How Hot Is Mcdonalds Coffee? (Correct answer)

In fact, according to CAOC, McDonald’s was using an operator’s manual that dictated the coffee be kept at a temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the temp of McDonald’s coffee?

Here is some of the evidence the jury heard during the trial: McDonald’s operations manual required the franchisee to hold its coffee at 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee at that temperature, if spilled, causes third-degree burns in three to seven seconds.

Is McDonalds coffee still too hot?

McDonald’s made its coffee too hot on purpose During the trial, it was revealed that McDonald’s kept its coffee temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit, even though any drink served at temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit could cause serious burns.

Why does McDonald’s keep coffee so hot?

Nearly every time. The one exception being the themed and limited edition flavoured coffees – they don’t seem to be as mouth scaldingly hot. McDonald’s make their coffee at a high temperature to ensure that it will stay hot it people are travelling or commuting long distances.

What temp is hot coffee?

Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, and coffee are frequently served at temperatures between 160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C) and 185 degrees F (85 degrees C). Brief exposures to liquids in this temperature range can cause significant scald burns.

Why is McDonald’s coffee so good?

McDonald’s coffee is good. Since McDonald’s has so many customers, they move through coffee beans quickly, so nothing sits on the shelf for long. To make their fresh coffee drinks taste so good, McDonald’s uses filtered water as well as appropriately chilled water and other yummy ingredients.

Does McDonalds use fake meat?

Yes, every patty is 100% real beef with no fillers, additives or preservatives. Curious about our burgers? We have answers to all of your questions about McDonald’s burgers and beef.

Why does McDonalds coffee say do not microwave?

The paper coffee cups from McDonald’s are designed to hold hot drinks but not to withstand the extreme heat of a microwave. Since the cups are made of a cardboard material, plastic lining inside and a plastic lid, they are unfortunately not safe to use in the microwave.

What temperature can the mouth handle?

While the exact temperature can vary from person to person, in general, anything over 110 degrees Fahrenheit can cause a superficial burn, and anything 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will cause a burn instantly, he notes. This means the majority of beverages served at your local café are hot enough to scald you.

Would 150 degree water burn you?

Most adults will suffer third-degree burns if exposed to 150 degree water for two seconds. Burns will also occur with a six-second exposure to 140 degree water or with a thirty second exposure to 130 degree water. Even if the temperature is 120 degrees, a five minute exposure could result in third-degree burns.

Why is Starbucks coffee so hot?

The main reason is that heat is equated with freshness when it comes to coffee. Extremely hot water is required to brew coffee, and in theory the closer it is to that temperature when it is served, the fresher it is.

Is McDonald’s Coffee Really Too Hot? Two New Lawsuits Say Yes — Eat This Not That

The decades-old safety problem continues to pose a threat to the customers of the company. The date is October 23, 2021. Shutterstock The case began in late February of 1992, when a 79-year-old lady named Stella Liebeck went to a McDonald’s restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and purchased a 49-cent cup of coffee. That particular beverage would turn out to be the most expensive cup of coffee the business had ever sold, according to records. Until, perhaps, the present moment. When the dangerously hot coffee poured into Liebeck’s lap, she received serious burns, which resulted in a lawsuit and a multi-million dollar payout for her injuries.

) Aside from that, the case was widely condemned as a frivolous one that had spurred a flood of personal injury claims against major firms, many of which were unfounded.

And it appears that the company has not taken the necessary steps to resolve the problem: despite the fact that McDonald’s has previously lost multiple lawsuits related to hot coffee burns, the company has now been named in two new lawsuits.

Shutterstock Poole Law Group reports that on that fateful February 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck was sitting in the passenger seat of a stopped vehicle when she accidentally popped the lid off her McDonald’s coffee, intending to add cream and sugar, according to the firm.

  • Although the coffee was cooked to a dangerously high temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit, it was only around 25 degrees below the boiling point of water in this particular instance.
  • According to the Consumer Attorneys of California, she was initially eager to accept for a payment of her medical costs and missed earnings, only to pursue a more severe civil lawsuit when the McDonald’s corporate gave her only $100 in compensation (CAOC).
  • Shutterstock As previously stated, the coffee provided to Stella Liebeck was between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.
  • Shutterstock When it is obvious that mistakes were done because of a lack of information that could have prevented them, they can be forgiven.
  • In reality, according to the CAOC, McDonald’s was following the instructions in an operator’s handbook that said that the coffee should be maintained between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
  • Shutterstock McDonald’s is already facing a slew of new cases that are very similar to that landmark decision.

Specifically, the first lawsuit, which was filed on October 5, pertains to an event that occurred in 2019, in which a cup of coffee delivered through a drive-thru window spilled on a woman’s lap, resulting in “severe and irreversible damage.” The second case, which was filed a few days later, is based on an occurrence that occurred in 2020, during which another cup of coffee came through a separate drive-through window and spilled, resulting in second-degree burns on the plaintiff.

