Author Topic: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit  (Read 5724 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2013, 08:17:25 AM »
If it were me I would have all my friends stir up controversy (publicity) and when the time was right I would publicly put an end to the controversy in a very graceful way. Behind the scene I would be busting butt to make sure my product was superior.

I would not sue. Especially if it involved a jury. In today's economy and political strife it would be easy to come off as a moron to twelve hard working beer drinkers who would rather not be in court listening to a whiner.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2013, 08:21:11 AM »
To be fair, I don't think people thought that lawsuit was frivolous. They just thought that lady was an idiot.
But the resulting warning on coffee cups is certainly frivolous. It protects nothing but liability.
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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2013, 11:17:26 AM »
Case in point, that McDonald's coffee lawsuit that nearly everyone thought was frivolous, even though the lady suffered 3rd degree burns, spent 8 days in the hospital, and required skin grafts.
Wasn't there another lawsuit against McDonalds by some kid who ate there everyday and then sued them because he got fat?  Or was that I recurring dream I have  ;D
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2013, 01:38:10 PM »
To be fair, I don't think people thought that lawsuit was frivolous. They just thought that lady was an idiot.
But the resulting warning on coffee cups is certainly frivolous. It protects nothing but liability.

The Iowa grade school Mock Trial case 5 or 6 years ago was a variation on the McD's coffee case.  It was a great case to see done in moot court.  Every kid on every team thought the whole idea was ridiculous but played on through anyway.

I always wondered about person who orders hot coffee, then puts the Styrofoam cup between her knees, starts driving and then blames the store for not warning her it was hot after burning herself when she spilled it.  Falls in the "can't fix stupid" bucket for me. 

Kind of like a small brewery publicly inciting the escalation of a legal disagreement on the web and changing the dispute from a trademark issue to defamation.  Not a very smart move. 

It seems like the question of infringement would have been much easier to solve by changing the can design and dragging your feet, while still appearing to be negotiating, meanwhile using up your current inventory.  Then quietly agreeing to not use the old design anymore.  Magic Hat may or may not be acting in good faith but they are at least playing by the rules.  It's like Fight Club, "The first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club".

I've never had either beer and, as far as I know, neither are distributed in Iowa so I likely never will.  I have no dog in this fight.  I'm just watching a small business cut its own throat.

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2013, 01:52:27 PM »
It seems like the question of infringement would have been much easier to solve by changing the can design and dragging your feet, while still appearing to be negotiating, meanwhile using up your current inventory.

The crazy part is that they didn't even have to go that far. Magic Hat offered to let them keep using the logo as long as they removed the star and included the words "West Sixth". They would also have been able sell off the existing inventory.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2013, 02:54:40 PM »
May be they do it for publicity.
As someone said "there is no such a thing as bad publicity"
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2013, 12:09:06 AM »
I always wondered about person who orders hot coffee, then puts the Styrofoam cup between her knees, starts driving and then blames the store for not warning her it was hot after burning herself when she spilled it.  Falls in the "can't fix stupid" bucket for me. 

The problem with the McD's case is that the coffee wasn't hot like you'd expect - it was scalding hot, far above drinkable temps because management had decided to serve it that hot (180-190F) so that the coffee would still be "piping" when the average commuter would finish their commute. They had been warned hundreds of times about the danger and liability of this policy and still refused to change the temp. That's what got them hit so hard.

Again "hot" coffee, will burn you slightly. The coffee that this woman spilled was hot enough to give her 3rd degree burns

Oh, and she wasn't driving. She was the passenger in a parked car that her grandson was driving and had parked to allow her to fix her coffee.

And of course, they bolded the warning and haven't xhanged much of anything about the coffee. Which goes a long way to explain McD's coffee. (Seriously.. near boiling?)
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2013, 12:43:43 AM »
It's good to hear the whole story sometimes.

I think these things should be handled civilly in court rather than with violence for sure. But I guess it just seems that it sometimes goes too far. Things get dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. They say that every warning is a result of successful litigation. When you see a package of peanuts that says Warning, may contain nuts, it makes you wonder.

