There are people in this world who lack common sense. Many of them don't read instructions before operating machinery or doing things deemed dangerous/careless by other members of society.
I recall a story about a woman who bought a motor-home, gets on the highway, turns on cruise control. She gets up from the driver's seat to go back and make a cup of coffee and the vehicle runs off the road crashing and injuring the woman.
Obviously, she assumed cruise control was auto-pilot. Lady, it's a motor-home and not a Boeing 747.
I'm sure vehicle manufacturers have added warnings on the control and increased the owner's handbook warning.
Sometimes, their stupidity actually pays off. Take the case of the 79 year old woman who was negligent and spilled hot McDonalds coffee on her lap while in her car causing 3rd degree burns that required skin grafting and 2 years of medical treatment. Stupidly McDonalds didn't want to pay her $20,000 medical expenses and settle. The woman's attorney sued and got her millions.
After... you guessed it, all the McDonalds coffee cups and lids now have explicit warnings.
It happened again to an 85 year old woman who placed the cup in the car's drink holder, drove to an appointment and parked. She claims the lid wasn't put on correctly and ALL of the coffee spilled on her when she started to drink it. I do hope McDonalds had better lawyers for that case.

So the next time you decide to watch that bag of microwave popcorn puff up while cooking, Take my advice and stand back. You're done when the popping is nearly stopped... Otherwise being too close the door and some spurious radiation leaks out it could be your eyeballs that will puff up.
While on the subject of microwave radiation, NEVER try to dry your pet inside a microwave oven. The results would be alarming.
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Comments (26)

Thankfully, some bright spark thought to create warning symbols (in part) for people like me.

I think in shape and colour more than I do in words and numbers.

I wonder if mistaking cruise control for autopilot is more about neurodivergence than common sense. dunno

Perhaps some criticisms are ignorant and arrogant. Just because 80% of people navigate their worlds in one way, doesn't mean everyone does.

For some, bleach may look and smell drinkable making it a bit stupid to tell them they're stupid for needing a warning on the bottle.
According to the demi-god Trump, bleach is safe to drink, it apparently kills COVID-19 germsconfused
I am unsure your point.
The first case does not explain whether the lady was sitting in her parked car or driving while attempting to drink a scalding beverage. As I see it, I would have expected her to be 50% negligent at best.
If i drop a knife while washing it and it slices off my big toe, it is not the Knife manufacturer's fault. It is mine entirely.
The second case where you claim McDonalds had better have better lawyers for that case seems ill conceived.
McDonalds did not pour the coffee on her. She did irrespective of whether she left the lid on or not. My reasoning is the common mug or cup is made sans lid. If she had poured hot coffee on herself, either in her car or her kitchen, from a normal coffee mug or cup whose responsible for that? W.
The responsibility lies with McDonald's because the coffee was hot enough to cause serious injury quickly and had no warning, or the coffee was hot enough to cause serious injury quickly and the container was not up to the task of containing the hot liquid.

Water temperature of 49C (120F) will take 10 minutes to cause a serious burn, but 60C (140F) will take 3 seconds. Coffee burns above 80/85C.

Bear in mind that outlets that serve hot food and drinks also have a duty of care to their overworked and underpaid staff. Busy establishments are dangerous places with respect to knocks, bumps and spills - 3 seconds is not enough time to get wet clothing off, or douse yourself with cold water.

Fake news!

It was disinfectant by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. laugh
I don't know how that crying emote tacked itself on the end of my comment to Wrinkly, other than it was a bump, knock, or spill.

I think it's pretty apt that we should weep for overworked, underpaid coffee makers, mind, so I shan't sue CS for damages.
The first case was in 1992 with 79 year old Stella Liebeck in the passenger seat of her grandson’s Ford Probe ordering a McDonalds Value Meal at the drive-through window in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Probe had no cup holders and the interior surfaces were sloped, so her grandson pulled into a parking spot after they got their order.

According to Liebeck, she wanted to take the top off the coffee to put cream and sugar in. So she put the cup between her knees to steady it as she tried to get the top off.

Was it the fault of McDonalds she pressed the sides of the cup with her knees allowing the coffee to spill in her lap?

I would think it was her negligence to be the reason McDonalds didn't want to pay for her medical bills. The temperature of the coffee (without warning) became the issue after that.
I read somewhere, but can't find it now, that McDonalds also changed to a stronger cup for safety reasons at some point.

Maybe hands as well as knees were scalded.
Probably, when they changed the warning, they did an entire rethink to the construction of the cups.
I think the article, or snippet I read said the cups were changed later.

They were changed from foam to double walled cups to keep in line with customers' environmental views, so maybe it's all a bit shadowy what happened when and why.

McDonalds doesn't seem to be the kind of business that makes improvements out of the goodness of it's heart. Did you have the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy standoff on your side of the pond?
Mad cow disease... news on that escapes me. laugh

I've just googgled.

I think we had more cases of Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease than you had mad cows.

Unless you count Marjory Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.

I see MTG made it to the news or doing something stupid... again.
If it's the shame-on-you-finger-wagging thing I'm watching it now.

I had to take a break at the if-you-call-any-of-us-an-insurrectionist-you-don't-deserve-your-power thing because my blood ran cold.

