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Old 30-11-2012, 12:48
alfster
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Indeed, but (sorry to keep on this point) because McDonald's was well aware of the problem and still and did nothing to mitigate the risk they were forced to accept 80% of the fault.
You mitigate risks down to a point...there comes a point when a foerseeable hazard only occurs when a person willfully neglects their own safety as with this woman.

It is NOT a problem if someone is sensible.

What you do not guard against within risk reduction is willful dangerous acts.

Right that's the last I'll be contributing to this as I've put in all the required information...unless you wat some sections of various health and safety legislation etc.

I think we have seen why some places have 'health and safety gone mad' when people still have the view of personal safety that epicurian does. It has been most information - thanks for the discussion...I have rather enjoyed it.

The thing is I have to mitigate serious hazards like chemical explosion, liquid fires, over-pressure, dangerous dusts...things which are *really* hazardous with a high (unmitigated) risk where there are mulitple factos which have to fail for someone to get hurt but I have to take account and look at all of them.

Hence, why some one opening a carton of hot liquid wedged in between their kness in the confines of their car seat really is just ludicrous in the extreme and although I feel for her (as we all don't always think) in this case it's petty darn obvious what the outcome could be.

If she had left the safety device in place...the lid...none of this would have happened.

Oh, and I'm no fan of MacDonalds and never give them my custom so I'm not 'defending' MacDonalds especially. Not that they need defending in this case.
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Old 30-11-2012, 13:00
bart4858
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5) As for scalding temperature here is the first hit from google (I really can't be bothered checking another source (as I wold normally do -you can do it):

"An approximate one-second exposure to 160° F water will result in third degree burns.1 Where the water is 130° F, an approximate half-minute exposure will result in third degree burns."
I doubt that one drop of water, even at boiling point, is going to burn anyone. And how long will that 130F water stay at 130F after being in contact with the body? Perhaps you're talking about a body part being immersed in a large volume of such a liquid.

So quantity, as well as many other factors, is important. I still think that in most people's experience, hot drinks are not perceived as a real danger for adults.
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Old 30-11-2012, 13:05
epicurian
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You mitigate risks down to a point...there comes a point when a foerseeable hazard only occurs when a person willfully neglects their own safety as with this woman.

It is NOT a problem if someone is sensible.

What you do not guard against within risk reduction is willful dangerous acts.

Right that's the last I'll be contributing to this as I've put in all the required information...unless you wat some sections of various health and safety legislation etc.

I think we have seen why some places have 'health and safety gone mad' when people still have the view of personal safety that epicurian does. It has been most information - thanks for the discussion...I have rather enjoyed it.

The thing is I have to mitigate serious hazards like chemical explosion, liquid fires, over-pressure, dangerous dusts...things which are *really* hazardous with a high (unmitigated) risk where there are mulitple factos which have to fail for someone to get hurt but I have to take account and look at all of them.

Hence, why some one opening a carton of hot liquid wedged in between their kness in the confines of their car seat really is just ludicrous in the extreme and although I feel for her (as we all don't always think) in this case it's petty darn obvious what the outcome could be.

If she had left the safety device in place...the lid...none of this would have happened.

Oh, and I'm no fan of MacDonalds and never give them my custom so I'm not 'defending' MacDonalds especially. Not that they need defending in this case.



How would she have added the cream and sugar provided to her by McDonalds without removing the "safety device"? Was there a warning on the lid saying 'do not remove, this is a safety device'? Should there have been?

An expert in thermodynamics in relation to burns testified for the plaintiff in this case, and as far as I can tell from my googling, he is an internationally respected one. Why should I be so quick to disregard his opinion in favour of yours? It's not that I don't think there are frivolous lawsuits and health and safety gone mad, I just don't think this case should be held up as an example of one. And to doggedly maintain that sustaining the horrific injuries she did is a reasonable expectation while ignoring McDonald's duty of care is what is patently absurd. And re: the BiB: Spare me. I've already said I've been badly burned, requiring whirlpool treatment and I didn't sue. I'm not a litigious person.
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Old 30-11-2012, 13:07
epicurian
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I doubt that one drop of water, even at boiling point, is going to burn anyone. And how long will that 130F water stay at 130F after being in contact with the body? Perhaps you're talking about a body part being immersed in a large volume of such a liquid.