Offline narvin

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2013, 04:56:27 AM »
The legal system, like politics and the corporate world, is a necessary part of society.  Unfortunately, in practice they all favor the person with the most money. 

It's also designed specifically to grow the influence of the system itself, instead of being a means to an end.  But lawyers aren't the first to abuse their power.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2013, 05:07:37 AM »
The problem with the McD's case is that the coffee wasn't hot like you'd expect - it was scalding hot, far above drinkable temps because management had decided to serve it that hot (180-190F) so that the coffee would still be "piping" when the average commuter would finish their commute. They had been warned hundreds of times about the danger and liability of this policy and still refused to change the temp. That's what got them hit so hard.

(Seriously.. near boiling?)

Yes, seriously near boiling. I don't brew my coffee with warm water and you don't either. The recommendation is 195-205F with 200F being optimum.
http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=71

Just sayin'... ;)
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2013, 05:39:40 AM »
The problem with the McD's case is that the coffee wasn't hot like you'd expect - it was scalding hot, far above drinkable temps because management had decided to serve it that hot (180-190F) so that the coffee would still be "piping" when the average commuter would finish their commute. They had been warned hundreds of times about the danger and liability of this policy and still refused to change the temp. That's what got them hit so hard.

(Seriously.. near boiling?)

Yes, seriously near boiling. I don't brew my coffee with warm water and you don't either. The recommendation is 195-205F with 200F being optimum.
http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=71

Just sayin'... ;)

Brewing temperature and serving temperature are two different things. 170-175 is an appropriate serving temperature.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2013, 05:46:23 AM »
Coffee should be maintained at 180-185F.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2013, 06:28:28 AM »
I always wondered about person who orders hot coffee, then puts the Styrofoam cup between her knees, starts driving and then blames the store for not warning her it was hot after burning herself when she spilled it.  Falls in the "can't fix stupid" bucket for me. 

<snip>

Oh, and she wasn't driving. She was the passenger in a parked car that her grandson was driving and had parked to allow her to fix her coffee.

The McDonald's version of the story that has become the version that most people know is that she was driving around and while in transport flung the lid open when it was held between her legs so she could add creamer and that is when the injury occurred. As you point out, she wasn't driving nor was the vehicle in transport. The same injury could have occurred while sitting at a table or desk, standing up, etc. In fact, it did. At the time of the lawsuit McDonald's alone had already had 700 reports of serious burns related to the temperature of the coffee. McDonald's ate it at trial because their witnesses acted like they didn't care that people were getting injured. That's why the jury awarded so much money. Her attorney was asking for $40,000 at trial.

McDonald's framed the legal issue in the public as a question of whether this old gal knew the coffee was hot and assumed the risk when she bought it. Well, obviously everybody knows coffee is hot. You know that just holding the cup. The legal addressed in the court was whether a company should be responsible for injuries caused by selling liquid at a temperature incapable of being safely consumed and causes third degree burns in seconds and selling that liquid in a flimsy styrofoam cup with an ill-fitted plastic lid, especially when they are serving them to people sitting in cars. In other words, is the combination of hot coffee, container and sales method creating an unreasonable risk of harm to consumers? If so, then McDonald's should be responsible for implementing a safer product. That is the legal analysis for product liability and that's why her attorney argued that the coffee should be served at a cooler temperature.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2013, 07:20:09 AM »
Let's be clear about hot liquids and scalding time.
140F at 3 seconds exposure is 2nd degree burns
http://www.burncarefoundation.org/safety/hot-water-exposure.html

160F water is 1/2 a second
http://www.pseg.com/home/education_safety/safety/scalding.jsp

Here you can see how the temp rise increases the danger.
http://www.accuratebuilding.com/services/legal/charts/hot_water_burn_scalding_graph.html

FWIW - no resource ever suggests coffee should be served at any less than 170F, optimum is what I stated earlier, 180-185F.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Frivolous Magic Hat Lawsuit
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2013, 08:13:12 AM »
This is why we can't have nice things hot coffee.
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