how much did liebeck win

The compensatory damages were reduced to $160,000 because the jury found that Liebeck was at fault for 20 percent of the spill. What is so dangerous about this question is that there are people out there who are unaware of the reality of the case. On the one hand, truly frivolous lawsuits make sensible people want to bang their heads against the wall, but the importance of holding corporations responsible for wrongdoing shouldn’t be diminished. To this day, that New Mexico state court case is an essential component of any tort reform debate or discussion of litigation lore. 190 degree coffee causes 3rd degree burns in under 3 seconds. The trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000, while noting that McDonald’s behavior had been “willful, wanton, and reckless.” The parties later settled for a confidential amount. (“Hot Coffee” is available in the museum’s gift shop.) Tragedy! To top it all off, that nigger Obongo's meteoric rise to infamy happened that same year; I wasn't race woke then, and I wasn't the biggest Bush fan, but I didn't want Obongo or Shillary to win. The jurors awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages for her pain, suffering, and medical costs, but those damages were reduced to $160,000 because they found her 20 percent responsible. “Our position was that the product was unreasonably dangerous, and the temperature should have been lower,” Wagner said. Mrs. Liebeck offered to settle the case for $20,000 to cover her medical expenses and lost income. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages but dropped this sum to $160,000 since it felt Liebeck was 20-percent at fault for her accident. McDonald’s only offered $800, leading her to file a lawsuit in 1994. Reality: Mrs. Liebeck spent six months attempting to convince McDonald's to pay $15,000 to $20,000 to cover her medical expenses. Liebeck was awarded $200,000 in compensation for her pain and medical costs, a figure that was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found her 20 percent responsible. Consumer advocates say the distorted narrative picked up speed because business interests and some lawmakers used it as a way to create a public belief that frivolous lawsuits were common and that jury verdicts were running amok, all in an effort to advance a tort reform agenda that limits consumers’ ability to hold wrongdoers accountable. In the end, for compensatory damages, Ms. Liebeck was awarded $160,000 plus an additional $2.7 million in punitive damages, a number that was reached based on two days’ worth of McDonald’s revenue from coffee sales. Famous 'Cursed' Movies, Flint Water Whistleblower Wins the Goldman Environmental Prize, 12 U.S. The headline-generating $2.7 million Liebeck was awarded in punitive damages (selected because it approximated two days worth of the revenues McDonald’s makes by … But it’s also one of the most misunderstood. In reality, her grandson was driving, with Liebeck in the passenger seat. Please check your entries and try again. Liebeck did indeed suffer a scald injury, and she did so by exposure to hot McDonald's coffee. Liebeck endured third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body, including her inner thighs and genitals—the skin was burned away to the layers of muscle and fatty tissue. Some news reports had the facts wrong: They said she was driving while she spilled the coffee. That amounted to about two days of revenue for McDonald’s coffee sales. This case brought attention to the idea that American people may be flippant and out … Liebeck Didn't Get 'Millions' From McDonald's A month after the trial, the judge reduced the jury's punitive damages award of $2.7 million to $640,000. A piece of mail that was lost in the post for 34 years has finally been reunited with Perth woman Robyn Liebeck who sent it back in 1983. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages -- reduced to $160,000 because the jury found her 20 percent at fault -- and $2.7 million in punitive damages for McDonald’s callous conduct. Unreasonable counteroffer – Stella’s medical bills totaled … The excessive heat was part of a McDonald’s promotion where they promised commuters that their coffee would still be hot by the time it got to their desks.Liebeck was with her grandson (who was driving) when she received the coffee from the drive-thru window. Stella ordered a McBreakfast, and Chris pulled the car over so that she could add cream and sugar to her coffee. We might want to live in a world in which coffee can be served above 110F without fear of … There's much contention regarding which temperatures will cause what degree of burns in what amount of time; the Burn Foundation, for example, says 156 degrees can give you third degree burns in just 1 second; the wiki on the case says Liebeck's lawyers presented evidence that 180 degree coffee could produce not just third degree but skin-graft-needing burns in 12-15 seconds, and that lowering it 20 … According to the lawsuit, the coffee served to the 79-year-old Liebeck was as hot as 180 to 190 degrees—for reference, the optimal drinking temperature for hot beverages is around 140-150 degrees. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled into her lap. Newspaper headlines such as “Hot cup of coffee costs $2.9 million,” [2] or “Coffee Spill Burns Woman; Jury Awards $2.9 Million” [3] painted the picture of a “runaway jury,” an unreasonable award and a perverted system of justice. It only cost her 49 cents but it serving her that drink would cost the restaurant a lot more than that when it was all said and done. On the morning of February 27, 1992, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck was riding in the car with her grandson Chris. The jurors awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages for her pain, suffering, and medical costs, but those damages were reduced to $160,000 because they found her 20 percent responsible. Liebeck placed the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from the cup. Liebeck’s case got picked up by the media, and the story that got relayed was sometimes distilled to little more than: A woman made $2.7 million by spilling coffee on herself. Liebeck pursued the case in court, and not to gouge the fast-food giant for cash, but to make a difference. But McDonald’s