Lawyers and criminal defense attorneys have filed two separate suits seeking $250,000 in damages and $1 million in damages, respectively, and both have pointed the finger to poorly fitting lids as the source of their respective spills, according toLaw and Crime.

According to KSAT, the chain is being held liable for “failing to properly handle hot materials when delivering to customers, failing to maintain liquids at a temperature that would prevent customers from suffering burns, failing to train employees in handling hot liquids, and failing to act as a reasonable person using ordinary care in the same or similar circumstance.” After all, McDonald’s stands to benefit by serving its coffee at scorching temperatures: hotter coffee seems to be fresher, which is especially appealing to individuals who have long commutes.

It remains to be seen if the new cases will be successful in forcing McDonald’s to make significant changes in the way their coffee is prepared and served.

Check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are for more information. Steven John is a name that comes to mind while thinking about the name Steven John. Based just outside of New York City, Steven John works as a freelance writer for the website Eat This, Not That! Readmore

“Know the Facts:” Resources for Consumers

The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Cart is a mobile coffee cart that delivers hot coffee to customers. It is this case that sparked the current wave of anti-“frivolous litigation” sentiment in the United States. Almost everyone appears to be aware of its existence. There’s also a strong probability that what you think you know about it is incorrect. It was 1992 when 79-year-old Stella Liebeck was driving through a McDonald’s drive-thru when she accidentally dropped her cup of takeaway coffee into her lap.

  • An example of a typical reaction: Isn’t coffee meant to be served hot?
  • In addition, she was driving the automobile and was not paying attention to the road.
  • Liebeck was not driving when her coffee spilled, and the automobile in which she was riding was not moving either.
  • Her cup went over when she was holding it between her knees and lifting the lid to add cream and sugar, spilling the entire contents across her lap.
  • In accordance with McDonald’s business policy, the food was served at a temperature that could inflict severe burns in seconds.
  • Liebeck’s injuries were anything but insignificant.
  • In addition to third-degree burns (the most serious type), she required skin grafts on her inner thighs and other areas of her body.

McD’s had previously received more than 700 allegations of harm from their coffee, including instances of third-degree burns, and had paid settlements in some of these cases.

Liebeck volunteered to pay $20,000 in order to offset her medical bills and lost income.


While the jury’s punitive damages verdict made news, it was the jury’s decision to pay Liebeck the equivalent of two days’ worth of McDonald’s revenue from coffee sales because of the company’s refusal to amend a policy despite hundreds of people being injured.

Following a lengthy hearing, the court decreased the original punitive damage award by more than eighty percent.

Mrs. Liebeck and McDonald’s eventually made a private settlement in order to prevent what would have been a protracted legal battle that would have lasted years. Here is some of the evidence that was presented to the jury during the trial:

  • It was specified in the franchisee’s operations handbook that the coffee be served at a temperature of 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes three to seven seconds for third-degree burns to occur when coffee is spilled at such temperature. A widely recognized expert on burns, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, the leading scholarly publication in the specialty, testified that the risk of serious burns from McDonald’s scalding hot coffee is unacceptable. McDonald’s admitted that it had been aware of the risk of serious burns from its scalding hot coffee for more than ten years before the lawsuit was filed. A number of previous claims and lawsuits have brought the risk to the company’s notice on a number of occasions. The number of burns was negligible, according to an expert witness for the firm, who testified that the company serves billions of cups of coffee annually. At least one juror later told the Wall Street Journal that she believed the company was not treating the injuries seriously. The 700 occurrences of hot coffee-related injuries were considered insignificant by the corporate restaurant behemoth when compared to the millions of cups of coffee that were served annually. However, as one jury observed, “there was a human behind every number, and I don’t believe the organization placed enough emphasis on that.” Customers were unaware of the extent of the risk of serious burns from spilled coffee served at McDonald’s then-required temperature, according to McDonald’s quality assurance manager, who testified at trial. McDonald’s admitted that it did not warn customers of the nature and extent of the risk and could only offer naive advice.
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One of the jurors stated in an account of the case(pdf) released shortly after the verdict was announced in 1994 that he came to recognize that the case was about “callous disregard for the safety of the people” over the course of the trial. In the words of another jury, “the facts were so heavily against the corporation.” Those jurors were able to hear all of the facts — including those offered by McDonald’s — and witness the depth of Mrs. Liebeck’s injuries as a result of their participation in the trial.

In this interactive feature, you may tell us how you would decide the McDonald’s Hot Coffee case.

