Calendar

January 2022
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

The Archives

Subject Matter

Hot Coffee is Hot

I love coffee. Even as a kid far before I ever drank the stuff I would beg my grandma for her coffee nips and thrilled over coffee flavoredice cream. I like all manner of hot beverages (cider, tea, chai, cocoa!) but coffee is my favorite, hands down.

As a coffee drinker I have acquired a surplus of coffee mugs. I wouldn’t say I collect them exactly but I definitely have plenty and that doesn’t stop me from occasionally picking up more. It makes me smile to choose from my assortment of mugs when I have my coffee each morning. Among my favorite mugs are my Jesse Ventura (“Minnesota’s Governing Body” ha, get that wrestling reference… Jesse “The Body” Ventura?), my Goodbye Blue Monday (and all the memories of Northfield and my time as their substitute barista), and my CAUTION HOT COFFEE IS HOT (do not spill on crotch) mugs.

I’m actually on my second Hot Coffee Is Hot mug. Ages ago I saw Berin Kinsman’s original Cafe Press version of this mug and snapped it up immediately. As was the case with many Cafe Press mugs from those early years, the images began to fade from being run through the dishwasher. (That’s how my “Oh Jeff-list, how lemony fresh art thou” mug eventually became just a plain white mug, too.) I would have just ordered a new one but the mug had gone away in the meantime. I asked after the mug and lo, a new version was made available and delivered to me! Happy day.

Turns out I was luckier than I thought with this mug! In Googling around for images and links for this blog post, I came across this post at UncleBear.com and discovered that I’m apparently one of the few that has the version of the mug that says “Caution” on it. Seems that some guy names Jim Vitello once upon a time had this idea for scratch-and-sniff underwear and trademarked “Caution!” specifically for use as a trademark for “boxer shorts, boxer briefs, briefs, thongs, lingerie, pajamas, nightshirts, robes and swimwear”. Yet somehow this guy was able to use this to demand that Cafe Press remove the coffee mug from Berin’s store because it used the word “caution” on it. The mug now says “Careful” instead. (Vitello has also apparently sued Hot Topic and lost a complaint against the owners of caution.com ).

I’ve always liked my Hot Coffee Is Hot mug. It appeals to my snarky side, the part of me that rolls eyes and grits teeth in the face of human fuckwittery, the voice in my head that says “Gee, brainiac, maybe it’s not that the coffee was too hot but that you shouldn’t stick a to-go cup between your legs in a moving vehicle?” It’s the same side of me that smirks when I read that someone like Jim Vitello is smacked down for his greedy, baseless, overreaching legal actions. It was my snarky side that raised a steaming mug of coffee in the general direction of Covina, CA this morning and proposed a toast: “Caution, Jim Vitello! Hot coffee is hot, do not spill on crotch!”

Mmm, coffee.

EDIT TO ADD: BEFORE ONE MORE PERSON TRIES TO EDUCATE ME ON THE SPECIFICS OF THE DAMN McDONALD’S VS. LITTLE OLD LADY WITH SKIN GRAFTS ON HER VULVA CASE, in my younger days I WAS the very dumbass I refer to! Before built-in cup holders, I was that very dumbass who drove off with a cup of hot coffee between my legs, which I then proceeded to spill in my own fucking lap! Jesus H, please no more lectures about the goddamn McDonald’s coffee case!

80 comments to Hot Coffee is Hot

  • If only the McDonalds hot coffee case were that simple…

    • Nothing’s ever that simple.

      Divorced from any specific issues unique to the McDonald’s case, I think Hot Coffee Is Hot, Do Not Spill On Crotch is sensible course of action.

    • Agreed

      Gee, brainiac, maybe it’s not that the coffee was too hot but that you shouldn’t stick a to-go cup between your legs in a moving vehicle?

      According to the case files as they were presented to me when I was working with the Insurance Industry (a bunch of VERY EVIL people, I might add), she was the passenger sitting in the car while it was pulled over when the accident occurred. This is from memory when I was working with the Insurance assholes, mind you, so my memory could be ahem… clouded… by the absolute hate I had for the insurance companies and their calls for “Tort Reform!” to stop people like this from being able to get settlements.

