No crying over spilled coffee
November 7, 1997
People get away with millions of things everyday. But when it comes
to the legal system there has got to be some boundaries with how far people
can go. There are too many people trying to capitalize off of the legal
We hear of stupid lawsuits everyday. Most people laugh and go on with
their lives, but these lawsuits are not fake, they are real with real people
actually going to trial, taking up court time and resources. People are
trying to find anything these days to turn into a lawsuit.
Take the big McDonald's spilled-coffee lawsuit a few years back. A grandmother
from New Mexico ordered a hot coffee from a McDonald's drive-thru window.
In the parking lot, with her grandson behind the wheel of the stationary
car, the women opened the lid of her coffee to put cream and sugar in it
and it inadvertently spilled onto her lap. The coffee was a scalding 180-190
degrees because customers like their coffee hot. It caused severe third-degree
burns to the lower part of the lady's body.
There is empathy for her pain, but where is her responsibility. It was
not McDonald's fault solely. McDonald's was found liable and she was awarded
$200,000 in compensatory damages. There have since been at least 700 reports
of coffee burns.
That lawsuit was ridiculous -- customers should use simple caution and
Another lawsuit involved a woman from Philadelphia who is suing a pharmacy
that sold her a contraceptive jelly. Because she ate the jelly on toast
and wound up pregnant, she feels a lawsuit is needed. What is even crazier
is that legal experts are saying that she may have a chance at collecting.
It is hard for businesses to avoid troublesome lawsuits and that is why
people who are desperate or not all together there file for these types
In essence, civil lawsuits have become some peoples latest get rich
quick scheme. There are too many examples of these frivolous suits and a
change in the system needs to happen.
In Connecticut, a woman sued a little league pitcher for hitting her
in the face with a baseball. She was sitting in the bleachers and claims
that the boy was careless, failed to warn her and threw the ball at a dangerous
speed. How hard could a 9-year-old little leaguer actually throw? And watching
out for flying balls at a baseball game just makes for common sense. Maybe
the woman should have been sued for not paying attention.
In another example, a man in Virginia has filed a lawsuit against a
hospital for not reattaching his hand after he lopped it off, believing
it to be possessed by the devil. He claims that the doctors should have
known he was mental and that they should have put his hand back on.
What is wrong with people these days? The U.S. legal system has to do
something of these frivolous lawsuits and outlandish damage rewards that
make a mockery of our civil justice system.