At outset, a coffee spill case might seem trivial and outrageous, but there are various factors for which we feel McDonalds did deserve to be punished.
Temperature Conformation to industry standards: Spokesperson of national coffee association says that McDonalds conforms to industry temperature standard and any temperature above 130 degrees could cause third degree burns. Although doctors mentioned that lowering temperature to 160 degrees takes a longer time for burns to take effect, why wasn’t this implemented in the industry standards? Prior burn cases should have provoked the McDonalds personnel to experts to look deeper into the optimum temperature decision and re-written the manual.
Warning on cups: The documentary clearly lists the huge number of previous cases of burn which McDonalds had settled and it was not clear why they had not taken any but genuinity of the case could have been easily steps to reduce the temperature of the coffee. McDonalds did have a warning on their coffee cups that it was hot. Maybe based on their prior complaints from customers who suffered burns they could have given out a stronger warning. But it was vital that they had taken some steps to prevent any future occurrence of such cases.
The plaintiff & percentage of responsibility: Mrs. Liebeck,81 years old, it’s a very well-known fact that skin shrinks and loses its vital elements with age and is more susceptible to injuries and also takes much longer to cure with age & also considering the negligence of Mrs. Liebeck: Having a hot coffee cup in between her legs is obviously crazy and coffee was spilt not because of carelessness of the employee at McDonald , so that does not feel justified in anyway. But the jury did consider various factors before assigning a 20% responsibility to Mrs. Liebeck & reduced the punitive damages proportionately and also assigned a 80% responsibility to McDonalds due to 700 prior complaints of burns and...
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