  • If only the McDonalds hot coffee case were that simple…

    • Nothing’s ever that simple.

      Divorced from any specific issues unique to the McDonald’s case, I think Hot Coffee Is Hot, Do Not Spill On Crotch is sensible course of action.

    • Nothing’s ever that simple.

      Divorced from any specific issues unique to the McDonald’s case, I think Hot Coffee Is Hot, Do Not Spill On Crotch is sensible course of action.

    • Agreed

      Gee, brainiac, maybe it’s not that the coffee was too hot but that you shouldn’t stick a to-go cup between your legs in a moving vehicle?

      According to the case files as they were presented to me when I was working with the Insurance Industry (a bunch of VERY EVIL people, I might add), she was the passenger sitting in the car while it was pulled over when the accident occurred. This is from memory when I was working with the Insurance assholes, mind you, so my memory could be ahem… clouded… by the absolute hate I had for the insurance companies and their calls for “Tort Reform!” to stop people like this from being able to get settlements.

    • Agreed

      Gee, brainiac, maybe it’s not that the coffee was too hot but that you shouldn’t stick a to-go cup between your legs in a moving vehicle?

      According to the case files as they were presented to me when I was working with the Insurance Industry (a bunch of VERY EVIL people, I might add), she was the passenger sitting in the car while it was pulled over when the accident occurred. This is from memory when I was working with the Insurance assholes, mind you, so my memory could be ahem… clouded… by the absolute hate I had for the insurance companies and their calls for “Tort Reform!” to stop people like this from being able to get settlements.

  • If only the McDonalds hot coffee case were that simple…

  • If only the McDonalds hot coffee case were that simple…

    • Nothing’s ever that simple.

      Divorced from any specific issues unique to the McDonald’s case, I think Hot Coffee Is Hot, Do Not Spill On Crotch is sensible course of action.

    • Agreed

      Gee, brainiac, maybe it’s not that the coffee was too hot but that you shouldn’t stick a to-go cup between your legs in a moving vehicle?

      According to the case files as they were presented to me when I was working with the Insurance Industry (a bunch of VERY EVIL people, I might add), she was the passenger sitting in the car while it was pulled over when the accident occurred. This is from memory when I was working with the Insurance assholes, mind you, so my memory could be ahem… clouded… by the absolute hate I had for the insurance companies and their calls for “Tort Reform!” to stop people like this from being able to get settlements.

  • If only the McDonalds hot coffee case were that simple…

  • Nothing’s ever that simple.

    Divorced from any specific issues unique to the McDonald’s case, I think Hot Coffee Is Hot, Do Not Spill On Crotch is sensible course of action.

  • Agreed

    Gee, brainiac, maybe it’s not that the coffee was too hot but that you shouldn’t stick a to-go cup between your legs in a moving vehicle?

    According to the case files as they were presented to me when I was working with the Insurance Industry (a bunch of VERY EVIL people, I might add), she was the passenger sitting in the car while it was pulled over when the accident occurred. This is from memory when I was working with the Insurance assholes, mind you, so my memory could be ahem… clouded… by the absolute hate I had for the insurance companies and their calls for “Tort Reform!” to stop people like this from being able to get settlements.

  • I heard she was in a miniskirt and the cup was between her bare thighs. But then I hear all kinds of things.

  • I sure hope not! The case in question involved a 79-year-old woman.

    It was actually sweatpants. Oddly enough, she would have been better off in a miniskirt.

  • Supporting some hippie over a proud capitalist trying to protect his brand and make a buck?

    Why do you hate America?

  • Supporting some hippie over a proud capitalist trying to protect his brand and make a buck?

    Why do you hate America?

  • Supporting some hippie over a proud capitalist trying to protect his brand and make a buck?

    Why do you hate America?

  • Supporting some hippie over a proud capitalist trying to protect his brand and make a buck?

    Why do you hate America?

  • Supporting some hippie over a proud capitalist trying to protect his brand and make a buck?

    Why do you hate America?