Twenty-Six Years Later McDonald’s Still a “Hot” Topic

According to the complaint, an Oregon lady has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s for $1.56 million after her 14-year-old daughter reportedly sustained major burns after being splashed by a cup of boiling water given by the fast-food establishment. After being offered water at a “unreasonably unsafe temperature,” the 14-year-old allegedly sustained second-degree burns on her tummy and lower torso in July 2017, according to the lawsuit. The complaint does not specify whether the youngster spilled the water on herself or whether the water was accidentally spilled on her.

  • As a point of comparison, once water is heated over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, significant burns can develop very quickly.
  • The adolescent is said to have had considerable and extensive scarring as a result of the burns he sustained.
  • Interestingly, this complaint brings to mind the well-known 1990 case of Stella Liebeck, who sustained third-degree burns after pouring hot McDonald’s coffee on her legs.
  • Liebeck was merely attempting to reclaim the costs of medical care that she had to pay out of herself.
  • Ultimately, a jury determined that Liebeck was entitled to $160,000 in compensatory damages and medical expenses, as well as $2.7 million in punitive damages, after hearing the case.
  • Finally, McDonald’s confirmed that they keep its coffee between 180 and 190 degrees in order to maintain flavor consistency.
  • The company was aware of the dangers presented by its coffee for more than a decade before Stella’s injuries were sustained by the company.

In addition, here’s a frightening statistic: It is estimated that every year, the great majority of incidents involving persons who have been burnt by hot coffee at McDonald’s go unreported.

It was used as propaganda to support tort reform, based on Liebeck’s personal experience.

These allegations, which are being perpetuated by corporate avarice, are part of a wider pattern of corporate activity that exposes customers to unreasonably high risks.

Your adversaries are deceiving you!

The jury system and jury decisions are the most significant safety instruments in this country.

In the United States, there is no such thing as “jackpot justice.” Significant jury verdicts are obtained as a consequence of serious injuries caused by gross negligence.

The rest of us should be able to imagine your existence and your suffering, and then come to rational conclusions about the system, as you have done.

This should be kept in mind the next time you hear about any ‘comedic’ situation.

Moderation is required. Because of significant injuries, serious jury verdicts have been rendered. To approve a single idea, hover your mouse cursor over it and click “I agree.” To accept all of the suggestions made by the bubble, click on it.

What’s the Best Coffee Temperature? What Does Mcdonald’s Use Now?

What temperature do you want your coffee to be served at? If you’re like the majority of people, you don’t give a damn about the warmth of your cup of joe. You’re probably aware of whether something is too hot or too cold, and you’re likely to accept a temperature somewhere in the between. I’m curious what temperature the coffee that comes out of your coffee machine is. I was having a down day (and there was no football to look forward to), so I decided to try something new. I used the meat thermometer from our kitchen to check the temperature of my coffee.

  1. We went to Disney World many years ago, and they wouldn’t allow me take Snow White home with me, so I ended up with this cup.
  2. Coffee machine, it had the following measurements: Photo courtesy of Bill Love Photo courtesy of Bill Love The boiling point of water is 212 degrees, and according to the American Burn Association, a half second of contact with your skin at 160 degrees would result in a burning sensation.
  3. My measurements were as follows after I put it into my mouse cup, added a little sugar and cream, and allowed it to set for a minute or two: Photograph by Bill Love Photograph by Bill Love That’s a step forward.
  4. When the temperature is lower, it appears that there is more flavor, perhaps because you can appreciate it for longer periods of time rather than sucking wind across a mouthful of boiling 170 degree liquid to keep your tongue from melting.
  5. Photographs courtesy of Getty Images I’m sure you remember the McDonald’s customer who spilled a hot cup of coffee on her lap and sued the company for 800 dollars, but ended up obtaining something in the neighborhood of a half million dollars.
  6. According to reports, the McDonald’s coffee was well over 180 degrees when it was served, causing significant burns to the lady.
  7. According to the American Coffee Association, the ideal temperature for brewing is between 195 and 205 degrees.

Please keep in mind that these are the optimal brewing temperatures, not drinking temperatures.

It seems like I go through one of these small Mr.

When I was a kid who drank milk, my mother used one of those old percolator coffee pots that boiled the water to boiling before pouring it into the cup.

He would even gulp it right out of the saucer on occasion.

In excessive heat, the heat overpowers the flavor.

I tried it, and it seemed to be rather nice. Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Mary Portas, pay a visit to a North London high street. Images courtesy of Getty Images Photographs courtesy of Getty Images

Drink at Your Own Risk: How a 90s Lawsuit Changed (or Failed to Change) Coffee Drinking

You can sue anyone for almost anything these days—you can sue Michael Jordan because you look too much like him, sue a dry cleaner for millions of dollars worth of missing jeans, sue a beer corporation because the tropical environment and attractive females from the advertisements do not materialize. And, certainly, McDonald’s is a good choice because their coffee is hot. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of the litigation in question, Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants. It has long been the poster child for frivolous litigation because, well, coffee is hot, so why not sue over it?

