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This primary goal of this memo is to argue that the jury’s verdict on the Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case was not fair. This lawsuit had no legal merit, and should not have been won by the plaintiff. This memo will also address another perspective and will be ended with a rebuttal.
A 79-year-old lady has poured some of the coffee that she purchased at McDonald’s on her lap and received burns. She needed immediate treatment because the damage was severe and was disabled for a few years. She wanted a rather small compensation, but the company declined her demands. Such enormous numbers as $2,7 million were discussed. In the end, the amount of money that McDonald’s had to pay stays confidential (“FAQ About the McDonald’s Coffee Case” par. 3).
This is one of the best examples of unjustified and controversial lawsuits. The demands of the lady were unreasonable because she knew about possible injuries that may be caused by spilled coffee, and should be responsible for her actions. It should be understood that some products may be dangerous if a person does not use them safely. It needs to be said that the outcomes of some cases are unpredictable most of the time because it is a known fact that juries make questionable verdicts quite often (Lexington par. 6). It is especially true when it comes to huge corporations, and some of those decisions often shock society.
Most firms think that it is wise to settle the cases right away because they may receive unnecessary attention from the public, and trial expenses are often quite significant and should not be disregarded (“Tort on Stills” par. 4). It is highly unlikely that the same decision would be made if a small company was involved. Also, it is paramount to note that the number of such cases has increased dramatically after this one, and most of them are incredibly absurd. Most companies are ready to make necessary changes to ensure that the customers are satisfied.
There is also another point of view that needs to be discussed. The reasoning behind such a decision is that McDonald’s knew about possible risks that are associated with this product but did not take necessary measures to warn customers about potential dangers. The company has received numerous complaints from customers over the years but did not address this issue because it was not viewed as something significant. There is also an argument that the temperature should be lower by approximately 10 degrees (Stout par. 19). Other restaurants in the area served much cooler drinks.
However, it needs to be said that a complainant should have realized that it is a foreseeable risk that she takes, and it is rather evident that she is at fault. She suffered the damage because of her actions, and she was not careful enough to make sure that the cup is not tipped. She could have avoided such harm if she wiped out the liquid promptly. Also, it is imperative to note that some restaurants serve coffee that is even hotter than the one that McDonald’s offered. Companies don’t need to warn customers about dangers that are as obvious as this one. McDonald’s had to agree with the decision to protect business interests, and the image of the company is of utmost importance.
“FAQ About the McDonald’s Coffee Case.” Hotcoffeethemovie. n.d. Web.
Lexington. “Law V Common Sense.” The Economist. 2009. Web.
Stout, Hillary. “Not Just a Hot Cup Anymore.” The NY Times. 2013. Web.
“Tort on Stills.” The Economist. 2001. Web.