  • Regarding the coffee case, yes it was stupid to put it in your lap and drive. The crux of the matter was that
    (1) McDonald’s kept their coffee at an absurdly superheated level, so hot you would actually burn your mouth if you had tried to drink it.
    (1a) By “superheated” I mean 180-190 degrees, whereas food at 130 degrees is a burn hazard and 212 degrees is literally BOILING.
    (1b) By “burns” I mean “3rd-degree burns,” as in “the dermis and the epidermis are so damaged that they are lost.” Most people have never had a 3rd-degree burn in their life, and they are lucky for it.
    (2) McDonalds had over 700 reports in the past 10 years of people burned by their coffee, and had settled several lawsuits over coffee burns in this time.

    I once got into an RPG agument with JD about burns and the in-game threshold for real-world effects (frex, I thought the damage estimate he had for submersion in boiling water was WAY too low). I did some research based on hospital data and the incident rate of people DYING from water burns goes up very quickly the higher the temperature gets … a significant burn occurs about twice as fast every 10 degree increase in the liquid’s temperature. So if you’ve ever spilled hot coffee on yourself and actually burned yourself (instead of a simple pain reaction), imagine how much worse it would be at 140 degrees, 150, 160, 170, and 180. If you spilled 180-degree coffee on yourself you’d be scarred for life. The old lady in question needed SKIN GRAFTS to repair the damage.

    So yeah, it’s easy and fun to point at this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits, but she basically spilled near-boiling water on herself.

    That said … don’t put a cup of hot coffee on your crotch, dumbass….

    • addenda

      Skin grafts on her vulva, even.

      McDonald’s kept their coffee at 180-190 degrees as contrasted to every other coffee chain which maintained temperatures around 140-150 degrees, and as contrasted to home coffeemakers which typically produce coffee at 130 degrees.

      Also, they pulled over so that she could take the lid off and put cream and sugar in it. So she was not driving, and the vehicle was not moving.

      • Re: addenda

        Oh for fuck sake, I didn’t even specifically reference the actual DAMN McDONALD’S case. I am hereby removing any references to being in cars, moving or not. The point of my post was NOT to get into any specifics of the fucking McDonald’s case or to in ANY WAY defend McDonald’s policies for keeping their fucking shitty UNDRINKABLE coffee at temps high enough to cause third degree burns. That one horrifically scarred little old lady is not the ONLY instance in all of history of some dumbass spilling hot coffee.

        I’ve done it my motherfucking self, ok? I’M THE DUMBASS WHO HAS DONE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING SELF.

        There. I feel better now.

        • Re: addenda

          Sorry for being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          I’m just touchy about the McDonald’s case because it’s resulted in so many people being like “DUH, COFFEE IS HOT, BITCH.”

          Anyway! Moving right along….

          • Re: addenda

            As I told someone else last night, my camel had a broken back before the “last” straw hit. Bad day yesterday.

            I apologize for the freakout. It was nothing personal.

        • Re: addenda

          Welcome to my world, Nik. That’s why the title of my blog is no longer “Hot Coffee is Hot”. There are people who have no sense of humor about this and get rabidly nasty about it.

          As I state in my other reply, even at 140 degrees or less a reasonable person would want to take adequate precautions to avoid spilling coffee on one’s self, because even if it didn’t result in 3rd degree burns it would still be uncomfortable and stain one’s clothes.

          Accidents still happen, though.

          Proceed with caution.

          Exercise common sense.

          Hot coffee is hot.

    • Re: 700 reports in 10 years

      Yes. They burned their MOUTHS. They took a sip and got a burn to the tongue, lip, or roof of their mouth. They did not spill it on their crotch. Because they were not balancing an open cup of coffee on their lap.

      But for McDonald’s heating their coffee at least 20 degrees hotter than industry standard, Stella Liebeck would not have been burned. That’s why she was originally awarded like $7 million. Was McDonald’s at fault? Yes, partially. She still would have spilled the coffee, but would not have been burned. When originally approached with a medical bill of $30,000, McDonald’s denied fault. They were jerks about it.