never offered more than $800, so the case went to trial. After a jury trial, Liebeck was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages. Camera! According to news accounts, this amount was less than $500,000. To this day, that New Mexico state court case is an essential component of any tort reform debate or discussion of litigation lore. For more details, see our Privacy Policy. It's become a joke. McDonald's rebuffed them, offering $800, so they found a lawyer. An undisclosed settlement was eventually reached in the case of Liebeck vs. McDonald’s. Let’s take a look at 1994’s Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants . After hearing the evidence, the jury concluded that McDonald’s handling of its coffee was so irresponsible that Liebeck should get much more than … Mrs. Liebeck also asked McDonald's to consider changing the excessive temperature of its coffee so others would not be similarly harmed. “I didn’t start playing the violin until I was eight, even though I was desperate to do so from much earlier. Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. 14 Famous People Who Mysteriously Disappeared, Lights! It seemed a foregone conclusion the democrats were gonna win in 2008, so I was rooting for Al Gore at first, then John Edwards, the White male senator from North Carolina. Get an answer for 'In the case of Liebeck vs. McDonald’s Restaurants, P. T. S., Inc. New Mexico District Court (1994). “In America, we sue for everything! Courts very frequently reduce large jury awards, but the newspapers don’t report that information. The public generally ridiculed Liebeck – the media hook was the story of an Albuquerque woman who cleaned up with $2.7 million for spilling coffee on herself. They had just dropped her son off at the Albuquerque airport, and stopped for breakfast at a McDonald's drive-thru on the way home. I suppose reasonable minds can differ about the verdict or the size of the award in Liebeck v. McDonald's ... Liebeck's case has often been used by tort reform advocates to argue that the courts should make it much harder to win this kind of case and award big damages—an argument, coincidentally, that big corporations support whole-heartedly. Reality: People did not realize how seriously they could be burned. (Two things to note: In 1992 most cars did not have cupholders, and in 1992 it was uncommon for restaurants to add the cream/sugar to coffee for you.) In 1992, 79-year old Stella Liebeck became the poster child for frivolous litigation after filing a lawsuit against McDonald’s for serving coffee that was too hot. Places Where Your Visit Could Double the Population, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners Will Take Your Breath Away, Celebrate NASA's Birthday With These Incredible Images, There's a Great Story Behind This Cute Face, Collaborative Conservation: The Story Behind the Nation’s Newest Wildlife Refuge, What Went Wrong: The Story Behind the Atlantic Yards Prefab Tower, 'Up in Arms': Book Reveals More of the Story Behind the Bundys' Takeover of National Lands, The Story Behind Iceland's Volcanic Elephant, The Story Behind Spider Christmas Ornaments, 5 Work Policies U.S. Companies Should Emulate. McDonald's responded with a letter offering $800. Most home coffee makers produce coffee that is between 135 and 150 degrees, he added. Her recovery lasted two years. At least a … Back in 1994, Stella Liebeck v. McDonalds Restaurants became one of the most talked about lawsuits in American history. McDonald’s had received more than 700 previous reports of injury from its coffee, including reports of third-degree burns, and had paid settlements in some cases. The NYTimes put out a mini documentary as part of their ‘Retro Report’ video series, taking a closer look at the case of 79-year-old Stella Liebeck, who famously sued McDonald’s 20 years ago and was awarded 2.9 million dollars.. Liebeck ordered coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1992. The rest is history. Find out how much you really know about Stella Liebeck and the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit case by taking this short multiple choice quiz. “Our position was that the product was unreasonably dangerous, and the temperature should have been lower,” Wagner said. She ultimately agreed on a confidential settlement amount from McDonald’s to avoid the lengthy appeals process. (To put this in perspective, McDonald's revenue from coffee sales alone is in excess of $1.3 million a day.) While a jury did award her $2.9 million, the judge drastically cut that amount to about $650,000. “Hot Coffee” a documentary about the myth of the frivolous lawsuit, focuses primarily on the now infamous Stella Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants hot coffee case of 1994.. As we all know, the case became fodder f… A jury eventually awarded her $2.9million and the case gained national attention- even though the final sum she was paid is still unknown. “The company knew its coffee was causing serious burns,” notes the museum, “but it decided that, with billions of cups served annually, this number of burns was not significant.” Liebeck was concerned about the others who had burned, and especially that the 700 other victims included children. McDonald’s countered with an offer of $800. Mrs. Liebeck offered to settle the case for $20,000 to cover her medical expenses and lost income. You can opt-out at any time. Her family wrote a letter to McDonald's asking the company to pay her hospital bills and check whether its coffee machine was faulty. But did any of us really know the details of the story? I heard the jokes too. The amount was later reduced to about $650,000, which was further lowered to about $500,000. At this temperature, spilled coffee causes third degree burns in less than three seconds. Over so that she could add cream and sugar to her coffee amount of scrutiny! Enough to cause third-degree burns, and she required skin grafts and other treatment to a! Water Whistleblower Wins the Goldman Environmental Prize, 12 U.S only offered $ 800, so they a! So the case in court, and then how much did liebeck win the car with her grandson was,. Or discussion of litigation lore an isolated event hospitalized for eight days, and then the judge reduced those to. 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