Liebeck V Mcdonald's Tort Case Summary

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The case Liebeck v. McDonald’s has been a widespread tort case for its outrageous compensatory damages after, the plaintiff spilled coffee in her inner legs causing a third-degree burn. Based on actual facts, the plaintiff, 79 years old Stella Liebeck, ordered a coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Albuquerque. With the vehicle parked, the plaintiff opened the Stylophone cup to add creams and sugars consequently, spilling coffee in her lap. The plaintiff’s grandson rushed Mrs. Liebeck to the hospital, leaving the plaintiff for a week hospitalized with six percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, genital, and groin areas burned to a third-degree. However, the plaintiff medical bills ended up with a total of $10,000 dollars. However,…show more content…
McDonald's has the duty to warn customers of the dangerous conditions, such as the sizzling coffee in this case. Although the coffee cup did say "Caution: Contents Hot" McDonald's admitted in court that customers were unaware that the coffee could cause a third-degree burn and the sign on the cup was not a warning rather than a reminder. Although if the franchise's manual allowed McDonald's to have the coffee to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, McDonald's received 700 injuries claims caused by the hot coffee served. Some of the claims resulted from a third-degree burn, such as the plaintiff's injury. McDonald's failed in warning customers of the extremely hot coffee the Stylophone cup held. Furthermore, the defendant argues that the plaintiff had the personal responsibility since she accidentally spilled the coffee in her car and not McDonald's. However, McDonald’s quality assurance manager testified, “a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above” indicating the coffee unreasonably dangerous and defective. McDonald’s knew that the holding temperature can cause serious injury to
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