      However, but for Mrs. Liebeck trying to balance a lidless cup of coffee on her lap — no hands — while adding sugar (and the facts of th accident are contradictory as to whether the vehicle was moving, but still, lidless cup of coffee balanced on lap, no hands?) the coffee would not have spilled. Even at 160 degree, or 140, wouldn’t you want to take some reasonable precautions to not spill coffee on yourself? To avoid discomfort? To avoid staining your clothes? That’s why upon appeal the award was reduced to $400,000 to cover her medical expenses. And that’s $370,000 above and beyond the original medical expenses presented to McDonald’s. Was Mrs. Liebeck at fault? Yes. partially. Going after McDonald’s for millions in punitive damages because you did something silly and spilled your coffee is just greedy. Going for the medical expenses I agree with, but own your part of the responsibility, please.

      I’ve argued this case back and forth for years, and while I don’t consign all the blame to Mrs. Liebeck, I will fight tooth an nail with anyone who tries to convince me she was a blameless, innocent angel.

  • Regarding the coffee case, yes it was stupid to put it in your lap and drive. The crux of the matter was that
    (1) McDonald’s kept their coffee at an absurdly superheated level, so hot you would actually burn your mouth if you had tried to drink it.
    (1a) By “superheated” I mean 180-190 degrees, whereas food at 130 degrees is a burn hazard and 212 degrees is literally BOILING.
    (1b) By “burns” I mean “3rd-degree burns,” as in “the dermis and the epidermis are so damaged that they are lost.” Most people have never had a 3rd-degree burn in their life, and they are lucky for it.
    (2) McDonalds had over 700 reports in the past 10 years of people burned by their coffee, and had settled several lawsuits over coffee burns in this time.

    I once got into an RPG agument with JD about burns and the in-game threshold for real-world effects (frex, I thought the damage estimate he had for submersion in boiling water was WAY too low). I did some research based on hospital data and the incident rate of people DYING from water burns goes up very quickly the higher the temperature gets … a significant burn occurs about twice as fast every 10 degree increase in the liquid’s temperature. So if you’ve ever spilled hot coffee on yourself and actually burned yourself (instead of a simple pain reaction), imagine how much worse it would be at 140 degrees, 150, 160, 170, and 180. If you spilled 180-degree coffee on yourself you’d be scarred for life. The old lady in question needed SKIN GRAFTS to repair the damage.

    So yeah, it’s easy and fun to point at this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits, but she basically spilled near-boiling water on herself.

    That said … don’t put a cup of hot coffee on your crotch, dumbass….

    • addenda

      Skin grafts on her vulva, even.

      McDonald’s kept their coffee at 180-190 degrees as contrasted to every other coffee chain which maintained temperatures around 140-150 degrees, and as contrasted to home coffeemakers which typically produce coffee at 130 degrees.

      Also, they pulled over so that she could take the lid off and put cream and sugar in it. So she was not driving, and the vehicle was not moving.

      • Re: addenda

        Oh for fuck sake, I didn’t even specifically reference the actual DAMN McDONALD’S case. I am hereby removing any references to being in cars, moving or not. The point of my post was NOT to get into any specifics of the fucking McDonald’s case or to in ANY WAY defend McDonald’s policies for keeping their fucking shitty UNDRINKABLE coffee at temps high enough to cause third degree burns. That one horrifically scarred little old lady is not the ONLY instance in all of history of some dumbass spilling hot coffee.

        I’ve done it my motherfucking self, ok? I’M THE DUMBASS WHO HAS DONE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING SELF.

        There. I feel better now.

        • Re: addenda

          Sorry for being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          I’m just touchy about the McDonald’s case because it’s resulted in so many people being like “DUH, COFFEE IS HOT, BITCH.”

          Anyway! Moving right along….

          • Re: addenda

            As I told someone else last night, my camel had a broken back before the “last” straw hit. Bad day yesterday.

            I apologize for the freakout. It was nothing personal.

          • Re: addenda

            As I told someone else last night, my camel had a broken back before the “last” straw hit. Bad day yesterday.

            I apologize for the freakout. It was nothing personal.

        • Re: addenda

          Sorry for being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          I’m just touchy about the McDonald’s case because it’s resulted in so many people being like “DUH, COFFEE IS HOT, BITCH.”

          Anyway! Moving right along….

        • Re: addenda

          Welcome to my world, Nik. That’s why the title of my blog is no longer “Hot Coffee is Hot”. There are people who have no sense of humor about this and get rabidly nasty about it.

