Anna Gregoline | March 22, 2004
A proposal to make any movie with cigarette smoking in it rated higher. I think this is the stupidest thing I've heard in awhile.

Melissa Erin | March 22, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 22, 2004
What was wrong with it, Melissa? I didn't read much about Seabiscuit.

Melissa Erin | March 22, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 22, 2004
Oh, sorry. Thought it might have been offensive in some way.

Scott Hardie | March 22, 2004
The recommendation is pointless, I say.

Kris Weberg | March 25, 2004
Bah. Liek it or not, smoking has a very well-establised place in the visual language of the cinema, giving actors a bit of business to do without looking too unnatural and of course providing various effects on mood and lighting that are all but standardized now.

John E Gunter | March 25, 2004
True, but considering all coffee cups sold to the public, from fast food joints and convenience stores must have a warning about the contents being hot, I'm not surprised. It's all part of the society owes me something/I'm not responsible for my actions trend we have been on for much to long.

I say we as in most of the general public. Because most of the general public is stupid. Course, just being on a discussion board, we aren't most of the general public so that's why we find these things as being silly or wrong.

Scott Hardie | March 25, 2004
So in the years to come, will people dying of lung cancer sue movie studios for making cigarettes look so attractive and healthy? Will it force the surgeon general to issue warnings on every film in which characters smoke 'em if they've got 'em?

John E Gunter | March 25, 2004
I'm thinking, um yes!

The McDonalds suit reminds me of one I heard about against one of the car manufacturers. Don't remember which one, but apparently, this guy had one of their high performance cars. Deciding that he was just as good as the "Trained driver on a closed coarse." he sped down a city street.

Loosing control of said car, while breaking the law, he smashed his lovely new car. Needless to say, the car was destroyed and he was severely injured. So guess what he did?

That's right he sued the car manufacturer because they built their car to be so fast it was impossible to control, or some such non-sense as that.

The company settled out of court rather than deal with the bad publicity. Now, this might be an urban legend, I'm not completely sure, and I haven't tried to find a record of it online. But after the McDonalds incident, it would not surprise me to be factual.

Kris Weberg | March 25, 2004
Again, about the McDonald's incident -- the woman involved suffered third-degree burns on her genitals and required three operations including skin grafts. If she'd sipped the coffee, it would've burned her lips and mouth that badly. Would we be mocking the lawsuit then? "Woman suffers third-degree burns in mouth from drinking McDonald's coffee" isn't ridiculous, it's a safety issue.

John E Gunter | March 25, 2004
My big issue with the McDonald's incident is not where she was burned, it's because she didn't use common sense to be careful with a hot cup of coffee. Yes, the coffee was extremely hot, but I NEVER and I repeat NEVER take chances with something that I know can injure me.

Plus, if I came across as mocking the lawsuit, that's not what I mean by it. I'm sorry the woman was injured, but why would you put something that was hot in your lap in the first place? Also, why are you doing anything other than driving your car?

Our society has gotten to the point where we are NOT taking responsibility for our actions. I'm not sure where it all started and for one am not saying I can solve it. But, if you do something that you are not supposed to do, expect that some day, you will suffer for it. Call it Karma or whatever you wish, eventually you will not get away with what you are doing and will get caught.

Whether that is speeding, or running with scissors etc. I understand that if you are injured because of some kind of product defect, you should be compensated for that. But, if I am trying to use a circular saw to cut down tree limbs, I should expect that I stand the chance of cutting myself.

A circular saw has the foot on it because you are supposed to place it against the wood to cut that wood. You aren't supposed to take the saw and cut a tree limb with it. Now, on the other hand, if for some reason, you are cutting a piece of plywood, the way the saw is designed to work, and the blade breaks and cuts you, because they didn't use the right mixture of steel in the blade, then by all means, sue the manufacturer.

The same goes for driving a car. If you are driving your car and talking on the cell phone and messing with the radio and trying to eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner whatever, if you get into an accident, it's your fault. But, if you are driving along and the brake cable snaps and you can't stop your car, because they used low-grade steel in the cable or didn't use enough bolts to attach the cable, then by all means, sue the manufacturer.

