Toddler burned by overheated fast food wins $800k award from jury

Originally published at: Toddler burned by overheated fast food wins $800k award from jury | Boing Boing


I guess it would push it to the Opinion section of the newspaper, but I do wish there were more critical thinking and contextualizing included in reporting of these sorts of articles. I mean, does anyone really think that a jury, having heard only the portion of the evidence that a giant corporation’s legal team couldn’t otherwise neuter, would make a decision like this if the damage wasn’t egregiously bad and indefensible?


Except for their coffee, I don’t recall getting anything from McDonalds that was hot enough to burn.


Don’t forget the best thing about the original scalding case - that the McDonald’s in question intentionally kept their coffee extremely hot so it would take longer to drink, to discourage people asking for refills.


Surely the apple pies - these could provide researchers with useful insights into the conditions needed for nuclear fusion.


I thought it was because hot stale coffee tastes less stale so they could keep a batch (I won’t dignify it with “pot”) of coffee longer during the non-breakfast rush this lowering costs and average wait time.

The super hot chicken nuggets thing sounds more like incompetence then poor policy choices, although I wasn’t on the jury and didn’t hear the case.

I also kind of wonder if McD the brand is actually at fault as opposed to the franchise owner, but I would prefer the toddler made whole over extracting the money from the exact right target (and maybe it makes sense to find the brand holder liable for the acts of the franchisees? It may not be the contract they have with the franchisees, but it is the sort of fiction the marketing department sells the general public, that McD is one big entity and you can trust it)


The McDonald’s coffee incident also created a whole generation of talking points for Republicans pushing “tort reform” as some grand crisis that must be solved. They got every coal miner and line worker who votes red to go on and on about how “frivolous lawsuits against corporations” were everything that was wrong with humanity. They even got a lot of left leaning people saying variations of it.

That has to be one of the most effective and long lasting misinformation campaigns in recent history. To this day most people have the facts wrong on that story and Republicans still cite it. Now that the popular narrative on it has been well debunked, fewer people quote that story directly, but now speak in more general terms about how “people sue because their coffee was too hot” or whatever.


Really? Do you have a cite for that? I’ve not read a whole lot about the case, but what I have read hasn’t mentioned the “refils” angle. That’s pretty interesting.


They never learn, do they? The hot coffee case only went as far as it did because they refused to settle. There’s no way this would have cost them $800k + legal fees if they had just settled.

When someone gets burned because they are served unreasonably hot food, you settle with them and find out why the food is being served too hot. This isn’t a company-wide problem like the coffee was, I can’t remember the last time I got a McNugget at anything above lukewarm.


Two or three links along the chain from this blog post, I found this - which offers a bit more context:

The complaint said Holmes bought and paid for the Happy Meal from the drive-thru and then drove away. The nugget fell and became lodged between her 4-year-old daughter’s leg and car seat, the law firm representing the plaintiffs said.

“The Chicken McNuggets inside of that Happy Meal were unreasonably and dangerously hot (in terms of temperature),” and caused her “skin and flesh around her thighs to burn,” the complaint alleged, leaving her “disfigured and scarred.”

The complaint said the franchise should have known the nuggets were “unfit for human handling,” had a duty not to sell them, and it should have adequately trained and supervised its employees.


Meme Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon


The Republicans smeared John Edwards over the “frivolous” personal injury lawsuits that he had won. IIRC they used the term “jacuzzi cases” to suggest that the plaintiffs were greedy rich fucks.

In 1993, Edwards began his own firm in Raleigh (now named Kirby & Holt) with a friend, David Kirby. He became known as the top plaintiffs’ attorney in North Carolina.[8] The biggest case of his legal career was a 1996 product liability lawsuit against Sta-Rite, the manufacturer of a defective pool drain cover. The case involved Valerie Lakey, a girl who at five years old[11] sustained pool suction-drain injury.[12] She was disemboweled by the suction power of the pool drain pump when she sat on an open pool drain whose protective cover had been removed by other children at the pool, after the swim club had failed to install the cover properly. Despite 12 prior suits with similar claims, Sta-Rite continued to make and sell drain covers lacking warnings. Sta-Rite protested that an additional warning would have made no difference because the pool owners already knew the importance of keeping the cover secured.

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