Tuesday, January 09, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

Not quite the usual skeptical blogging subject, but the 2% Company has a post that pretty much nails a defender of an archetypal frivolous lawsuit dead on.

In addition, the article mentions that McDonald's didn't warn consumers that the coffee could cause burns. To us, this is the most maddening statement in the entire summary, and it's the usual rationale behind lawsuits that we see as frivolous. It's coffee. Coffee is served hot. Really hot. Of course spilling really hot things on yourself can cause injuries. The implication that this woman somehow wasn't aware of these obvious facts is ridiculous, and it's the primary reason that we will continue to refer to this as a frivolous lawsuit.


Anonymous said...

I wish they had included the refutation against the stupid claim that coffee isn't served at that temp in the dialogue with what's-her-name. This was a pet peeve of mine, during the lawsuit, and afterwards. Out of curiosity, I tested the temperature of my home coffee pot, both while brewing and while sitting on the burner. As Bunn says, mine was nearly 200 while brewing, and in the low to mid 180s while sitting. The whole thing just seemed ludicrous.


Ryan Michael said...

That article summed it up for me, except for sending punitive damages to the state.

TabAtkins said...

Huh. What do you know. 2% has thoroughly changed my mind. They even (preemptively!) answered my one complaint, which was asked by another commenter.

I, too, was under the impression that 180-200 degrees was excessively hot. They showed that it was not, which pretty much knocks the teeth out of the legal argument. If they're doing the exact same thing that everyone else is doing, even home coffee makers, then why are they at fault?

The only niggling problem I still had with it was that there may be some things that everyone is doing, but still could be safer. Was this such a case, where peer pressure is wrong? A commenter summed it up wonderfully with the analogy to windshield glass. However, windshields are not made worse when made with safety glass, only safer. Coffee, on the other hand, *is* made worse at lower temperatures, both in flavor and usefulness when on the go.

So, meh. 2% seems to be right.

Ryan Michael said...

Yeah and I finally looked up what "punitive damages" means.

No, they should not go to the plaintiff...