Stella Liebeck, it appears, discovered a loophole and took advantage of it before some other cunning cretin could do so.

According to Meghan Keneally, who reported in The Daily Mail, “She had third-degree burns on her legs and genitals, and she fell into shock.” The injuries she got on more than 16 percent of her body (including some third-degree burns) required her to stay in the hospital for more than a week, and it took her two years to fully heal.

She was irreparably deformed, and she came dangerously close to death.” Now, that doesn’t seem quite as frivolous, does it?

Woman spills coffee on herself, wins millions—well, sort of.

On that February day in 1992, when Stella was seated in the passenger seat of her grandson’s parked Ford Probe, a slew of various variables came into play. Given the lack of accessible cup holders, she chose to nestle the cup between her knees, into which she poured some cream and sugar. Her skin practically began to burn alive as she spilled the piping hot coffee across her lap and it pooled in the car’s bucket-style seat. Despite her advanced age, Stella was unable to get up and out of the pool of liquid that had accumulated in her seat, but that would have been of limited assistance.

  • The company gave Stella a pittance of $800.00 when she requested that they pay for her medical expenditures as well as the time that her family would have to take off work to care for her.
  • “I wasn’t in it for the money,” Stella said in an interview with the Retro Report.
  • During the trial, the jurors expressed sympathy for Stella, especially after seeing the real photographs of the injuries she sustained as a result of her eight-ounce coffee.
  • “McDonald’s itself even confessed that their coffee was a ‘danger’ at that temperature,” the article said.

The media fawned over the fact that the jury gave her $2.9 million, but in reality, Stella walked away from the case in 1994 with around $500,000—a detail that was disregarded, which in turn sensationalized the event and contributed to the narrative of frivolous litigation.

The aftermath of Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants.

On that February day in 1992, when Stella was seated in the passenger seat of her grandson’s parked Ford Probe, a variety of distinct variables came into play. With no cup holder around, she took the cup and placed it between her knees as she added milk and sugar to the bottom of the cup. The coffee she had spilled down her lap pooled in the bucket-style seat of the automobile, and the steam practically began to cook her flesh alive. Stella couldn’t get up and out of her seat since she was 79 years old, and even if she had been able to, it would have only made a minor difference.

The company gave Stella a pittance of $800.00 when she requested that they pay for her medical expenditures as well as the time that her family would need to take off work to care for her.

As Stella explained to Retro Report in an interview, “I wasn’t doing it for money.” “I was in it because I wanted them to lower the temperature so that other people wouldn’t have to go through what I had to go through.” Even before seeing the real photographs of the harm caused by Stella’s 8-ounce coffee cup, the jurors expressed sympathy for her during the proceedings.

Despite the fact that the jury awarded her $2.9 million, Stella walked away from the case in 1994 with around $500,000—a detail that was disregarded, which in turn sensationalized the event and contributed to the narrative of frivolous lawsuit.

McDonalds Coffee Case Facts

The information is provided by the Center for Justice and Democracy in New York City. This is the “McDonald’s coffee” display cabinet. We’ve all heard the story: a woman spills McDonald’s coffee, sues, and receives $3 million in compensation. The following are the specifics of this commonly misreported and misunderstood incident: She was seated in the passenger seat of her grandson’s automobile, having just purchased a cup of McDonald’s coffee with her money. Stella Liebeck, 79, was driving. After the automobile came to a halt, she attempted to remove the lid of the cup while holding the cup securely between her legs.

In addition to hospitalization for eight days and whirlpool therapy for wound debridement, she required skin grafting, scarring, and impairment for more than two years as a result of her third-degree burns, which covered 16 percent of her body.

McDonald’s, on the other hand, refused to compromise.

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This is significant since McDonald’s revenue from coffee sales alone exceeds $1.3 million a day (to put this in context).

The trial court decreased the punitive damages to $480,000 from the original amount of $1 million. Following that, the parties reached an agreement on a post-verdict settlement. Several pieces of evidence were presented to the jury in the case, according to Stella Liebeck’s attorney, S. Reed Morgan:

