The Famous McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit - Was it frivolous? | Frenkel & Frenkel
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Oct 27
2011

The Famous McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit - Was it frivolous?

In pop culture, and, sometimes, popular opinion, lawyers often get a bad rap. People speak harshly of car accident attorneys and talk about frivolous lawsuits. Often, however, the work that these auto accident lawyers and product accident lawyers do can not only help the clients they represent, but also other people, who will avoid accident because of the case that was won. One of the most famously derided lawsuits involves McDonald's coffee. But was it really a frivolous lawsuit? You be the judge. The facts of the case are simple:

  • The water was too hot. The company said they heated their water up to 140 degrees, which is dangerously hot. However, on the day in question, the water was between 180 and 190 degrees, hot enough to cause third degree burns that burn through the fat and down to the bone in a tenth of a second.
  • The company had been warned. Seven hundred times, McDonalds had been warned that their coffee was too hot, because people had been injured. By settling these cases out of court, and keeping them confidential, the company was able to keep operating costs down by keeping their water at an unacceptable temperature.
  • The injuries were serious. Even though she was wearing three layers of clothing, the seventy- nine year old grandmother suffered third degree burns, and had to be hospitalized for three days. She had skin grafts, and her medical bills added up to $160,000.
  • The lawsuit affected change. Because of this case, temperatures are lower and packaging is sturdier, so that consumers will not be injured in the future.

Is it frivolous to protect consumers from injury? Is it frivolous to fight back if you have been hurt? Once you know the facts of the case, you probably have a different view of the case, and the lawyers who were involved. Frenkel and Frenkel are courtroom warriors who will fight beside you if you have been injured in an accident. With twenty years of experience, they are proud of the work they do, and can help you when you are in need.