So quantity, as well as many other factors, is important. I still think that in most people's experience, hot drinks are not perceived as a real danger for adults.
There's the rub, I think.
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Old 30-11-2012, 13:40
Conor the Bold
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http://www.ciphe.org.uk/Global/Datab...ot%20Water.pdf

It's mostly hot running water, but regardless spilling a cup of a hot beverage in your groin, is going to cause serious damage, be it at 82 degrees or 72 degrees.
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Old 30-11-2012, 13:45
LifeisGood
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The States are not as health and safety conscious as we nanny Brits are!!! The States, by and large, rely on each citizen, as MATURE ADULTS, to look out for themselves regarding health and safety, whereas, the Brits seem to rely on the government here to tell them how to live every second of their lives, because the Brits havent got one single brain cell to think for themselves!!!
I don't think it's that Brits rely on the government to tell them how to live their lives, but more that the goverment doesn't give us a choice.

I do, however, completely agree with your comparison between UK and US. I travel to the US a lot, and I've been surprised at how much more personal responsibility is expected than in the UK.

It's refreshing.

You are expected to follow the rules, use common sense, and accept the consequences of not doing so (not all the time, but a lot more than in the UK).

Because of this, people are less likely to flout the rules.

For example, remember the controversy (UK) of people driving through the raising bollards that were designed to keep cars off bus routes? Despite clear signs warning drivers about the raising bollards, and warning them not to follow the bus, people kept driving over them, and then suing the council when their cars were damaged.

In the UK it's assumed there is a safety net, and therefore, a lack of consequences. Perhaps people thought the bollard wouldn't actually raise straight after the bus had crossed it, or that there would be a safety cut off so they'd be ok.

When they weren't ok, it was not their fault of course, but the councils fault.

I think less people would take their chances in the US; I certainly wouldn't, and I wouldn't expect much sympathy from the authorities if I ignored warnings and did something dangerous anyway.

Whether I'd be successful in court in the US is another matter; I'm talking about their approach in general life.
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Old 30-11-2012, 13:51
epicurian
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http://www.ciphe.org.uk/Global/Datab...ot%20Water.pdf

It's mostly hot running water, but regardless spilling a cup of a hot beverage in your groin, is going to cause serious damage, be it at 82 degrees or 72 degrees.
That link talks about partial thickness burns which are not even in the same league as as the full thickness burns Stella Liebeck received.
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:15
Conor the Bold
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That link talks about partial thickness burns which are not even in the same league as as the full thickness burns Stella Liebeck received.
I forgot that everything needs to be spelt out.

http://www.accuratebuilding.com/serv...ing_graph.html

http://antiscald.com/prevention/general_info/table.php

In Short - spilling water on your lap as you're sitting in the car when it's above 60 degrees is going to cause severe damage.

So since that's been established - what temperature do you think should the coffee should have been supplied at?
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Old 30-11-2012, 16:37
TerraCanis
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I have to admit that every time the Liebeck-McDonalds example comes up, I find myself being pulled in different directions, and end up agreeing with either the plaintiff or the defendent's case on a roughly 50-50 basis.

One thing it does bring home is that on those occasions you see "Caution - Hot Contents" on a drinks container, it's not really an example of stating the obvious in the same way as writing "Caution - Contains Nuts" on a packet of Large American Peanuts..

I suspect that most people, without particular knowledge in the field, and without looking up the subject, would expect the consequences of spilling coffee in their laps to be painful, but ultimately causing no permanent damage. (I'm not talking about reality here, but the general perception of reality).

In many ways, the way in which Liebeck vs McDonalds usually enters the conversation only serves to reinforce that misconception.
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:31
epicurian
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I forgot that everything needs to be spelt out.

http://www.accuratebuilding.com/serv...ing_graph.html

http://antiscald.com/prevention/general_info/table.php

In Short - spilling water on your lap as you're sitting in the car when it's above 60 degrees is going to cause severe damage.