Sorry to ramble on, but if you do something that is stupid, and you get an injury for it, if you should have known better, it's your fault. But by the time I was 10, I knew that hot things burned and would hurt me, possibly even causing injury.

Melissa Erin | March 25, 2004
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Melissa Erin | March 25, 2004
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Erik Bates | March 26, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2004
I still think the McDonald's woman deserved her settlement.

What's really weird when you think about it is that it was a drive-through. I mean, people are encouraged to eat in their cars in this country. Weird.

John E Gunter | March 29, 2004
I could agree with covering her medical costs, especially if she couldn't afford them, but no pain and suffering costs.

Like you said, we have encouraged people to eat in their cars, same as using cell phones in their cars. Yes, I'll agree that I do both in my car as well, but if I wreck my car because I'm to busy trying to eat or talk on my phone, that's my fault. Therefore, I need to be responsible for myself.

I've had hot coffee in my car, but that coffee is either in my hand or in my car's cup holder. No way am I going to put a flimsy Styrofoam cup full of hot coffee between my legs. That hot coffee makes that already flimsy cup even more flexible.

Nope, sorry, Mr. & Mrs. Gunter raised their boy to be a little smarter when dealing with hot substances than that!

Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2004
What if the woman had been walking out of the restaurant, and she stumbled and fell, spilling the overly hot coffee on herself? I see little difference if the coffee was hot enough to cause burns more severe than the ordinary cup of hot coffee.

Scott Hardie | March 29, 2004
Well, are we discussing this in a legal sense or an ethical sense? It's clear where the fault lies legally, but in an ethical sense, are they not both to blame for the situation?

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Yes, definitely. But it should definitely have gone to court - if the coffee was a normal temperature, than I think she would have had no case.

Melissa Erin | March 30, 2004
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John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
"if the coffee was a normal temperature"

What's considered normal temperature?

Scott Hardie | March 30, 2004
One that does not give you third degree burns on contact. As someone said already, if it burned her legs badly enough that she needed three skin grafts to recover, what would it have done to her mouth and throat?

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
Remember though, she was sitting when the coffee was spilled in her lap, which would have allowed contact on her skin with the same hot coffee, to go on until she could stop her car, and get the fabric away from her skin.

I've had extremely, to the point of boiling black bean soup on my arm and managed to get it off without a 3rd degree burn. Why? Because it wasn't touching my arm for more than a few minutes.

The point I keep trying to make is not that she should be covered for medical damages, it's that she was wrong with where she put the coffee and that's why she was so badly injured. If as in the above example, she had fallen and spilled the coffee on her, it would more than likely not burned her as badly.

Also, I've had McDonalds coffee in my mouth before an not gotten 3rd degree burns. Sure, I've burned my mouth some, but I'm making sure to blow on the coffee and only sip a little in my mouth so that I'm not putting a hot liquid where I could injure myself.

Just remembered one other incident which you were witness to Scott. The coffee incident at Egg Platter. Yes, I've had hot coffee spilled in my lap, but if you will remember, I quickly jumped up and pulled my pants away from my legs. Granted, I'm sure the coffee at Egg Platter wasn't as hot as McDonalds coffee, but it was still hot enough that I could have at least gotten 1st degree burns, but because I pulled my pants away, my legs didn't get burned.

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Just because you had McDonald's coffee before and weren't burned, doesn't mean you had the same temperature coffee she did. HERS WAS TOO HOT. That was the crux of the lawsuit, and she rightfully won. As I said above, if the temperature was a normal serving temp, I think she wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.

Yes, we agree - she shouldn't have put the coffee there. But she wouldn't have been as badly burned if the coffee hadn't been so hot. She was also 79 years old, which probably won her sympathy with the jury.

***

Once again:
http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm


McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants
advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

(at worst, 50 degrees hotter than home hot coffee. That's a LOT.)


Further, McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee.

Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin
burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn.

McDonalds asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there. However, the companys own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving.

***

Now, the amount of money she received might have been too much, but the company was definitely endangering the public here, and I'm glad that she won this case.

