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Old 11-02-2009, 04:40 AM   #21
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One knows the coffee is hot. I would have put it on the floor mat to open it. But I can see the point that McD's is the expert and should take some precautions like a drink crate(or whatever it's called) with maybe a red warning label on the lid.

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Old 11-02-2009, 09:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
with maybe a red warning label on the lid.
In some instances I think the warning is sufficient. Then again, some of the warnings I have seen on products are just hilarious:
Found on “Bat Man The Animated Series Armor Set” Halloween costume box:
PARENT: Please exercise caution—mask and chest plate are not protective; cape does not enable wearer to fly.
You can find a collection of them here: WARNING! This page contains ACTUAL Warnings

There is common sense in using products and then there is warning people against things that might not be readily apparent. The coffee thing for example. I recognize that Mickey D's coffee is hotter than hell, but I didn't realize that they used to serve their coffee at 190 and burns would be instantaneous and 12 seconds exposure (soaked in your clothing next to your skin) was enough to require skin grafts.

Back in my poorer than dirt days I drove a motorcycle because it was cheap transportation to all the different jobs I worked, and because it was the only thing I could afford to own. Riding the thing in all kinds of weather turned me into a fairly proficient rider and wet streets weren't a problem. One rainy morning I stopped to buy gas on the way to work and hit the local Jim Wallace service station. There was a product liability moment that ensued.

The Wallace stations were a small chain in the Atlanta area that had the habit of painting their parking lots a battleship gray.

While paying the attendant he warned me of the danger posed by the rainwater on top of the paint. "Careful when you leave out. When it gits wet like this that parking lot is slicker than owl snot." (Here in the South we have developed our own system of measuring viscosity that uses the mucous and/or feces of various creatures of nature as a scale. Owl snot is notoriously slippery, but somewhat less so than owl s%*t.)

There was a moment, as I started to leave, that my nineteen-year-old smartass self thought about revving the engine a bit and then dumping the clutch just to prove to Cooter/Bubba that I could ride anywhere in any kind of conditions. But that inner voice, that I later came to realize was brought on by the better-late-than-never maturity that was finally arriving before I had aced myself, said "Nah, not today."

So, I was very cautious and gave it just a fraction of gas and eased off the clutch - just to find myself sliding across the parking lot on my side. A recent upgrade to full face helmet and crash bars meant that the only injury was to chrome and the paint job on the helmet.

If I had hurt myself would I have sued Jim Wallace? Should a jury have allowed me to prevail?

I don't think so as I had been properly warned. Slicker than owl snot is descriptive warning enough.

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Old 11-02-2009, 10:08 AM   #23
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I guess I am still in a minority who still think the McDonalds coffee lawsuit was ridiculous. Coffee is brewed at boiling temperatures. So what if McDonalds (or other restaurants) serve it closer to the boiling point than others. If you have ever had coffee before you know that it is made by boiling water and if the cup you get is freshly made it could reasonably be expected to be at or near the boiling point. Always. From any restaurant. From your own percolator. If I accept a cup of boiling liquid from someone, I have no guarantee that it is any particular temperature, but I know it will be hot enough to be potentially dangerous. If it's not hot enough I'll probably reject it. Is this the three bears and the restaurant is responsible for insuring the temperature is just right? Sure, McDonalds had complaints about coffee too hot in the past, as well as complaints about coffee too cold and everything else. What about the brewing and service policies of MsDonalds makes them responsible for customers who pour the coffee on themselves? I'm sorry for the lady who was hurt, but I fail to see why the coffee is to blame and not the user. This case is all about how persuasive the lawyers could be, not the inherent dangers of hot liquids.

As for Jim Wallace, there I think you have a case. Pavement is not supposed to be slicker than owl snot, whether warned or not. They created a hazardous situation where you wouldn't expect it to be and if someone is injured I'd expect them to be liable.

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