So since that's been established - what temperature do you think should the coffee should have been supplied at?
Are those links talking about spilling a 12 ounce, 187 degree F cup of coffee into your lap or immersion into a container large enough to hold its temperature or a running tap? Because it makes a difference if we're going to relate the info to this case, doesn't it? Do you think there is any temperature at which it would be negligent to serve coffee? If so, what is it? McDonald's has its own hamburger universities it uses to carry out research. Surely if customer safety was truly a priority they could figure out an optimum temperature that will keep the customer happy while not causing such serious injuries.

Anyway, found this: Carl Borchgrevink is a Professor at Michigan State University, who conducted 2 studies on hot liquids being served thru quick service windows after the landmark McDonald’s case of a woman who burned herself with hot coffee. “The serving at 150 I'm okay with," he said, "but the serving at 180 or higher is dangerous. I'm a little surprised people are still serving at that temperature given we've established that's risky from a customer's point of view."
Borchgrevink also put together a study asking consumers what temperature they actually considered hot but safe and satisfying. “We came away with a preferred temperature of 144 to 155, with most coming close to the upper end of that range."
If those consumers like coffee at 155 degrees, why would restaurants brew the beverage at higher temps?

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/new...es-to-the-test.

There is a spectrum of risk to consuming hot coffee and a certain amount should of course be expected. In my humble opinion, it is unreasonable to expect life-threatening injuries when ordering a cup of joe. Clearly a 180+ degree drink will carry more risks than one at 150 (keeping in mind that once spilled from its insulated cup, that 150 degrees will drop off substantially) . When you serve hot coffee to someone through a window into their car the risk is increased again. Why is it so outrageous to suggest that the serving temperature of the coffee in these establishments be reduced in order to mitigate the risk of melting their customers' flesh away? McDonald's said their own research suggested customers want to be able to drink their coffee right away, but then also admitted that the temperature their coffee is not fit for consumption. They knew for ten years that their coffee was injuring people and they made a calculated decision that it would be cheaper to pay them off than to make their product safer. Why would anyone defend that?
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:07
RobinOfLoxley
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Did you see my previous post? I was under a cold shower within 15 seconds of a home tea (mugful) accident. It still caused a serious scald.

The tea was less than a minute old from a freshly boiled kette. I'd imagine it 95 deg C +.
Dunno about slightly cooler scalds.
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:11
epicurian
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Did you see my previous post? I was under a cold shower within 15 seconds of a home tea (mugful) accident. It still caused a serious scald.

The tea was less than a minute old from a freshly boiled kette. I'd imagine it 95 deg C +.
Dunno about slightly cooler scalds.
Was a full thickness scald that required skin grafts and medical treatment for a further two years?
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:15
PhilH36
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Anyone else subject to similar crazy rules?
On a train journey,was literally sitting in the first seat in the carriage next to the buffet car but they insisted they had to put my cup of coffee in a bag,even with a lid on I wasn't allowed to simply carry it across the vestibule to my seat without one.
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:18
RobinOfLoxley
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Was a full thickness scald that required skin grafts and medical treatment for a further two years?
No. Good point. Just surface. 1st degree maybe. Doctor visited but I didn't need to go to hospital.

Maybe had dressing changes later. Can't remember those, but I was off school for a week.
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:22
Conor the Bold
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Are those links talking about spilling a 12 ounce, 187 degree F cup of coffee into your lap or immersion into a container large enough to hold its temperature or a running tap?
Can you read the links? Or indeed my last two posts? It talks about running water. Don't sure why you a feel the need to be obtuse?

Because it makes a difference if we're going to relate the info to this case, doesn't it? Do you think there is any temperature at which it would be negligent to serve coffee? If so, what is it? McDonald's has its own hamburger universities it uses to carry out research. Surely if customer safety was truly a priority they could figure out an optimum temperature that will keep the customer happy while not causing such serious injuries.
Im not saying it doesn't make a difference. I'm saying spilling a 72 degree c cup of coffee in your lap will still cause a similar amount of issues as one served at 82 degrees c. Not as severe, but still severe enough to cause serious burns.

Anyway, found this: Carl Borchgrevink is a Professor at Michigan State University, who conducted 2 studies on hot liquids being served thru quick service windows after the landmark McDonald’s case of a woman who burned herself with hot coffee. “The serving at 150 I'm okay with," he said, "but the serving at 180 or higher is dangerous. I'm a little surprised people are still serving at that temperature given we've established that's risky from a customer's point of view."
Borchgrevink also put together a study asking consumers what temperature they actually considered hot but safe and satisfying. “We came away with a preferred temperature of 144 to 155, with most coming close to the upper end of that range."
If those consumers like coffee at 155 degrees, why would restaurants brew the beverage at higher temps?

