has a long history of hard bagels. Compared with competators' bagels, they were several units higher on the geological hardness scale- only a few points below shale. Even their experts warned them on several occasions that they could chip teeth, leading to sexual dysfunction and eventual marital strife.

But McD's ignored warning after warning.

They said, if you just eat the bagel properly, with a knife and fork, it will not hurt anyone. But even their OWN marketing research shows that people did not plan to eat the bagels with a knife and fork, but with their hands.

Sure, it is foolish to bite into a whole bagel, but you don't deserve to lose your 50 year marraige over it!!!!!

JK
 
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