Here’s a fascinating documentary that I stumbled across:
It discusses the rise and fall of McDonaldland, and all its characters. The Krofft lawsuit is discussed, but it also notes the importance of movie tie-ins (which McDonald’s didn’t see the need to do until it was almost too late), and how the appeal of those was driving kids and parents to McDonald’s competitors. McDonald’s did get back in the game, by doing tie-ins with Disney films, but by that time, the fantasy world of McDonaldland had run its course.
Well, they allegedly had one in the Canadian military base in Afghanistan. And I did see the one in the mall at the base of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. (I refrained from indulging)
Interestingly, I don’t recall them having a mascot, they rely on all sorts of other connections with the public, like tie-ins with hockey players (eh?) driving a Zamboni through the drive-through.
Because it was? This is an argument on which neither side will budge… but (my side of the same issue) squeezing a soft cup of a beverage freshly made from boiling water between your legs while prying off the lid - probably not the coffee maker’s fault if something goes wrong. McD’s and Starbucks and makers of good coffee continue to make coffee at that temperature to this day. Perhaps this was the peak of the trend of juries thinking that big business has the deep pockets to pay for the stupidity of the general public regardless of blame…
I wonder how many people recall that the Energizer Bunny was a response to the 1979 Duracell battery commercial featuring mechanical rabbits banging on drums (snare-type drums, not the big bass drum). The Duracell pitch was that their rabbit would keep on drumming after “brand X” had stopped.
Energizer responded with a shades-wearing bunny banging a big bass drum and claiming that they lasted longer. And were cooler, too.
No, that’s a misrepresentation of the case. McD had multiple cases of their coffee being served at an unsafe temp. Spilling coffee on your lap should not result in third degree burns and skin grafts.
Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants , also known as the McDonald’s coffee case and the hot coffee lawsuit , was a 1994 product liabilitylawsuit that became a flashpoint in the debate in the United States over tort reform. Although a New Mexico civil jury awarded $2.86 million to plaintiff Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman who suffered third-degree burns in her pelvic region when she accidentally spilled hot coffee in her lap after purchasing it from a McDonald’s restaurant, ultimately Liebeck was only awarded $640,000. Liebeck was hospitalized for eight days while she underwent skin grafting, followed by two years of medical treatment.
Other documents obtained from McDonald’s showed that from 1982 to 1992 the company had received more than 700 reports of people burned by McDonald’s coffee to varying degrees of severity, and had settled claims arising from scalding injuries for more than $500,000. McDonald’s quality control manager, Christopher Appleton, testified that this number of injuries was insufficient to cause the company to evaluate its practices. He argued that all foods hotter than 130 °F (54 °C) constituted a burn hazard, and that restaurants had more pressing dangers to worry about. The plaintiffs argued that Appleton conceded that McDonald’s coffee would burn the mouth and throat if consumed when served.
As I said, there’s two sides and neither is going to convince the other.
700 reports in 10 years? How many cups of coffee did McD’s sell in 10 years? (Or rather, how many tens of millions?) That makes it far, far safer than crossing the street or having a backyard pool. And it’s an incredibly obvious danger which requires a very minimum of intelligence and caution to avoid. .
The solution is to not use very hot water, which coffee experts will tell you (and told the jury) does not make good coffee, which is the whole point when selling coffee.
Read the link. No other restaurants around used as hot water. 20+ degrees cooler in most cases. I get that you don’t agree that the details of the case merit liability on McD side, but the details of the case aren’t in dispute. They knew is was dangerously hot, other restaurants didn’t use as hot water, and the patient suffered extraordinary complications that were foreseeable, based on past incidents.
Coffee should not burn you when consumed as served. Burning is different than being hot, or even hurting.
In my opinion they showed a disregard for customer safety and when the really bad thing happened, holding them liable was appropriate.
McDonald’s here used touchboards inside, to order, and you paid after chosing your ‘artisan’ burger, elaborate coffee drink, or whatever. And an employee delivered your food to your table. So very high-falutin’ of them (with homeless people hanging around, inside and out) - (and they certainly aren’t cheap any more). No matter what they try, though, McDonald’s will always conjure up a creepy clown with red vinyl hair, shilling happy meals to kids.