Re: McDonald's coffee

Subject: Re: McDonald's coffee
From: Heilan Yvette Grimes <HEP2 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 00:12:04 -0400

>This is apparently why MacDonald's had to pay so much to that old lady who
>spilled coffee in her lap--because the coffee did not say "Warning: Coffee
>hot!" (the cups now say this).

This is not the reason for the huge jury award against McDonald's. On the
surface it looks like a ludicrous award that the jury gave. But there must
have been some reason, and there was. And it was a very good one.

Here is the actual reason, and it had nothing to do with a lack of a warning
label. See whether or not this changes your opinion about the jury award.

We all know coffee is hot, or at least most people expect it to be. But there
are limits to how hot it should be. Scalding is too hot and a company
shouldn't be selling coffee exceptionally hot. So, why would McDonald's heat
up their coffee beyond any drinkable limits and then hand it to someone?
Simple. Profit. You see if you make coffee by super heating the water you can
make more coffee from the package of beans. So, you get more coffee for less
cost = more profit. Well, what if you manage to sell hundreds of millions of
cups of coffee every year and can get 25% more product without spending any
more money just by heating it up a lot hotter than most people expect.

Most people when they order a cup of coffee expect to be able to hold the cup
without it being so hot that you can't even hold the cup when it is handed to
you. It was unclear whether or not the person dropped the cup after it was
handed to them, or whether the person at the window handing out the coffee
couldn't keep hold of it. The result was that the person received a splash of
coffee that wasn't just hot, but was hotter than the hottest coffee you've
ever held in your hand. And the coffee didn't land in her hand. And it was
that hot on purpose. Considering those facts the jury found that McDonald's
was in great error when they served that patron. And I agree with the jury
completely and don't think the jury award was in the least unfair.

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