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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    Since you didn't understand the people who already explained this, I'll try to explain a different way. Litigation is set up to protect people and instill a sense of social responsibility with companies. If society was not set up this way, there would be broken glass in your breakfast cereal because nobody cares about you. If you want to argue for McDonalds, go ahead, but you lost your case 30 years ago already.
    They did not lose. They settled for an amount far less than the original judgement on appeal.

    Also, I understood perfectly. In my previous job, I was the one who certified the safety of new vehicle designs, so I had a significant amount of dealings with lawyers. The company I worked for gone out of their way to ensure that their products exceeded industry standards for safety. Yet, they still got sued simply because they had deep pockets. I should point out that settling out of court does not imply guilt. Sometimes it's simply cheaper to pay the guy off than to spend years in court. The risk was that it will encourage frivolous law suits.
    If your way was true, then products could literally cause you health problems or kill you outright. If profits from not fixing the problem were greater than the revenue lost by loosing you as customer (due to death), then they would not give a flying fuck if you died. Lawsuits balance out this complete lack of concern for your well being.
    It is perfectly legal and desirable to sell potentially dangerous products as long as the danger is known. Obvious example are saws, motorbikes and guns. But the law requires the manufacturer to provide warnings when the danger is readily apparent.

    Eating detergent is not likely, unless someone is insane.
    The point was that not all dangers are labelled. People need to take responsibility for themselves sometimes.

    Anyway, concerning McDonald's, it doesn't really matter what you believe about the woman or if you think you could win the case for McDonald's. Given the same circumstances, it would be won every time.
    No. They lost on appeal. The final result was an out of court settlement.

    The bottom line is that the case was not ethically or legally clear cut.

  2. #82
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    They did not lose. They settled for an amount far less than the original judgement on appeal.

    Also, I understood perfectly. In my previous job, I was the one who certified the safety of new vehicle designs, so I had a significant amount of dealings with lawyers. The company I worked for gone out of their way to ensure that their products exceeded industry standards for safety. Yet, they still got sued simply because they had deep pockets. I should point out that settling out of court does not imply guilt. Sometimes it's simply cheaper to pay the guy off than to spend years in court. The risk was that it will encourage frivolous law suits.

    It is perfectly legal and desirable to sell potentially dangerous products as long as the danger is known. Obvious example are saws, motorbikes and guns. But the law requires the manufacturer to provide warnings when the danger is readily apparent.


    The point was that not all dangers are labelled. People need to take responsibility for themselves sometimes.


    No. They lost on appeal. The final result was an out of court settlement.

    The bottom line is that the case was not ethically or legally clear cut.


    Wow! They settled for MORE than I guessed. I'd said $500,000 plus medical, and they got more than that, but I was pretty close, having no prior knowledge. Wasn't I?????????????????? Did you miss that?

    Just today I settled with someone I owed for 50% as well, after more than a year of negotiations on a $500 debt. I could get away with paying nothing, but I probably do owe them something in fair society. Also, I'm just tired of the hassle.

    I think money was owed to this woman legally, morally, and ethically. I think the settlement was good, more than fair. I never said she should get $1.2 million.

    The woman who sued me got more than her fair share. Did I cause her to have psychiatric inability to work for six months? She was not injured physically. My insurance company was sued for psychiatric bills, not physical injury.

    Anyway, I assume you meant "isn't readily apparent" in the bold part?

    That is the whole point of this lawsuit. Listen, I'm very clumsy. I've spilled coffee on myself dozens of times. I did not even get a 1rst degree burn, not that it didn't make me curse in pain. I should not EXPECT to be severely injured by coffee. Nobody EVER should EXPECT that coffee should cause third degree burns. EVER. Get it?

    It is of course apparent that coffee is hot. OBVIOUSLY. But it is NOT apparent that it would EVER cause third degree burns. The customer was using coffee properly and performing an action which should (within the full range of possible mistakes) maybe cause mild pain and no burning by every reasonable expectation, maybe a first degree burn at the most. Instead she was severely injured.

    Do you get that?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    Wow! They settled for MORE than I guessed. I'd said $500,000 plus medical, and they got more than that, but I was pretty close, having no prior knowledge. Wasn't I?????????????????? Did you miss that?
    They said it was less than the $600k that the judge reduced it to.
    Edit: "Less than" could mean $1.00 to $599k. Besides, what was the relevance of the number?

    Anyway, I assume you meant "isn't readily apparent" in the bold part?
    Yes. I usually multitask when I post and I'm too lazy to proof read.

    Nobody EVER should EXPECT that coffee should cause third degree burns. EVER. Get it?
    Are you trying to suggesting that boiling hot coffee is so unusual that no reasonable person could be expected to anticipate it?

  4. #84
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post


    Are you trying to suggesting that boiling hot coffee is so unusual that no reasonable person could be expected to anticipate it?

    Yes, exactly. This would be like a gun exploding in your hands and shooting yourself from the butt of the gun rather than the barrel. It's like a table saw suddenly ejecting its blade and cutting your arm off from 10 feet away. Third degree burns are totally unexpected and completely unacceptable. It seems very obvious to me, but it depends on the law.

    My co-worker studied torts for two years in school, maybe I'll ask him tomorrow.

