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Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over ‘Caution Hot’ Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks
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Other3 years ago

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over ‘Caution Hot’ Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

It’s a story that has been parodied, joked about and mocked – the McDonald’s hot coffee case. Through the telling and retelling of the infamous tale, the gist became that 79-year-old Stella Liebeck got burnt by some hot coffee from the fast-food restaurant and sued them. Well, duh, coffee is supposed to be hot, became the joke and Liebeck became the face of ignorant Americans.

The verdict for the lawsuit was delivered in 1994, but people still find ways to mercilessly mock the ordeal. One Canadian coffee shop even used it for marketing on their cups. Fed-up with people not knowing all the details there are many people who have responded to these jokes with the real facts of the case – delivering some burns of their own.

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

But some people, fed up with the gross mistelling of the case, were happy to share the facts

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

The name of the case is Liebeck v. McDonald’s and was misrepresented by the media as a frivolous case

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Image credits: JOE MARQUETTE/AP

It all began in 1992 in a McDonald’s parking lot. Liebeck was sitting in the passengers’ seat of a car and had the cup held between her knees while she was removing the lid to add cream and sugar. The cup tipped over and spilled the coffee into her lap. Most of us have spilled a drink in our laps at one point or another but what happened to Liebeck next uncovered a pattern of negligence from the company.

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

She suffered third-degree burns in three seconds through her clothes that covered 16 percent of her body, including her inner thighs and genitals. The coffee even burned away layers of muscle and fatty tissue. Liebeck had to be hospitalized for eight days and had to get skin grafts among other treatments. Her recovery spanned over the course of two years

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

According to the American Museum of Tort Law: “Liebeck offered to settle the case for $20,000, but the company refused. McDonald’s offered Liebeck only $800—which did not even cover her medical expenses.”

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

The importance of the case went beyond Liebeck though. During the trial, they heart from experts who said McDonald’s coffee was 30 to 40 degrees hotter other companies. The jury also hear testimonials and learned 700 other people—including children—had been burned before and despite this, the company had not changed its policy.

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Kenneth Wagner, the Albuquerque lawyer who represented Liebeck, said: “We knew, before the lawsuit was filed, that the temperature of the water was 190 degrees or so, and the franchise documents required that of the franchise,” and explained, “Our position was that the product was unreasonably dangerous, and the temperature should have been lower,”

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

“The trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000, while noting that McDonald’s behavior had been “willful, wanton, and reckless.” The parties later settled for a confidential amount. According to news accounts, this amount was less than $500,000,” states the American Museum of Tort Law.

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

In an attempt to correct the skewed misrepresentation of the story trial lawyer Susan Saladoff made a documentary called “Hot Coffee,” in 2011. The film set out to shed light on the facts of the case and possibly change some of the public perceptions about Liebeck. Unfortunately even today, this story is still inaccurately retold and mocked.

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

Canadians Try To Roast Americans Over 'Caution Hot' Signs On Coffee Cups, Get Burned With Comebacks

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Ashley Kellers
Community Member
3 years ago

Legit if you g-oogle the pics, you'll understand the full story - albeit yes shes old and her skin more fragile but jees louise! SHE ALMOST LOST HER HOO HA!!!

Doober
Community Member
3 years ago

I feel really guilty for laughing hard when I read "SHE ALMOST LOST HER HOO HA!!!"

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Reilly Beryll
Community Member
3 years ago

There’s no reason to heat coffee to a temperature that can cause third degree burns. If you dump fresh coffee on yourself, it should only cause first degree, second at absolute worse. People drop things. People will always drop things. This woman was not young.

Sansa Blacktyde
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

Yep. I've spilt hot drinks on myself numerous times, the worst I've got was a small blister. That she got 3rd degree burns should really inform people that McDonald's were completely negligent.

Load More Replies...
Roxy
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

I live in Italy and I often order coffee in bars/restaurants and buy it at coffee machines. I've never been served coffee so hot that it could cause third degree burns- typically coffee is served at the right temperature to be drank straight away (if I had to guess I'd say between 60-70 degrees Celsius). If I ordered a coffee in the USA I'd expect it to be hot, sure, but not dangerously so. What's the point in serving a drink that requires several minutes to become actually drinkable anyway? And for those who say that it was her fault she spilled the coffee, accidents can happen to anyone. For example, once I was drinking coffee and a friend who was sitting next to me knocked my hand while gesticulating. I ended up with coffee on my hair, face and t-shirt. If the coffee had been McDonalds-level hot I could have ended up with burns on my face and chest through no fault of my own. As a corporation, you shouldn't sell stuff that could harm your customers in everyday circumstances.

Andrew Keane
Community Member
3 years ago

I even picked up a coffee with a lid improperly applied and it didn't take much pressure for the lid to pop off, then weaken the cup enough for me to press in more. If the coffee was this hot I'd be in the same situation.

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Ashley Kellers
Community Member
3 years ago

Legit if you g-oogle the pics, you'll understand the full story - albeit yes shes old and her skin more fragile but jees louise! SHE ALMOST LOST HER HOO HA!!!

Doober
Community Member
3 years ago

I feel really guilty for laughing hard when I read "SHE ALMOST LOST HER HOO HA!!!"

Load More Replies...
Reilly Beryll
Community Member
3 years ago

There’s no reason to heat coffee to a temperature that can cause third degree burns. If you dump fresh coffee on yourself, it should only cause first degree, second at absolute worse. People drop things. People will always drop things. This woman was not young.

Sansa Blacktyde
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

Yep. I've spilt hot drinks on myself numerous times, the worst I've got was a small blister. That she got 3rd degree burns should really inform people that McDonald's were completely negligent.

Load More Replies...
Roxy
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

I live in Italy and I often order coffee in bars/restaurants and buy it at coffee machines. I've never been served coffee so hot that it could cause third degree burns- typically coffee is served at the right temperature to be drank straight away (if I had to guess I'd say between 60-70 degrees Celsius). If I ordered a coffee in the USA I'd expect it to be hot, sure, but not dangerously so. What's the point in serving a drink that requires several minutes to become actually drinkable anyway? And for those who say that it was her fault she spilled the coffee, accidents can happen to anyone. For example, once I was drinking coffee and a friend who was sitting next to me knocked my hand while gesticulating. I ended up with coffee on my hair, face and t-shirt. If the coffee had been McDonalds-level hot I could have ended up with burns on my face and chest through no fault of my own. As a corporation, you shouldn't sell stuff that could harm your customers in everyday circumstances.

Andrew Keane
Community Member
3 years ago

I even picked up a coffee with a lid improperly applied and it didn't take much pressure for the lid to pop off, then weaken the cup enough for me to press in more. If the coffee was this hot I'd be in the same situation.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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