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Stella Liebeck


McDonald's Restaurants

.1992. What -> Where -> McDonald’s restaurant 5001.Order a cup of Coffee Who -> Stella Liebeck. New Mexico. Ordered a 49 cent cup of coffee. When -> Feb 27.Gibson Boulevard. from Albuquerque.

. She pulled the lid which spilled the entire cup of coffee on her lap and it burnt her skin.Spilled the cup of coffee Liebeck was seated in her grandson’s Ford Probe. She placed the coffee cup between her knees.

Skin grafting. . Remained in hospital Underwent Lost weight -> -> -> Followed Medical treatment -> 2 years. and lesser burns over 16%. 8 days. 20 pounds(9 kg) Actual weight 103 pounds(47 kg).Hospitalized Suffered -> 3rd degree burns on 6% of her Skin .

500 past medical expenses $2.500 future medical expenses $5.$ 800 For $20.000 Loss of income McDonald’s offered .000 to cover actual and expected expense .Settlement offer Liebeck sought to setle with Mc Donald’s $10.

 Liebeck retained Texas Attorney Reed Morgan.  Accused McDonald’s of “Gross Negligence” for selling “Unreasonably dangerous” and “defectively manufactured” coffee.Filed Suit  McDonald’s refused to raise its offer.  Morgan filed suit in New Mexico District Court. .

. Morgan offered to settle for $30.000.500. Refused.000. Mediator suggested $22. McDonald’s Refused. Refused.Pre-trial attempt Morgan Morgan offered to settle for $90.

Scott. . 1994. Judge Robert H.Trial Aug 8-17.

During the Case Morgan Discovered McDonald’s required franchises to serve coffee at 180190`F(82-88`C) Morgan Argued Coffee should never be served hotter than 140`F(60`C) Coffee would cause 3rd degree burn in 2-7 seconds. Other establishments serve coffee at a lower temperature than the McDonald’s .

.Presented the Jury with evidence 180`F(82`C) coffee produce 3rd degree burns in 2-7 seconds 160`F(71`C) coffee produce burns in 15 seconds Extra seconds gives time to remove coffee from exposed skin and prevent burns.

 Settled claim for more than $500.  The number of injuries was insufficent to evaluate company’s practices.  High temperature will keep the coffee hot during the trip.  1982-1992 company received more than 700 people burned report by McDonald’s coffee. .000.McDonald’s Argument  Reason to serve hot coffee is – Purchasers were commuters.

Company warns consumers He accepted McDonalds coffee would burn mouth and throat if taken when served. .McDonald’s quality control manager Christopher Appleton argued all food hotter than 130`F(54`C) will cause burns.

Judgment  12 person Jury reached its verdict on Aug 18.  Inspite of warns on a coffee cup. .  Liebeck was 20% at fault. jury decided warning was not large enough to read and not sufficient.  McDonald’s was 80% responsible for the incident. 1994.

000 in “Compensatory Damages” and $480. But the parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount less than $600.000. .000 in “Punitive Damages”.Liebeck was awarded US $ 160.