She's made her position clear on the seperation of power and voting rights if Trump gets re-elected, eh?
Hi Jac, is your reply based upon a legal law, say as in speed limit, or is it based upon a prior legal case, Jones verses Smith, or legal argument? It sounds to me like it is almost an ambiguous situation and not a statutory law. I need help understanding because I feel that if you buy a hot cup of coffee, say opposed to Iced Coffee you are expected to understand that it is made using very hot water. Why would McDonalds be liable but the local cafe not be? Or would the local cafe be liable?
I failed to find the UK law yesterday, but I can make flowery patterns in the top of your latte for you.

Milk steamers on industrial barista cut out when they reach temperature, as does the thermostat on the hot water dispenser. They're set to a specific limit so you don't hand over an incendiary bomb in a floppy paper cup with a drinking lid to deceive.

Some people complain their coffee is never hot enough, but barista mechanics stand firm: there's a limit.

Failure to abide by the regulations could land you in hot water, or toastier than your own teacakes.

Thankfully, I've never worked for McDonalds. I gag from the smell just walking past one.

Coffee, on othe ther hand, smells rather inviting.
Jac, i read in Chat's follow up that the lady in question placed the cup between her crutch with the top fully attached and while attempting to remove the top to add more sugar squeezed her thighs together and broke the seal spilling the coffee on her legs and inner thighs.
How is that McDonald's fault? W.
I think that since the drive through option would put McDonald's at fault...the very idea of grabbing a coffee on the go...wine
Court cases don't always follow logic.
The woman was careless stupid to prop a hot cup of coffee between her knees to add sugar/creme while sitting in a car. Her fault.

HOWEVER... due to the severity of the burns, her lawyer was able to convince the court there was no warning about the extreme heat of the coffee on the cup/lid of the drink.

That said, McDonalds is now using a reinforced cup with extra strong lid that has warnings about extreme heat. Let's say someone else decides to prop the cup between their legs hard enough to pop the lid off and spill scalding hot coffee into their lap. Is it still the fault of McDonalds?

Where does the liability end?
that's why the Darwin-Awards were instituted!laugh
seems these days other People have to pay for other people's lack of commonsense!uh oh
All this has sparked a memory of using a vending machine in the 80's and experiencing the steep learning curve that was attempting to retrieve my ghastly beverage from the primitive robot. It seemed like a good idea in a moment of dehydrated madness, but in my defence, I was young and foolish.

Everyone was having difficulty, but as I drank my tea with no milk I suspect the flimsy plastic cup was particularly hot and flexible. It was like trying to negotiate a plastic bag of pyroclastic debris - the slightest pressure and the cup started to collapse shooting an inferno over my hands.

I think this must have been very shortly after the rigid, heat transfer-reducing polystyrene cup was banned for poking holes in the ozone with it's CFC's.

I seem to remember some old hand advising me after the fact that I should have used two cups, one inside the other for some small semblance of rigidity and to create a double wall protection from the heat. I think I eventually managed this perilous feat of engineering only to find that the creeping meniscus-forming double rim was the perfect mechanism for dribbling down my chin and scalding my chest.

If my memory serves me correctly, the profit-maximising flimsy plastic cup was found to be less profitable (and less environmentally friendly) because a minimum of two cups was being used by each customer. Thus, the plastic-lined rigid paper cup, the corrugated cardboard heat sleeve and no doubt other incarnations betwixt were modifications borne of providing a take-away vessel that was actually fit for purpose.

The UK disposable cup evolution may, or may not have been influenced by the aforementioned litigation on the grounds of Parliament not wanting we Brits to get big ideas from you brash Americans. As if we'd be so vulgar as to complain.

The obvious solution is that customers bring their own reusable travel cup. The problem with that, however, is the number of people who think it's okay not to wash their economically viable, environmentally friendly and heat-safe solution between uses, even if it looks like they're in the middle of a two month project to reinvent penicillin. Furthermore, people withdrawing from caffeine are sometimes prone to extreme café rage and are rarely open to explanations of European food hygiene law, the mechanics of cross-contamination and the responsibility an outlet has to other less revolting customers.

I'm pretty sure the original cited litigation was successful because of the combination of excessively hot liquid served in a barely thermo-set plastic bag with a dodgy lid and no warning that human beings were not a point of consideration in McDonald's business model.

Complaints of the bleedin' obvious with respect to hot liquids being hot, belies the irony of not being able to get a grip on the combination of muppet-like failures that has arisen out of exchanging one's own palatable refreshments for out-sourced ecological time bomb muck that surely falls foul of the Geneva Conventions.
There's another safe way to drink from those disposable cups. You put it down at the table in front of you and you lean forward with your head and sip from it, keeping your hands by your side at all times. This has the added benefit of disgusting anyone else sitting opposite you and making them move to another table, therefore more room for you to spread out your newspaper.
No schlurps, please.

We're British. snooty
One of my nephews is a barista. He is not overworked, despite his claims that he is. That's the present young generation, they are wrapped in clingfilm compared to us and what we did at their age..moping
Where does he work that he's a barista and isn't overworked and underpaid? shock
When I was a kid, my aunt came to Florida on vacation and stayed at our house. One morning she was (excessively) slurping hot coffee at the dining room table and my dad shouted: "EDITH... you're KILLING ME !!"
She got the message.
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