          As I state in my other reply, even at 140 degrees or less a reasonable person would want to take adequate precautions to avoid spilling coffee on one’s self, because even if it didn’t result in 3rd degree burns it would still be uncomfortable and stain one’s clothes.

          Accidents still happen, though.

          Proceed with caution.

          Exercise common sense.

          Hot coffee is hot.

        • Re: addenda

          Welcome to my world, Nik. That’s why the title of my blog is no longer “Hot Coffee is Hot”. There are people who have no sense of humor about this and get rabidly nasty about it.

          As I state in my other reply, even at 140 degrees or less a reasonable person would want to take adequate precautions to avoid spilling coffee on one’s self, because even if it didn’t result in 3rd degree burns it would still be uncomfortable and stain one’s clothes.

          Accidents still happen, though.

          Proceed with caution.

          Exercise common sense.

          Hot coffee is hot.

      • Re: addenda

        Oh for fuck sake, I didn’t even specifically reference the actual DAMN McDONALD’S case. I am hereby removing any references to being in cars, moving or not. The point of my post was NOT to get into any specifics of the fucking McDonald’s case or to in ANY WAY defend McDonald’s policies for keeping their fucking shitty UNDRINKABLE coffee at temps high enough to cause third degree burns. That one horrifically scarred little old lady is not the ONLY instance in all of history of some dumbass spilling hot coffee.

        I’ve done it my motherfucking self, ok? I’M THE DUMBASS WHO HAS DONE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING SELF.

        There. I feel better now.

    • addenda

      Skin grafts on her vulva, even.

      McDonald’s kept their coffee at 180-190 degrees as contrasted to every other coffee chain which maintained temperatures around 140-150 degrees, and as contrasted to home coffeemakers which typically produce coffee at 130 degrees.

      Also, they pulled over so that she could take the lid off and put cream and sugar in it. So she was not driving, and the vehicle was not moving.

    • Re: 700 reports in 10 years

      Yes. They burned their MOUTHS. They took a sip and got a burn to the tongue, lip, or roof of their mouth. They did not spill it on their crotch. Because they were not balancing an open cup of coffee on their lap.

      But for McDonald’s heating their coffee at least 20 degrees hotter than industry standard, Stella Liebeck would not have been burned. That’s why she was originally awarded like $7 million. Was McDonald’s at fault? Yes, partially. She still would have spilled the coffee, but would not have been burned. When originally approached with a medical bill of $30,000, McDonald’s denied fault. They were jerks about it.

      However, but for Mrs. Liebeck trying to balance a lidless cup of coffee on her lap — no hands — while adding sugar (and the facts of th accident are contradictory as to whether the vehicle was moving, but still, lidless cup of coffee balanced on lap, no hands?) the coffee would not have spilled. Even at 160 degree, or 140, wouldn’t you want to take some reasonable precautions to not spill coffee on yourself? To avoid discomfort? To avoid staining your clothes? That’s why upon appeal the award was reduced to $400,000 to cover her medical expenses. And that’s $370,000 above and beyond the original medical expenses presented to McDonald’s. Was Mrs. Liebeck at fault? Yes. partially. Going after McDonald’s for millions in punitive damages because you did something silly and spilled your coffee is just greedy. Going for the medical expenses I agree with, but own your part of the responsibility, please.

      I’ve argued this case back and forth for years, and while I don’t consign all the blame to Mrs. Liebeck, I will fight tooth an nail with anyone who tries to convince me she was a blameless, innocent angel.

    • Re: 700 reports in 10 years

      Yes. They burned their MOUTHS. They took a sip and got a burn to the tongue, lip, or roof of their mouth. They did not spill it on their crotch. Because they were not balancing an open cup of coffee on their lap.

      But for McDonald’s heating their coffee at least 20 degrees hotter than industry standard, Stella Liebeck would not have been burned. That’s why she was originally awarded like $7 million. Was McDonald’s at fault? Yes, partially. She still would have spilled the coffee, but would not have been burned. When originally approached with a medical bill of $30,000, McDonald’s denied fault. They were jerks about it.