  • McDonald’s offers their coffee at temperatures ranging from 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, according to business guidelines
  • Third-degree burns (where the skin is burnt away down to the muscle/fatty-tissue layer) are caused by spilling coffee at that temperature in two to seven seconds
  • Without skin grafting, debridement, and whirlpool treatments (which can cost tens of thousands of dollars) and result in lifelong deformity, great agony, and incapacity of the victim for months, if not years, third-degree burns are not curable. The chairman of the department of mechanical engineering and bio-mechanical engineering at the University of Texas, as well as a widely recognized expert on burns and the editor in chief of the leading scholarly publication in the specialty, the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, both testified that the risk of harm is unacceptable. According to McDonald’s, the company has known for more than a decade about the danger of significant burns caused by their scorching hot coffee — a danger that has been brought to its notice via multiple prior allegations and lawsuits, all to no purpose. More than 700 persons were injured by McDonald’s coffee between 1982 and 1992, with many suffering serious burns to the vaginal region, perineum, inner thighs, and buttocks.
  • At least one woman had coffee dropped in her lap through the service window, causing third-degree burns to her inner thighs and other sensitive areas, which left her disabled for years
  • Not only men and women, but also children and infants have been burned by McDonald’s scalding hot coffee, in some cases due to inadvertent spillage by McDonald’s employees
  • Consumers are ignorant of the extent to which spilt coffee served at McDonald’s mandated temperature poses a severe danger of serious burns, according to McDonald’s witnesses in court
  • McDonald’s accepted that it failed to notify customers about the nature and magnitude of the danger and that it had no explanation for why it failed to do so
  • As one witness put it: “No, there is no present plan to modify the method that we’re utilizing in that aspect right now
  • ” McDonald’s witnesses testified that the company had no intention of turning down the heat. If spilled or drunk, McDonald’s coffee is “unfit for consumption,” according to the company
  • Liebeck’s treating physician testified that her injury was one of the worst scald burns he had ever seen
  • And McDonald’s admitted that its coffee is “unfit for consumption” when sold because it causes severe scalds if spilled or drunk.

Furthermore, the Shriner’s Burn Institute in Cincinnati had sent warnings to the franchise food sector, claiming that its members were unnecessarily causing significant scald burns to customers by delivering beverages that were over 130 degrees Fahrenheit without a valid reason. McDonald’s actions, according to Judge Robert Scott, was “callous” in his decision not to award a new trial in the case. “The next day, the news media reported that coffee at the McDonald’s in Albuquerque is now sold at 158 degrees,” the news media reported further.

In addition to educating the public about the importance of the civil justice system, the Center for Justice Democracy works to protect the right to a jury trial and an independent judiciary for all Americans.

Contributions from individuals and foundations, such as the Deer Creek Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Stern Family Fund, help to keep the Center for Justice and Democracy running.

Center for Justice and Democracy (Center for Justice and Democracy) All Rights Reserved The address is 90 Broad Street, Suite 401 in New York, New York 10004212.267.2801.

Myths and Facts of “The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case”

Case value is something we discuss with our clients (and potential clients) on a regular basis here at SegarSciortinowe. We aim to demonstrate that determining the value of a personal injury case is as much an art as it is a science, and that a variety of criteria must be considered while making that decision. These are some examples:

  • The nature and severity of the injury
  • And The long-term nature of the impairment
  • The medical history of the wounded individual, as well as his or her age, gender, employment, and family duties
  • The total quantity of therapy that the individual got
  • The demographics of the jury pool in the jurisdiction where the case is being heard

Even a person’s personality or demeanor can have an impact on how a case is assessed. Even when we tell someone that their case is not worth as much as they believe it is, we hear, “But that McDonald’s lady got a million dollars!” All too often. The majority of people, on the other hand, are unaware of the entire McDonald’s story. In this post, we’ll dispel some common misconceptions about this infamous court case, so read on! Myth: A middle-aged woman drove herself through the drive-through at McDonald’s restaurant.

  • While driving, the lid of her coffee cup popped off, spilling coffee all over her lap.
  • “McDonald’s lady,” was 79 years old at the time of her death in this accident.
  • She pulled into the drive-through and ordered a cup of coffee, which was delivered to her in a Styrofoam cup.
  • Stella sat the coffee cup between her knees so that she could open the lid and stir in the sugar with both hands while sitting.
  • Myth: The lady suffered a minor burn.
  • She was admitted to the hospital for eight days and subjected to a series of extremely painful procedures to clean her wounds.
  • Myth: She filed a lawsuit against them for a million dollars!

Myth: She’s been awarded a million dollars!

The jury also awarded McDonald’s $2.7 million in punitive damages because they were aware that their coffee was dangerously hot, but they continued to serve it that way because it “tasted better,” according to the verdict.

McDonald’s filed an appeal, and the case was eventually settled for an undisclosed sum.

Everyone has freshly brewed coffee available!

The Shriner’s Burn Institute in Cincinnati issued a warning that coffee served above 130 degrees was “dangerously hot,” according to the institute.

Prior to this accident, they had received 700 complaints of burns caused by their coffee, including complaints of burns to children and babies as a result of accidental spills.

As a result of her severe, third-degree burns, Stella Liebeck was awarded only $200,000, which was later reduced by the judge to $160,000.

Despite the fact that courts frequently reduce large jury awards, this information is not reported in the newspapers.

The courts have not reduced the value of million-dollar jury verdicts, so we are not enticed to join us with such boasts.

