Once again, McDonald's NEVER paid anyone millions for serving coffee that was too hot


Brew temperature != serving temperature. Everywhere brews their coffee at near boiling temperature. Only McDonalds stored and served it at that temperature. And nobody drinks it at that temperature because it would instantly scald your mouth.

And in fact most coffee snobs will tell you that keeping coffee at high temperature for any longer than necessary is bad because it causes stale and burnt flavors. So they were actually making their coffee worse. And what do you know, after they were forced to turn down their temperature, they have started promoting how their coffee is not terrible any more.

So in reality, this lawsuit probably made McDonalds millions of dollars in sales by forcing them to stop serving stale burnt coffee, which made more people want to drink it.


I’m anticipating a day when the drive up menu has small print locking you in to a binding arbitration agreement if you consent to buy their product.


Welcome! But if you’re not going to stick around long enough to review the facts of the discussion you might as well take your bat and ball and go Nome.



With all the coffee I have spilled on myself at home, I have never melted my genitals.


I know they’ve left their comment and ran off, but, hey, for the record:

No, most coffee makers will not hold the coffee at 190°, most will hold it at a more drinkable 165°-ish. I’ve never even burnt as much as my tongue drinking coffee freshly brewed from a household brewer. The drip action does a lot to cool it, and the hot plate on home brewers is nowhere near 190° (for the most part).

Yeah, they were. This was established in the court case. McDonalds even admitted to that much. They stated as much because they were having people complain that their coffee was too cold when they got it home, therefore they cranked up the hold temp.

I like how you constructed your own red herring there. Yeah, there is no law, there is no industry standard, but there is definitely a hold temperature for every foodstuff. McDonalds went and admitted they were holding the coffee hotter than most people would presume.

Tort reform is what corporations are using as their dogwhistle. It’s just like states rights and racism. Just another word for rich ass people trying to make the world shittier for people at the bottom.


Heh heh heh heh snort heh heh heh heh cough wheeze heh heh heh.*

*Note: Swiped from Phi-Are-Go! for the second time.


To me, one of the main issues is her choice of lodging place for her full coffee cup.

I may be raised to different standards, but placing a paper cup full of potentially very hot liquid in my crotch in a car and then proceeding to mess with it possibly while being driven around is 100% non-optimal and indeed, a great recipe for getting said possibly very hot liquid dumped all over my genitals if we hit a bump or make a turn or a sudden stop or however she dumped it…

This undermines much of the entire problem. If you do thing sin a safe manner, you are a hell of a lot less likely to wind up in hospital.

Now if the cup disintegrated or exploded, I’d be 100% on her side. But putting a cup of hot coffee in your crotch? Really? Hell, if she had sneezed she might have crushed the damn thing and ended up the same way.


They should just add a click-though agreement to the payment terminal…


So how about if it spilled all over her hand? Or maybe her face? It doesn’t matter where it was held, the coffee was too damn hot.


I always dread when the McDonalds case comes up on internet discussions since there’s always at least one McDonalds knee-jerk defender regurgitating tort reform propaganda and working to support further erosion of the 7th Amendment.

True. It just means that the greater the harm corporations cause, the less they can be held liable.


The proximate cause is immaterial, because the damage was made possible by the original act of serving her overheated coffee.

If you hand me a stapler and I proceed to staple myself in the chest, that might be a dumb thing to do, but if you dipped the staples in poison beforehand the responsibility for my poisoning falls on you.


Thank you for taking the time to compose a well-reasoned, point-by-point rebuttal of @Nome 's post.



The car was parked while she was working with the coffee with the lid open. It’s risky, but reasonable, to try and add the cream and sugar to your coffee this way while the car is parked.


Sounds like Micky-D’s was irresponsible for not giving her a proper cup holder.


More info for @jimp




I don’t think I’ve ever seen those 6 words form that sentence before.


“Hold the newsreader’s nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.”


Others have provided links with details but here’s the relevant data to counter your point:

Liebeck was in the passenger’s seat of a 1989 Ford Probe owned by her grandson Chris, which did not have cup holders, and Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. Liebeck 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, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin.

And here’s a very important point:

A twelve-person jury reached its verdict on August 18, 1994. 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.