      However, but for Mrs. Liebeck trying to balance a lidless cup of coffee on her lap — no hands — while adding sugar (and the facts of th accident are contradictory as to whether the vehicle was moving, but still, lidless cup of coffee balanced on lap, no hands?) the coffee would not have spilled. Even at 160 degree, or 140, wouldn’t you want to take some reasonable precautions to not spill coffee on yourself? To avoid discomfort? To avoid staining your clothes? That’s why upon appeal the award was reduced to $400,000 to cover her medical expenses. And that’s $370,000 above and beyond the original medical expenses presented to McDonald’s. Was Mrs. Liebeck at fault? Yes. partially. Going after McDonald’s for millions in punitive damages because you did something silly and spilled your coffee is just greedy. Going for the medical expenses I agree with, but own your part of the responsibility, please.

      I’ve argued this case back and forth for years, and while I don’t consign all the blame to Mrs. Liebeck, I will fight tooth an nail with anyone who tries to convince me she was a blameless, innocent angel.

  • Regarding the coffee case, yes it was stupid to put it in your lap and drive. The crux of the matter was that
    (1) McDonald’s kept their coffee at an absurdly superheated level, so hot you would actually burn your mouth if you had tried to drink it.
    (1a) By “superheated” I mean 180-190 degrees, whereas food at 130 degrees is a burn hazard and 212 degrees is literally BOILING.
    (1b) By “burns” I mean “3rd-degree burns,” as in “the dermis and the epidermis are so damaged that they are lost.” Most people have never had a 3rd-degree burn in their life, and they are lucky for it.
    (2) McDonalds had over 700 reports in the past 10 years of people burned by their coffee, and had settled several lawsuits over coffee burns in this time.

    I once got into an RPG agument with JD about burns and the in-game threshold for real-world effects (frex, I thought the damage estimate he had for submersion in boiling water was WAY too low). I did some research based on hospital data and the incident rate of people DYING from water burns goes up very quickly the higher the temperature gets … a significant burn occurs about twice as fast every 10 degree increase in the liquid’s temperature. So if you’ve ever spilled hot coffee on yourself and actually burned yourself (instead of a simple pain reaction), imagine how much worse it would be at 140 degrees, 150, 160, 170, and 180. If you spilled 180-degree coffee on yourself you’d be scarred for life. The old lady in question needed SKIN GRAFTS to repair the damage.

    So yeah, it’s easy and fun to point at this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits, but she basically spilled near-boiling water on herself.

    That said … don’t put a cup of hot coffee on your crotch, dumbass….

  • Regarding the coffee case, yes it was stupid to put it in your lap and drive. The crux of the matter was that
    (1) McDonald’s kept their coffee at an absurdly superheated level, so hot you would actually burn your mouth if you had tried to drink it.
    (1a) By “superheated” I mean 180-190 degrees, whereas food at 130 degrees is a burn hazard and 212 degrees is literally BOILING.
    (1b) By “burns” I mean “3rd-degree burns,” as in “the dermis and the epidermis are so damaged that they are lost.” Most people have never had a 3rd-degree burn in their life, and they are lucky for it.
    (2) McDonalds had over 700 reports in the past 10 years of people burned by their coffee, and had settled several lawsuits over coffee burns in this time.

    I once got into an RPG agument with JD about burns and the in-game threshold for real-world effects (frex, I thought the damage estimate he had for submersion in boiling water was WAY too low). I did some research based on hospital data and the incident rate of people DYING from water burns goes up very quickly the higher the temperature gets … a significant burn occurs about twice as fast every 10 degree increase in the liquid’s temperature. So if you’ve ever spilled hot coffee on yourself and actually burned yourself (instead of a simple pain reaction), imagine how much worse it would be at 140 degrees, 150, 160, 170, and 180. If you spilled 180-degree coffee on yourself you’d be scarred for life. The old lady in question needed SKIN GRAFTS to repair the damage.

    So yeah, it’s easy and fun to point at this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits, but she basically spilled near-boiling water on herself.

    That said … don’t put a cup of hot coffee on your crotch, dumbass….

    • addenda

      Skin grafts on her vulva, even.

      McDonald’s kept their coffee at 180-190 degrees as contrasted to every other coffee chain which maintained temperatures around 140-150 degrees, and as contrasted to home coffeemakers which typically produce coffee at 130 degrees.

