McDonald’s coffee still hot in Oregon

by Ted Frank on February 8, 2010

Aurora Hill alleges that McDonald’s coffee is “extremely hot in the extreme” and caused nervous shock, pain, and scarring when it spilled on her. (Aimee Green, The Oregonian, Feb. 4).

You may recall that part of the trial lawyer fiction about the merits of the infamous Stella Liebeck suit was that it supposedly successfully caused fast food restaurants to lower the temperature of coffee so that no one would ever be burned again.

My faith in humanity is encouraged when I see that the poll of Consumerist blog readers on the topic marks 86% for the option “Hot coffee is hot. Deal with it” on a blog that usually is reflexively pro-trial lawyer. Ironically, I wouldn’t count this suit as entirely meritless: Hill alleges that McDonald’s workers failed to adequately affix the lid to the cup, causing the spill as they handed her the coffee in the drive-through, which, if true, would strike me as actionable.

{ 4 comments }

1 Jim Collins 02.08.10 at 9:00 am

Wouldn’t she have a duty to double check the lid on the cup?

2 Soronel Haetir 02.09.10 at 1:31 am

If it were being handed to her she would not yet have had an opportunity to do so.

3 XYZ 02.10.10 at 5:55 pm

They were told not to heat their coffee to the point where it would cause third degree burns. They failed to heed these instructions. McDonalds heated their coffee beyond what is allowed by law and they must pay for that. Clearly, their success, thanks to the right-wing media, in being cast as the martyr in 1994 has gone to their heads – what they need is to pay far more still. I wonder – why isn’t the Right demanding the return of the Ford Pinto and that Ford be compensated for their crucifixion over this issue?

4 therese 02.23.10 at 11:28 am

I just got coffee this morning from McDonalds. LAVA HOT absolutely ridiculous that they would serve it this way. If the top accidentally came off or I spilled it – I would need medical treatment. Could not even drink it until 15 minutes later.

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