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How A Lawsuit Over Hot Coffee Helped Erode the 7th Amendment

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016

 

There’s more to the story, as there often is, and the article below sheds some light on why it was more than just a trivial lawsuit.  For instance, did you know that the woman injured in the story didn’t want to sue at all initially?

McDonald’s served Mrs. Liebeck coffee at 180-190 degrees fahrenheit. According to her surgeon , “Any hot liquid, if it’s in the range of 180 degrees or hotter, if it’s in contact with your skin for more than just a few seconds… if you’re lucky it will produce second degree burns. If you’re not as lucky, you will get 3rd degree or full thickness burns requiring skin grafts and surgery.” Liebeck spent a week in the hospital, amassing hospital bills of $10,000.

Still, Liebeck did not sue. Her family wrote a letter to McDonald’s asking the company to pay her hospital bills and check whether its coffee machine was faulty. McDonald’s rebuffed them, offering $800, so they found a lawyer. But even the outcome of the lawsuit—a $2.9 million verdict that people saw as Liebeck hitting the jackpot—was a fiction.

For more context, follow the link below.

 

Photo credit to Bruce Marlin

via https://priceonomics.com/how-a-lawsuit-over-hot-coffee-helped-erode-the-7th/

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