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/new...es-to-the-test.
Well I challenge you to spill a cup of coffee at a temperature of 65 degrees C in your lap. See how that works out for you.

There is a spectrum of risk to consuming hot coffee and a certain amount should of course be expected. In my humble opinion, it is unreasonable to expect life-threatening injuries when ordering a cup of joe. Clearly a 180+ degree drink will carry more risks than one at 150 (keeping in mind that once spilled from its insulated cup, that 150 degrees will drop off substantially) . When you serve hot coffee to someone through a window into their car the risk is increased again. Why is it so outrageous to suggest that the serving temperature of the coffee in these establishments be reduced in order to mitigate the risk of melting their customers' flesh away? McDonald's said their own research suggested customers want to be able to drink their coffee right away, but then also admitted that the temperature their coffee is not fit for consumption. They knew for ten years that their coffee was injuring people and they made a calculated decision that it would be cheaper to pay them off than to make their product safer. Why would anyone defend that?
I'd say that it's a risk to drink coffee to in a car in the first place. Try reading what I'm posting.

I'd certainly say that the main factors of the incident was a) being served a hot substance in the first place in a car! B) improper handily of the beverage and c) the temperature of the liquid itself.

Clearly a or b had the potential To prevent the incident, reducing the temperature only mitigates a potential injury.

So clearly thats where I stand. No hot drinks in a car.
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:29
epicurian
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Well I challenge you to spill a cup of coffee at a temperature of 65 degrees C in your lap. See how that works out for you.
See RobinofLoxley's post ^^^.

Can you read the links? Or indeed my last two posts? It talks about running water. Don't sure why you a feel the need to be obtuse?
Christ, what is with the hostility?

Yeah, I saw that actually. But as this case did not involve running water, I don't know why you think it's relevant.

I've repeated myself enough in this thread. If you're interested in reading up on this particular case there's loads of interesting information out there. The pictures of Mrs. Liebeck's injuries are certainly an eye-opener.
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:52
Mythica
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Christ, what is with the hostility?

Yeah, I saw that actually. But as this case did not involve running water, I don't know why you think it's relevant.

I've repeated myself enough in this thread. If you're interested in reading up on this particular case there's loads of interesting information out there. The pictures of Mrs. Liebeck's injuries are certainly an eye-opener.
Is there a legal standard that establishments have to abide by, if no then McDonalds should have won the case 100%. As sad as it was for her and still is for her family, you can't go round suing people for a mistake you have made yourself. Arguing about the temperature is neither here nor there. One must assume a hot drink has been made and served with boiling water, as that's how these drinks tend to get made. She was 100% at fault for spilling a drink over herself.
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Old 30-11-2012, 19:18
RobinOfLoxley
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Maybe companies have to look out for children and the infirm.

Not all customers are fully savvy. Duty of Care?
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Old 30-11-2012, 19:23
Mythica
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Maybe companies have to look out for children and the infirm.

Not all customers are fully savvy. Duty of Care?
Maybe? As I said, is there a legal standard that all establishments have to abide by for the temperature of hot drinks? If not, then really what do McDonalds have to answer for?
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:30
neo_wales
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Coffee 30-40 degrees cooler at other establishments should tell you something. You may drink water straight from the kettle, but if you run a business which includes handing hot beverages to people in cars you should assume that there are going to be accidents. Avoiding having policies that require those beverages to be served at such hazardous temperatures is not an unreasonable expectation- especially when McDonald's had been made aware of the hazard 700 times prior to this incident.
Its tells me they are selling warm drinks and not hot, I'd send them back. I want tea and coffee hot and I'm grown up enough to treat any hot drink with some respect. Shame the woman who sued did not have her case thrown out of court, blooming ridiculous state of affairs.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:45
liverbird1892
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It's all gone too far these days in my opinion. In my work place they are constantly doing H&S inspections and in the kitchen they had to do a chemical fact sheet for the properties contained within our washing up liquid!!! What a waste of time is that?!
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