We provide you with honest and realistic estimates of how much we believe your case is worth in the current market. If you have any questions about filing a lawsuit for an injury you sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Remember the Hot Coffee Lawsuit? It Changed the Way McDonald’s Heats Coffee Forever

79-year-old Stella Liebeck was in the passenger seat of her grandson’s Ford Probe on February 27, 1992, when she pulled up to the drive-through window of a McDonald’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and ordered a Value Meal for her grandson. After they received their order, she and her grandson, Christopher Tiano, pulled into a parking place because there were no cup holders in the Probe and the inside surfaces were sloping. “I wanted to take the lid off the coffee so I could add milk and sugar in it,” Liebeck explained at the time to a local news station.

“It was a terrifying experience.” Coffee spilt on Liebeck’s lap, causing second and third degree burns to cover 16 percent of her body surface.

“I’m a nurse, and the sort of injuries that she had incurred shocked me,” Liebeck’s daughter-in-law, Barbara Liebeck, said of her mother-in-ordeal.

Learn about the ten controversies that shook the fast-food sector in the past decade.

Why Liebeck decided to sue

When Liebeck’s medical expenditures surpassed $10,000, she contacted McDonald’s and requested reimbursement for the money spent. “We couldn’t believe that this much harm could be caused by a spilt cup of coffee,” Liebeck’s daughter, Judy Allen, said in a documentary on the case, Scalded by the Media, which was released in 2013. It was in this letter that we requested that McDonald’s verify the temperature of their coffee and compensate us for the medical expenditures. Mr. Liebeck’s son-in-law, Mr.

However, if that is your policy, we urge that you focus on your policy.” McDonald’s reacted with a cash offer of $800 to the situation.

After unsuccessful attempts to reach an out-of-court settlement, Liebeck filed a $125,000 lawsuit against McDonald’s, alleging bodily and emotional suffering, sorrow, and a loss of enjoyment of life.

Here’s how to remove coffee stains off clothing.

Thus, according to one of Liebeck’s attorneys, Ken Wagner, “the coffee at issue was made at temperatures that were about equivalent to the temperature in the radiator of your automobile after you drove from your office to your house.” Having learned what prompted the hot coffee lawsuit, here are some additional facts that McDonald’s staff would not tell you about the company.

What came out in court

According to David Arredondo, MD, Liebeck’s surgeon, if the liquid at that temperature comes into touch with the skin for more than a few seconds, it will cause quite significant burns to the skin. In the best case scenario, it will cause second-degree burns, according to him. “If you’re not as fortunate, you’ll get third-degree or full-thickness burns that will necessitate skin grafting and surgical intervention.” In a series of photographs showing Liebeck’s burnt crotch and skin grafts, the jury was provided with a visual demonstration of exactly what he was referring to.

  • Coffee specialists told the corporation that “high temperatures are required to completely extract the taste from the beans during the brewing process.” McDonald’s representatives said that Liebeck was to responsible for the incident since she was holding the cup between her knees.
  • Additionally, her advanced age may have contributed to the severity of her injuries, as the skin of elderly persons is thinner and more sensitive to damage.
  • The company had received more than 700 complaints about hot beverages causing burns over a ten-year period prior to the investigation.
  • Jurors appeared to be turned off by their argument.
  • They granted her compensatory damages in the amount of $200,000.00.
  • A total of $2.7 million in punitive damages was handed to her by the jury, which they calculated to be the equivalent of approximately two days’ worth of McDonald’s coffee sales.
  • “The only way to grab the attention of a large corporation is to file a lawsuit against them for punitive damages,” stated jury Marjorie Getman.

Despite this, Farnham believes that the inaugural prize “definitely captured everyone’s attention, albeit not always in a positive way.” On a lighter note than the hot coffee lawsuit, take a look at some of the most amusing court cases ever heard.

How the public reacted to the verdict

According to the reportScalded by the Media, despite the fact that the originalAlbuquerque Journalarticle on the trial was 700 words long, later pickup and wire-service pieces were significantly shorter and omitted critical information. In the end, the majority of the public was only aware of the case because of the news headlines and late-night chat programs. These fast food court cases are ba-da-ba-dumb, to say the least. John Llewellyn, an associate professor of communication at Wake Forest University, stated that when you read the words “Woman,” “Coffee,” and “Millions,” you get the impression that it’s a scam.

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Litigation has become a popular American hobby, and I’d like to acquire a piece of the easy money that comes with it.” —Andy Rooney, a journalist with CBS News Each minute they spend on one bogus case is a minute they are unable to spend on other frivolous lawsuits.” ‘Oooh, my coffee was too hot,’ I said.

