Re: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?

Subject: Re: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 01 Aug 2002 14:14:18 +0200

Bob wrote:
> As for McDonalds, we all know the coffee is hot. It is just common sense that
> it could conceivably burn you.

I apologize if the thread has meanwhile been administratively snipped
(I'm on digest) but Bob presents a common misconception about the
McDonalds case.

We all think we know how hot a fresh cup of coffee is, but the
coffee from McDonalds was hotter. In order to get more cups per
pound from its coffee beans, McDonalds was using superheated water.
People had been badly burned before, and this goes to the issue of
merchantability: a product is supposed to conform to expectations.
I expect the coffee that McDonalds makes to be not much more
dangerous than the coffee I get at the diner or the coffee I
make at home.

Previous cases had obviously convinced McDonalds that the money it
paid in damages was less than the money it saved by using superheated
water. In such a situation, I think that it's either up to some
regulatory agency to say "All restaurant coffee must be made with
conventionally boiled water" or it's up to the courts to jack up
the penalty to the point where McDonalds no longer makes a profit
by putting its customers in the hospital.

Mark L. Levinson
Herzlia, Israel
nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il

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