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
"Just because you had McDonald's coffee before and weren't burned, doesn't mean you had the same temperature coffee she did."

But according to your quote of the article, 'cur78.htm', I had better have gotten the same temperature coffee or someone at McDonalds was in trouble.

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Indeed. I don't know what your point is. And perhaps, thanks to this lawsuit and others, you won't have that possibilty of being severely burned. Weren't you lucky?

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
No, because I handle things that can injure me with care because I know what can happen when I don't.

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Yes, but regardless. If you had had the same coffee she did, and it had spilled on you, you would have had much more severe burns than a normal cup of coffee. This is not your fault. This is McDonald's fault. This is why the woman won the case. Completely justified. End of story.

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
No because if the coffee had spilled on me, it would not have spilled on my lap, because I don't put hot cups of coffee in my lap. So the spill might have been on my arm, where there would not have been clothing to absorb the hot coffee.

On the off chance that a similar experience happened as at the Egg Platter, I would have been able to get up out of the chair and pull the hot clothing away from my legs so that it would not have stayed in contact with my skin.

Remember, the article stated that it would take 2 to 7 seconds to cause burns like that, and I had the hot clothes off my skin within roughly 1 second. Next argument?

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Sigh, not the point. We're arguing different tacks here. You refuse to acknowledge that the coffee was too hot. It was possibly 190 degrees, which would have caused a burn faster than two seconds. No one can react faster than that to escape injury. I will continue to say that your point is not my point. Nevermind. If you don't want to argue with facts instead of "this is what I would do to escape injury," than I'm not interested in the agrument. Forget it.

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
I'm not arguing that the coffee was to hot, you proved that with your quote of the above article, but what you also fail to notice that in said article, the expert witness says that it takes 2 to 7 seconds for that temperature to cause significant burns.

"Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds"

What I'm arguing is that seated in a car, you can't possbilly expect to be able to react within 7 seconds to try and get the hot liquid away from your skin. That's why I won't put a cup of coffee between my legs. That's my arguement.

What happens if you have to quickly step on the breaks because someone pulls infront of you? What happens to that cup and where does that coffee go?

I can say with experience that I'm sure I would crush the cup, causing the coffee to spill in my lap.

I have stated that she was injured and McDonalds should have covered the medical costs, but the pain and suffering were her fault due to where she put that cup.

Do you see that argument?

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
How could I have failed to notice it when I repeated it in my last post? You are obviously not reading very carefully. I'll restate: It was possibly 190 degrees, which would have caused a burn faster than two seconds. No one can react faster than that to escape injury.

No, I don't really see the argument because we're arguing the same thing. I already said a long time ago that perhaps her pain and suffering money was misguided, but all that was important was that McDonald's was found at fault in the case. You kept arguing that the woman was purely at fault for her injuries, when in fact, she wasn't, and the lawsuit proved that. That's all I wanted you to recognize.

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
" It was possibly 190 degrees, which would have caused a burn faster than two seconds."

I must not be reading the same post as you because I don't see anywhere that it states faster then 2 seconds.

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Well, logically, it would, because it states: Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds.

Therefore, at 190 degrees (of course we have no way of knowing what the coffee's temperature was at time of injury, and I find this a insignificant point to debate) it would cause a burn faster than at 180 degrees.

"Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

My note: (at worst, 50 degrees hotter than home hot coffee. That's a LOT.)


Further, McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees."

Like I already said, I think this is a moot point, but I wanted to clarify.

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
I just want to clairfy my own point, I've never stated that she was purely at fault, I stated that she shouldn't have put the cup in her lap.

Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Right, which I agree with. So why are we arguing?

John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
LOL :-P

;-)

Melissa Erin | March 30, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 30, 2004
Hey, I didn't do well on those reading comprehension tests in school for nothing!

Scott Hardie | March 31, 2004
Whenever two of us authors begin to get into another prolonged argument in which we essentially agree, let the words "hot coffee" warn us to stop and re-assess what we're saying.

Btw, y'all crazy.

Melissa Erin | March 31, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 31, 2004
Melissa, thanks for making my morning. HOT COFFEE EGGROLL!


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