—Jay Leno, The Tonight Show A number of politicians have hopped on the bandwagon: “If a lady goes to a fast-food restaurant, pours coffee in her lap, burns her legs, sues, and receives a large payment, that in and of itself should be enough to convince you that we want tort reform.” —John Kasich, a former member of the United States Congress from Ohio The general public’s view was affected.

No one could say the McDonald’s employee just grabbed the coffee and flung it at her.” As a result, you should be aware that a hot coffee lawsuit is not the only thing that might put you in court.

The final outcome

Her family, unsurprisingly, was shocked and outraged. According to daughter Judy Allen, “I am shocked at how many people are aware of this issue and how many people have incorrect views of the situation.” They’ll respond with ‘Oh, no, she was driving,’ when I ask them what would happen if I informed them she wasn’t driving. The daughter-in-law of Liebeck, Barbara, claimed she had heard that her mother-in-law was asking for $30 million or something equally ludicrous in exchange for her silence.

  • That was exactly what she had requested.” That message got lost in the shuffle of the crowd.
  • Llewellyn remarked.
  • ‘I was in it because I wanted them to lower the temperature down so that other people wouldn’t have to go through what I went through,’ I explained.
  • She died in 2004 at the age of 91, after a long illness.
  • Since the lawsuit was filed, customers have brought hot coffee lawsuits against a variety of corporations, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Continental Airlines, and others.

Now that you’re familiar with the history of the hot coffee case, read on for 75 more mind-boggling facts about McDonald’s.

Are You In Danger If You Order McDonald’s Coffee?

Naturally, her family was outraged by what she had done. According to daughter Judy Allen, “I am just shocked at how many people are aware of this story, and how many people have a twisted opinion of it.” They’ll respond with ‘Oh, no, she was driving,’ when I ask them what they would do if I told them she wasn’t driving. The daughter-in-law of Liebeck, Barbara, stated, “I’ve heard people claim she was asking for $30 million or something equally crazy.” To put it bluntly: “I want you to pay what Medicare doesn’t cover, and I want you to get a better lid on that coffee because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Stella told McDonald’s.

  • How do you cope with the possibility that everyone is mistaken about something if everyone chooses what is true about something and the media has served as a type of echo chamber for it?
  • It is the worst part of this whole incident, in my opinion, that Stella Liebeck had to protect her reputation.
  • After 91 years of life, she passed away in 2004.
  • Several firms, including Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Continental Airlines and others, have been sued in connection with hot coffee allegations since the suit was filed.

Why is McDonald’s coffee so hot? Find out now!

Generally speaking, coffee is considered a hot beverage. It is almost certain to be hot. McDonald’s coffee, on the other hand, is significantly warmer than typical. You might be wondering how hot it is. McDonald’s coffee is served at a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. That equates to around 82 degrees Celsius. This temperature is ten times higher than the usual temperature of a freshly prepared cup of coffee at home or at any other coffee establishment. McDonald’s coffee is often regarded as the hottest hot beverage available in the business today.

Reasons for the coffee being so hot

Coming to the heart of the matter, the cause for their coffee’s extreme warmth. The entire premise revolves around storing and providing coffee in its freshest possible state. When it comes to coffee, heat and freshness are inversely proportional: the greater the heat, the fresher the coffee. To make the coffee, boiling water is added, and it is then served immediately. McDonald’s claims that keeping the coffee hot allows it to stay fresher for a longer period of time. This is at least one of the reasons given by the company.

Because individuals traveling long distances need their coffee to be hot and fresh, McDonald’s prepares its coffee to be extremely hot.

Having a cup of hot coffee might help keep the sleep away.

Using hot coffee at a temperature of 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit, according to McDonald’s, will help you save money on coffee.

People are frequently perplexed and inquisitive as to how they serve or even acquire such high temperatures for their coffee. This high a temperature for brewing and serving coffee is not obtained even by the most sophisticated coffee manufacturing devices.

Law-suits faced by McDonald’s in the past

Due of the firm’s extremely hot coffee, the company has also been the target of several lawsuits. They can get burns from their coffee, which can reach temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsius. McDonald’s has instituted thick cups in order to avoid this from happening in the future. Thicker cups have shown to be more advantageous when it comes to hot coffee, according to research. But they haven’t changed, or even dropped, the temperature of their coffee in the last few months. The key rationale given by the firm for the lawsuits was the inconvenience caused to commuters who had to drive long distances.

Despite being a massive fast-food corporation, McDonald’s updated the serving cups while maintaining the same high temperature of their coffee beverage.

She had apparently sustained third degree burns from a cup of McDonald’s coffee; you can read more about it at this website.

Legal Myths: The McDonald’s “Hot Coffee” Case

In 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old retired sales clerk, stopped into a drive-through McDonald’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and purchased a 49-cent cup of coffee for herself and her husband. She was riding in the passenger seat of a car that her grandson was driving. Ms. Liebeck had placed the cup between her knees and lifted the lid to add cream and sugar when the hot coffee spilled out into her lap, inflicting third-degree burns to her crotch, inner thighs, and buttocks, according to the report.

