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View Diary: What? This isn’t a Disney ride? (72 comments)

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  •  McD's -- As far as I am aware (3+ / 0-)

    there was no law that said how hot coffee should be.  There was no law that said it should be at this temperature and no more.  I don't think your statement that there was a law that said what temperature the coffee should be is correct -- do you have a link to anything like that?  

    From what I've read about the case, McD served its coffee hotter than most other establishments.  There was no law broken, just that McD was hotter than most others.  The label to the coffee cup said "hot." Customers expect coffee to be hot. The label didn't say how hot it was.  McD claimed that many of its customers liked the coffee to be that hot, so that's why its coffee was hotter than others.  (I tend to believe that, at least in part, because in my experience, big companies like McD's don't do things at random -- everthing they do is pretty much poll tested.)  

    And yes, the jury found the woman partially at fault because, as I recall, she was trying to balance the hot coffee between her legs and open the lid.  The jury found both at fault.  The result is that McD doesn't make their coffee so hot.  That may have eliminated some of this lady's injury.  It also means that people who like really hot coffee, and were going to McD's for that, don't get really hot coffee any more.  

    Whether or not you agree with this verdict, there are clear examples of where lawsuits, and fear of liability, have affected our everyday lives.  I'll give you just one example.  Before Hurricane Katrina (I'm in New Orleans) I lived in an older home with a back yard swimming pool.  The pool was old, too.  Do you know how I can tell?  It had a "deep end" and a diving board.  My kids loved jumping off that diving board. (We were always very careful to have them supervised.) Nobody today will build a back yard pool with a diving board for liability reasons.  When our diving board developed a crack in it many years ago, we had a horrible time finding a replacement.  No one would sell to us for liability reasons.  When we finally found one, the price was way out of line, largely to cover potential liability.  

    We have become a society where one injury is one injury too many.  That is a good goal, of course.  The counter to that, however, is that in pursuit of our goal of eliminating all possible injury, we often eliminate things that have some good to them.  Where is the balance?  How many injuries will we accept in exchange for a product that otherwise is useful or desired by society?  I don't know.  

    •  Thank you for calmly making some points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk

      which I should have made better in my comments.  Too much hot coffee has me a little hyped up right now!

      Distrust all unreasoning fanatics - even those who agree with you

      by Anti Fanatic on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:26:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A good example of this is childproofing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, Anti Fanatic

        Although childproofing is sometimes a good idea, it backfires often.

        When I grew up parents had to be responsible enough to keep things out of the reach of children.

        But now it is not the parent's fault if a kid eats enough Tylenol to get sick or die.

        The results:  Childproof caps on drugs.

        So Tylenol and other pain killers sell drugs for arthritis pain with childproof caps which are nearly impossible for the patients to remove.  But kids figured out how to open them quickly.

        Butane lighters have been blamed for countless fires caused by children playing with them.

        Results:  Childproof "striking" mechanisms on the lighters which are fiddly to use and cause the smoker to burn themselves trying to operate the childproofing while lighting the lighter.  But kids figured out all they have to do is put tape on the mechanism and the lighter works all the time.

        I could go on and on and on.

        Responsibility is the key to preventing childhood injuries.  Period.

        Howlin' at the World from the Left Side of the Planet

        by WolfmanSpike on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:33:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You express the intent of my diary well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WolfmanSpike, coffeetalk

          Thank you for the comment that may make more sense than some of mine

          Distrust all unreasoning fanatics - even those who agree with you

          by Anti Fanatic on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:43:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your're welcome (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Anti Fanatic

            I took 3 years of law school in college.  Didn't finish due to financial situation but thought about going back after all these years.  Now that I have heart disease I can't do what I used to do the way I used to do it so I need an alternative...

            Howlin' at the World from the Left Side of the Planet

            by WolfmanSpike on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:46:50 AM PDT

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            •  I was lucky enough to be able (0+ / 0-)

              to get through law school, after being out working for a while.  Finally paid off the loans!

              There are some non-traditional law school programs out there.  In California, at least years ago when I was there, it was quite liberal on how you got your education as long as you could pass certain tests along the way.  I know that in the Denver area there was at least one school which offered law school on a part-time basis at odd hours to accomodate those who were working full-time.  Partner in my old law firm there went to law school at night while working a full-time job and raising a baby (breast-pumping in the women's restroom of the law school!)

              Distrust all unreasoning fanatics - even those who agree with you

              by Anti Fanatic on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:59:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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