Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee to get you going in the morning.
If you’ve ever picked up a cup of coffee to-go from any establishment, you have probably noticed the words “Caution: Beverage is Hot” somewhere on the container. This warning may seem self-explanatory but is necessary to establish liability. This message is in result to a court case called Liebeck v. McDonald’s. At some point, you’ve probably heard about this case. But not many people know all of the details.
Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman, had been driven to McDonald’s by her grandson where they purchased a hot coffee at the store’s drive-thru.
Her grandson pulled over so that she could add cream to her coffee. She put the coffee between her knees and spilled it all over her thighs and crotch area. Because of how hot McDonalds was serving their coffee (an excess of 190 degrees which borders on the boiling point) she suffered severe third-degree burns, went into shock and needed skin grafts. Her surgeon said it was one of the worst cases that he has ever seen. He asked McDonald’s to help pay her $20,000 out of pocket expenses, but they only offered her $800. McDonald’s quality assurance manager stated that they required their coffee to be kept that hot and knew that any food served over 140 degrees would cause severe burns. The case went to court and the jury awarded her 2.7 million dollars which is equivalent to two days of coffee sales at McDonald’s.
Because of this product liability case a safer product was produced. Coffee cups come with a warning, and most often a sleeve. Cup lids were designed to help consumers sip their coffee. And cars started to be produced with cup holders as a standard option.
If you have suffered an injury from a product, please contact us. We may be able to get you the help you need to pay medical bills or any other expenses that you have incurred.