The public perception of these cases is mixed, primarily due to the mischaracterization of the facts
in the famous "McDonalds Coffee Case." The public was misinformed about the facts of this case as part of a public relations attempt by big business to generate the public to vote for tort reforms in their states. The true facts of this case show that this was not a frivolous case by any meants. The victim in this case was Stella Lieback, an elderly woman burned by coffee from the fast food giant. The true facts show:
1. Mrs. Liebeck's car was not moving; it was parked. Her son-in-law was driving. Not her.
2. The coffee was scalding (180-190 degrees) which can cook all layers of skin within 7 seconds. It was not as hot as normal coffee (135-140 degrees).
3. Mrs. Liebeck asked for payment of her medical bills before filing suit. She did not want to sue.
4. She spent eight days in the hospital and had painful skin grafts and debridement treatments.
5. Her genitalia and buttocks had third degree burns. The skin on those sensitive places of her body had to be peeled off, then other skin from her body had to be peeled off and then placed on her genitalia and buttocks.
6. McDonald's rejected her offer and then mediation, insisting on a trial.
7. McDonald's admitted its coffee was 40 to 50 degrees hotter than is fit for human consumption.
8. Mrs. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns over 6 percent of her body.
9. McDonald's knew more than 700 people, including babies, had been burned by its coffee.
10. McDonald's told the jury it wouldn't lower its coffee's temperature, prompting the jury to punish the corporation.
11. The jury awarded $200,000 for "out of pocket" economic damages, reduced to $160,000 because it found Mrs. Liebeck 20 percent at fault.
12. The jury's decision to punish McDonald's with $2.7 million in punitive damages for blatant misconduct was reasoned: That's two days of coffee sales for McDonald's.
13. At trial, Judge Robert Hayes Scott reduced the punitives to three times actual damages--$480,000.10. Post-verdict mediation was ordered, the case settled, and there was no appeal.
11. McDonald's immediately lowered the temperature of its coffee.
The jury heard all of these facts during the trial. The public has been unaware of these facts and the public opinion of this case has been tainted by misinformation given by big business and insurance companies.
Burn injuries are very serious and often life changing.
It is important that anyone who suffered burn injuries from the negligence of a person or business to contact an experienced law firm, like our firm, to assist them in making their claim and to refute the misinformation that will be given by the Defendants. Burn injury victims should not be embarrassed from filing these claims because other people might think it was their own fault being burned. This is usually not the case.