A jury in New Mexico awarded Ms.

A “runaway jury,” an unfair award, and a distorted system of justice were presented in newspaper headlines such as “Hot cup of coffee costs $2.95 million,” or “Coffee Spill Burns Woman; Jury Awards $2.9 Million.” As a result, the facts of the case were easily neglected by the media and those who wish to restrict customers’ legal rights, leading to the creation of a “legal myth” that has become a poster-case for corporate organizations who have a vested interest in restricting the legal rights of consumers.

The Facts of the Matter According to the circumstances of this case, the rewards were warranted in light of McDonalds’ activities, which may be found in the following sentences:

  • McDonald’s offers coffee at temperatures ranging from 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the company’s own specifications. A scientist who testified on behalf of McDonald’s said that any coffee served at a temperature higher than 130 degrees might cause third-degree burns. When the temperature is raised to 190 degrees, according to a doctor who testified on Ms. Liebeck’s side, it takes less than three seconds to cause a third-degree burn.
  • During the trial, McDonald’s confessed that the company had been aware of the possibility of significant burns from their coffee for more than ten years before it was sued. From 1982 to 1992, McDonald’s received more than 700 reports of burns caused by hot coffee, with some of the victims being children and newborns in certain cases. A large number of clients had serious burns to the vaginal area, perineum, inner thighs, and buttocks, among other places. In addition, several of these claims were settled for a total of more than $500,000 in settlement money.
  • The firm’s witnesses stated that customers were not aware that they were at risk of choking on spilled coffee since it had been supplied at the temperature required by the company. It was revealed that McDonald’s did not warn consumers and that the company had no explanation as to why it did not do so.
  • As a result of her injuries, Ms. Liebeck was admitted to the hospital for eight days. She went through a series of costly procedures for third-degree burns at that period, including debridement (the removal of dead tissue) and skin grafting. She was damaged and crippled for more than two years as a result of the burns. Even before she filed a lawsuit, Liebeck notified McDonald’s about her injuries and requested reimbursement for her medical expenses, which totaled nearly $11,000. McDonald’s responded with a ridiculously low $800 offer
  • The offer was rejected.
  • McDonald’s had numerous further opportunities to settle the issue before going to trial: Liebeck’s attorney made an offer to settle the case for $300,000 at one point. In addition, the judge ordered both sides to participate in a mediated settlement meeting, where the mediator, a retired judge, advised that McDonald’s settle for $225,000. This recommendation was made just days before the trial. McDonald’s has rebuffed all attempts to reach a settlement with the plaintiff.

The Findings of the Study As a result of her medical expenses and impairment, the jury determined that Ms. Liebeck was entitled to $200,000 in compensatory damages. The compensation was lowered to $160,000 because the jury concluded that Ms. Liebeck was responsible for 20 percent of the harm as a result of spilling the coffee on her dresser top. The jury awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages after determining that McDonald’s had participated in deliberate, reckless, malicious, or wanton behavior.

Because the purposes of awarding punitive damages are to punish the person or company who committed the wrongful act as well as to deter him and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future, the degree of punishment or deterrence resulting from a judgment is proportional to the wealth of the person or company who committed the wrongful act Punitive penalties are intended to be substantial enough to convey a message to the perpetrator; but, when applied to rich businesses, punitive damages are restricted to the extent that the intended message is not sent.

After concluding that McDonald’s’ conduct was “callous,” the trial judge declined to allow the company a retrial.

Both sides filed an appeal against the ruling.

As a condition of the settlement, McDonald’s stipulated that no information about the case would be made publicly available.

They have created a false impression of a “legal horror story,” when in fact, the case illustrates that the legal system punishes companies for misbehavior while also protecting consumers who may be the victims of their misdeeds.

The date was November 30, 1999.

McDonald’s Restaurants, No.



Reuters reports that a woman was burned by coffee spill and that a jury awarded her $2.9 million.

Andrea Gerlin’s article, “A Matter of Degree: How a Jury Decided That McDonald’s Should Pay a Woman Millions for a Hot-Coffee Spill,” was published in the Journal of Legal Literature.

Morgan, S.

In The National Law Journal, Vol.

8 (October 24, 1996), at page A2 0.

Morgan, S.

“McDonald’s Burned Itself.” .

“McDonald’s Settles Lawsuit Against Woman Burned by Coffee,” The New York Times.


At A20 in Morgan, supra note 5, he says On page 26 of Morgan, supra note 7.

Morgan, supra note 5, p. 26. Morgan, supra note 5. pg. 1 of Theresa Howard’s article “McDonald’s Settles Coffee Suit in Out-of-Court Agreement,” published in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 12, 1994.

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