The McDonald's Case and Cup Holders!

October 23, 2009

One way I illustrate my point about Trial Lawyers being the Consumer’s Last Line of Defense ™ is to talk to them about the relationship between the McDonald’s case and the presence of cup holders in cars. The McDonald’s case where a woman received 3rd degree burns over 6% of her body is consistently used by the media and other with specific agendas as one that illustrates the abuse of the Courts by the Trial Lawyers. It is ironic that the truth of the matter is the exact opposite.

“The installation of cup holders in automobiles increased significantly after Stella Liebeck v. McDonald’s Corporation, where a 79-year-old woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico ordered hot coffee from a McDonald’s restaurant. She then spilled the coffee on her lap and was seriously scalded. Facts of the case: she first went to McDs and asked for 1. them to pay her cleaning bill, 2. pay her doctor bill, and 3. apologize. In one of the largest corporate miscalculations of all time McD refused deal. She subsequently sued McDonald’s in a jury trial. Liebeck was awarded US$2.7 million in damages by the Jury, which was later reduced by the judge to US$640,000. The case was settled privately for an undisclosed sum.”

The presence of cup holders in cars has provided increased safety for the Consumers. Far from being an abuse of the Courts, a trial lawyer and his efforts to properly prosecute a case for his client is mostly responsible for this increase in Consumer Safety.

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