I'm sure y'all have all heard about this case and how it is an example of the American civil justice system run amok. In fact, the case is not at all unreasonable given the facts. The Chamber of Commerce has distorted the facts of the case to serve their decades long campaign to limit jury awards in personal injury case -- in other words, to lower the liability businesses could expect to incur for their wrongful acts. Some facts of the case that are commonly omitted or distorted:
(1) The plaintiff requested McDonald's simply pay her medical bills for the burn. McDonald's refused, leading to the lawsuit.
(2) The plaintiff was not driving while drinking the coffee, she spilled it sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car.
(3) McDonald's had over 700 complaints of customers being burned by the coffee, but McDonald's considered that a statistically insignificant number of complaints.
(4) The jury awarded punitive damages equivalent to two days of coffee sales for McDonald's.
(5) The Court reduced the award from 2.7million down to $600K.
(6) The case was ultimately settled for about $500K.
You should check out the burns on this poor little old lady.