      Also, they pulled over so that she could take the lid off and put cream and sugar in it. So she was not driving, and the vehicle was not moving.

      • Re: addenda

        Oh for fuck sake, I didn’t even specifically reference the actual DAMN McDONALD’S case. I am hereby removing any references to being in cars, moving or not. The point of my post was NOT to get into any specifics of the fucking McDonald’s case or to in ANY WAY defend McDonald’s policies for keeping their fucking shitty UNDRINKABLE coffee at temps high enough to cause third degree burns. That one horrifically scarred little old lady is not the ONLY instance in all of history of some dumbass spilling hot coffee.

        I’ve done it my motherfucking self, ok? I’M THE DUMBASS WHO HAS DONE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING SELF.

        There. I feel better now.

        • Re: addenda

          Sorry for being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          I’m just touchy about the McDonald’s case because it’s resulted in so many people being like “DUH, COFFEE IS HOT, BITCH.”

          Anyway! Moving right along….

          • Re: addenda

            As I told someone else last night, my camel had a broken back before the “last” straw hit. Bad day yesterday.

            I apologize for the freakout. It was nothing personal.

        • Re: addenda

          Welcome to my world, Nik. That’s why the title of my blog is no longer “Hot Coffee is Hot”. There are people who have no sense of humor about this and get rabidly nasty about it.

          As I state in my other reply, even at 140 degrees or less a reasonable person would want to take adequate precautions to avoid spilling coffee on one’s self, because even if it didn’t result in 3rd degree burns it would still be uncomfortable and stain one’s clothes.

          Accidents still happen, though.

          Proceed with caution.

          Exercise common sense.

          Hot coffee is hot.

    • Re: 700 reports in 10 years

      Yes. They burned their MOUTHS. They took a sip and got a burn to the tongue, lip, or roof of their mouth. They did not spill it on their crotch. Because they were not balancing an open cup of coffee on their lap.

      But for McDonald’s heating their coffee at least 20 degrees hotter than industry standard, Stella Liebeck would not have been burned. That’s why she was originally awarded like $7 million. Was McDonald’s at fault? Yes, partially. She still would have spilled the coffee, but would not have been burned. When originally approached with a medical bill of $30,000, McDonald’s denied fault. They were jerks about it.

      However, but for Mrs. Liebeck trying to balance a lidless cup of coffee on her lap — no hands — while adding sugar (and the facts of th accident are contradictory as to whether the vehicle was moving, but still, lidless cup of coffee balanced on lap, no hands?) the coffee would not have spilled. Even at 160 degree, or 140, wouldn’t you want to take some reasonable precautions to not spill coffee on yourself? To avoid discomfort? To avoid staining your clothes? That’s why upon appeal the award was reduced to $400,000 to cover her medical expenses. And that’s $370,000 above and beyond the original medical expenses presented to McDonald’s. Was Mrs. Liebeck at fault? Yes. partially. Going after McDonald’s for millions in punitive damages because you did something silly and spilled your coffee is just greedy. Going for the medical expenses I agree with, but own your part of the responsibility, please.

      I’ve argued this case back and forth for years, and while I don’t consign all the blame to Mrs. Liebeck, I will fight tooth an nail with anyone who tries to convince me she was a blameless, innocent angel.

  • Regarding the coffee case, yes it was stupid to put it in your lap and drive. The crux of the matter was that
    (1) McDonald’s kept their coffee at an absurdly superheated level, so hot you would actually burn your mouth if you had tried to drink it.
    (1a) By “superheated” I mean 180-190 degrees, whereas food at 130 degrees is a burn hazard and 212 degrees is literally BOILING.
    (1b) By “burns” I mean “3rd-degree burns,” as in “the dermis and the epidermis are so damaged that they are lost.” Most people have never had a 3rd-degree burn in their life, and they are lucky for it.
    (2) McDonalds had over 700 reports in the past 10 years of people burned by their coffee, and had settled several lawsuits over coffee burns in this time.

