Table of Contents
The aim of the work lies in discussing the cases of the coffee spill caused by McDonald’s personnel. Major issues of the incidents and its seriousness will be highlighted in the first paragraph. The paper will also represent basic responsibilities of the clients and the company in the second paragraph. The third part will describe pros and cons of McDonald’s and Liebeck’s position. The last paragraph will be dedicated to presenting supporting arguments concerning positions of two parties.
Major Issues in the Cases and Gravity of the Problems
It is not for nothing the coffee spill cases are still discussed in different venues. The victims suffered from serious second-degree (Veronika Martin, Karen Muth) and third-degree burns (Stella Liebeck, Maxine Villegas). Injured people incurred significant losses because of out-of-pocket expenses; moreover, they suffered a moral damage and the burn caused a physical and mental harm. The victims asked money at least for medical bills and compensation for pain, suffering and ‘humiliation’. In its turn, McDonald’s resisted settlements, arguing that it keeps in with its customers, 175 degrees is the optimum temperature for hot drinks and people like it. Therefore, on no account the lawsuits can be named ‘frivolous’. Trying to please their clients, the staff was not getting on fact that there were 700 burn complaints over ten years and some of them gained positive publicity.
McDonald’s Responsibilities toward Consumers and Clients’ Duties
Concerning ethical and social responsibilities, the staff had to deliver the customer all principal cautions before dishing and specify urgent warnings on packing cases and dice-boxes. In the case of offense commitment, McDonald’s had to compensate for injury and reconsider temperature standards (economic and legal responsibilities). Clients, in their turn, are obliged to read warnings on paper cups (Olga Kuznetsova’s case) and packing cases when they buy hot coffee or hot hamburgers. In such a way, customers will get what they want and the company will protect them from injuries.
The Arguments Supporting McDonald’s and Liebeck’s Position
McDonald’s defended the coffee’s temperature and blamed Stella Liebeck for spilling it. The company claimed that she was “the proximate cause” of the injury and the woman was not supposed to put the cup between her knees because as she tugged at the lid, scalding liquid spilled into her lap. On the other hand, Liebeck spent eight days in the hospital and had third-degree burns over six percent of her body because coffee’s temperature was extremely high. Finally, the woman asked the company to reduce the temperature, despite the fact that customers’ preferred to drink very hot coffee.
On the Side of Liebeck
In my opinion, it is a real McDonald’s offense to take no account on a vast number of recourses concerning high temperature of drinks. The company had to take note of 700 burn complaints over ten years, in addition, the victims were usually hospitalized with second- or third-degree burns. In that case, I would definitely support the position of Liebeck because the company definitely has to mention the temperature on paper cups and packages in order to protect the clients from serious wounds. However, the case about the pickle which burned a woman was carried to excess and, in spite of claiming that the pickle was extremely strong, the situation was not as peculiar as in the case of Stella Liebeck.
In conclusion, the major problems of the victims were serious burns because of high temperature of coffee and hot pickle. Basically, they demanded compensation for medical bills, pain, suffering and, sometimes, ‘humiliation’. The company had to ensure urgent warnings printed on packing cases and dice-boxes, and customers are obliged to read the warnings on paper cups. In its turn, McDonald’s argued that Liebeck was “the proximate cause” of the injury and she was not supposed to put the cup between her knees. And yet, the company had to take note of 700 burn complaints over ten years and apply remedies.