    Now, just for the sake of amusement, what if I spilled coffee on myself in 1982 or whenever? Of course I did many times. But what if it caused 3rd degree burns? I'd probably just want medical expenses. Of course, the lawyers would probably want more. The lawyer who helped me in my traffic accident (where I was hit) was a friend, and charged me less than 5% over a $4000 settlement for my medical bills and car. I just wanted my basic medical bills and sales value for my car (the price if I were to purchase the same car off a used car lot).

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    Yes, exactly. This would be like a gun exploding in your hands and shooting yourself from the butt of the gun rather than the barrel.
    That's a stretch. Boiling hot beverages are the norm at home.

    Now, just for the sake of amusement, what if I spilled coffee on myself in 1982 or whenever? Of course I did many times. But what if it caused 3rd degree burns? I'd probably just want medical expenses.
    So if you scalded yourself at a friend's house, you would demand that she pay your medical bill?

  6. #86
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    Poor lady.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    That's a stretch. Boiling hot beverages are the norm at home.


    So if you scalded yourself at a friend's house, you would demand that she pay your medical bill?
    One distinction that must be made here is that homes are not vehicles.

    It is much more difficult to scald yourself with a hot beverage while sitting at home than it is while sitting in a car at the drive-through.

  8. #88
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    It depends. I'm very accident prone. When I slice my finger my kitchen, I pay. When I do it at work, they automatically pay.

    In graduate school, I was throw from a pick up because a friend was driving at work. This was automatic covered under workman's compensation, even though the girl was at fault for poor driving, or I was at fault for the way I was riding in the truck.

    When pruning bushes at one job, I was injured two different times. They do a drug test at the doctor.

    On the job before that, I was also thrown from a vehicle (this is a different time). In this case, you could say it was my fault, or maybe it was my employers fault because I repeatedly told them my seat belt needed fixing. The skin was taken off one of my shoulders, and of course the company paid for it.

    My current company didn't have workman's comp when I started, and they paid for two times I injured myself. Once I pulled a muscle driving a stake, which was sort of my fault since I was using a 30 Lb weight to do it and I missed the stake. The other time, I stepped on a sharp stump in the pond bottom.

    This got infected, so subsequent visits to the doctor were not charged. They had to re-open the foot wound, and my foot grew two sizes. The doctor seemed eager to not charge me for follow up visits.

    It's now company policy to wear shoes at work. Damn it!

    The scenario you mention is a bit crazy. First, I HAVE gotten hot beverages on myself in a wide variety of circumstances, which don't recall ever burning me. I've burned myself numerous times doing other stuff, but usually it is a small blister. At my current job I was screwing around with a gas torch used for cutting metal. I was trying to weld with it, and burned myself a few times. The wounds were tiny and superficial minor wounds even though liquid metal is over 1000 degrees.

    If my "friend" was selling me drinks, and one caused third degree burns, then I could sue. Likewise, if I was doing paid work for a "friend", and injured myself, then I could sue. Now I'm unclear about if we were just friends and the drink burned me. First, it's extremely unlikely since I'm likely to use a different kind of cup and apply creme and sugar on the counter...sitting firmly. But let's say I did spill it, and unlike the dozens and dozens of times I injured myself, it gave me 3rd degree burns. Then maybe I could sue, but I would be a freaking bastard to sue, but frankly, they would be a bastard for not offering to pay.

    But as I said, I handled things well over 1000 degrees frequently. I handled lots of dangerous chemical that would completely remove all your flesh given sufficient time. And I've never had a third degree burn, that I recall. Maybe I'm just a bad-ass who would qualify as a stuntman.

    In the various cuts, head injuries, burns and so on, I don't believe I've ever had medical expenses over $500. When I was throw from a pick up on the job it cost more because my wrist and nose were broken. In that case, I'd say it was maybe $2000 tops.

    I think I've only paid once when I injured myself. Most of the time, someone else paid willingly and up front as a matter of how their system was set up...mostly workman's compensation or a sense of responsibility.

    I don't think the thought of litigation ever pops into my head. I'm just not litigious. I automatically think I'm to blame. Maybe it's my up-bringing. Yet, in almost all circumstances, other people paid. Why is that?

    Of course, as a side note, I'm a bleeding heart liberal 99 asshole who believes that medical care in general should be covered for all Americans, like it is in England, Japan, France, Canada, Denmark, Cuba, and various other modern countries.

    Thus, if anyone gets third degree burns for any reason, then I believe it should be covered, so they don't have to worry. No one will need to argue about blame because one day it will be seen as a basic human right to receive medical care. One day in the future, mankind will look back at this time like we're some kind of barbarians.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    One distinction that must be made here is that homes are not vehicles.

    It is much more difficult to scald yourself with a hot beverage while sitting at home than it is while sitting in a car at the drive-through.
    Valid point. However, the risks are well known and people continue to buy. I am not accident prone and would not like to have my choices limited because other people are clumsy.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    It's now company policy to wear shoes at work. Damn it!
    That is exactly why a litigious culture is bad. In order to protect themselves, businesses are forced to play nanny and restrict their customers' choices. Not just businesses, but individuals also. In China, people often do not stop to help others who had accidents, out of fear that they could be sued.

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