    I once got into an RPG agument with JD about burns and the in-game threshold for real-world effects (frex, I thought the damage estimate he had for submersion in boiling water was WAY too low). I did some research based on hospital data and the incident rate of people DYING from water burns goes up very quickly the higher the temperature gets … a significant burn occurs about twice as fast every 10 degree increase in the liquid’s temperature. So if you’ve ever spilled hot coffee on yourself and actually burned yourself (instead of a simple pain reaction), imagine how much worse it would be at 140 degrees, 150, 160, 170, and 180. If you spilled 180-degree coffee on yourself you’d be scarred for life. The old lady in question needed SKIN GRAFTS to repair the damage.

    So yeah, it’s easy and fun to point at this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits, but she basically spilled near-boiling water on herself.

    That said … don’t put a cup of hot coffee on your crotch, dumbass….

  • addenda

    Skin grafts on her vulva, even.

    McDonald’s kept their coffee at 180-190 degrees as contrasted to every other coffee chain which maintained temperatures around 140-150 degrees, and as contrasted to home coffeemakers which typically produce coffee at 130 degrees.

    Also, they pulled over so that she could take the lid off and put cream and sugar in it. So she was not driving, and the vehicle was not moving.

  • Re: addenda

    Oh for fuck sake, I didn’t even specifically reference the actual DAMN McDONALD’S case. I am hereby removing any references to being in cars, moving or not. The point of my post was NOT to get into any specifics of the fucking McDonald’s case or to in ANY WAY defend McDonald’s policies for keeping their fucking shitty UNDRINKABLE coffee at temps high enough to cause third degree burns. That one horrifically scarred little old lady is not the ONLY instance in all of history of some dumbass spilling hot coffee.

    I’ve done it my motherfucking self, ok? I’M THE DUMBASS WHO HAS DONE IT TO MY MOTHERFUCKING SELF.

    There. I feel better now.

  • Re: addenda

    Sorry for being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    I’m just touchy about the McDonald’s case because it’s resulted in so many people being like “DUH, COFFEE IS HOT, BITCH.”

    Anyway! Moving right along….

  • Re: addenda

    As I told someone else last night, my camel had a broken back before the “last” straw hit. Bad day yesterday.

    I apologize for the freakout. It was nothing personal.

  • Re: 700 reports in 10 years

    Yes. They burned their MOUTHS. They took a sip and got a burn to the tongue, lip, or roof of their mouth. They did not spill it on their crotch. Because they were not balancing an open cup of coffee on their lap.

    But for McDonald’s heating their coffee at least 20 degrees hotter than industry standard, Stella Liebeck would not have been burned. That’s why she was originally awarded like $7 million. Was McDonald’s at fault? Yes, partially. She still would have spilled the coffee, but would not have been burned. When originally approached with a medical bill of $30,000, McDonald’s denied fault. They were jerks about it.

    However, but for Mrs. Liebeck trying to balance a lidless cup of coffee on her lap — no hands — while adding sugar (and the facts of th accident are contradictory as to whether the vehicle was moving, but still, lidless cup of coffee balanced on lap, no hands?) the coffee would not have spilled. Even at 160 degree, or 140, wouldn’t you want to take some reasonable precautions to not spill coffee on yourself? To avoid discomfort? To avoid staining your clothes? That’s why upon appeal the award was reduced to $400,000 to cover her medical expenses. And that’s $370,000 above and beyond the original medical expenses presented to McDonald’s. Was Mrs. Liebeck at fault? Yes. partially. Going after McDonald’s for millions in punitive damages because you did something silly and spilled your coffee is just greedy. Going for the medical expenses I agree with, but own your part of the responsibility, please.

    I’ve argued this case back and forth for years, and while I don’t consign all the blame to Mrs. Liebeck, I will fight tooth an nail with anyone who tries to convince me she was a blameless, innocent angel.

  • Re: addenda

    Welcome to my world, Nik. That’s why the title of my blog is no longer “Hot Coffee is Hot”. There are people who have no sense of humor about this and get rabidly nasty about it.

    As I state in my other reply, even at 140 degrees or less a reasonable person would want to take adequate precautions to avoid spilling coffee on one’s self, because even if it didn’t result in 3rd degree burns it would still be uncomfortable and stain one’s clothes.

    Accidents still happen, though.

    Proceed with caution.

    Exercise common sense.

    Hot coffee is hot.

  • Calm down, Tonto, I also said she was a dumbass for putting a cup of hot coffee on her lap.