Originally Posted by cmf2
After taking an engineering law course, I think the coffee one was rather legitimate.
It wasn't a guy, it was an old lady traveling with her grandson. The car was parked and the lady tried to add cream to her coffee, but the cup slipped and and spilled on her. Her grandson immediately got out of the car and pulled her out and dropped her sweat pants to prevent any more burning, but by that time she already had 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her legs and crotch area.
McDonald's instructed their franchises to serve coffee at a higher than industry standard temperature knowing that it could cause 3rd degree burns in under 10 seconds, while (going from memory here) a 3 degree drop in temperature (it might of been higher, but it was definitely less than 10 degrees) would increase the required exposure time to about a minute. The reason they served coffee at a higher temperature was to save money on coffee beans. They had basically determined that it was cheaper to pay for the occasional lawsuit than to lower the temperature the coffee was served at. The lady was only suing for her medical bills, but was awarded much more because of the deplorable practices McDonald's was engaged in as a corporation.
There are a lot of frivolous lawsuits out there, like the iPhone one, but I'd have to say that the McDonald's coffee one wasn't one of them. Had McDonald's served coffee at the industry standard temperature, that lady would not have been burned nearly as severely. McDonald's knew the risks but corporate greed overruled the safety of its customers.
I don't buy it as legitimate cause.
1: She opened the coffee in the car while it was moving
2: She did not place cup in the car cup holder
3: If it did not have a cup holder then she should have opened the cup when the car was stationary
4: She did not factor in the coffee was hot before carrying out any actions
There were a number of things that she could have done to prevent this injury NONE of which she did. Of all things she should have realised that the contents were hot. This in any rational person's mind should have caused her to be more careful regardless of whether or not the temperature was hotter than other coffees.
Common sense still plays a part no matter what. Ignoring common sense does not give you a license to sue because you are a moron.
As to the helicopter and high speed train comment does this guy know that if a helicopter falls out of the sky at three feet the glass can break as well? A train crashing at 10m3 (speed of gravity) will also incur a glass breaking.