Liebeck vs Mcdonalds Essay

Words: 1803
Pages: 8


This assignment is regarding the Liebeck vs McDonalds case back in 1992. The issues involved are discussed thoroughly as well as the difference between consumer protection laws in Malaysia and also the United States where the case took place. This assignment will also discuss the implications of the case and also businesses/consumers responsibility when handling accident prone products.

Question 1
Major issues

1. The 180 degrees coffee caused full thickness or third degree burns to Liebeck’s skin. 6 percent of her body suffered the third degree burns and 16 percent suffered lesser. The incident caused her to be hospitalized for eight days followed by two years of medical treatment. She lost almost 20% of her
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As sorry as I feel for her condition and circumstances, she should not have tried to handle the coffee in the car given her age and physical condition then. Pity should not be an element of judgment in the court of law. I would not have let McDonalds go just like that but I would also not have voted for compensatory damages for $200,000. The compensatory damages were 100 times more than the amount that she asked for in the first place. People should be responsible for their own recklessness. If we feel that the coffee is too hot, we can always choose not to buy it rather than buying it and hurting ourselves with it.

Question 4

This case was like a poster child for product related lawsuits. Negligence cases blaming product malfunction bloomed like mushrooms after rain following this case. Take Rhyne vs Kmart Corp for instance. The Rhynes were awarded an astounding 23 million for punitive damages. The amount is rather absurd considering that the fact that the Rhynes were trespassing Kmart after hours going through the garbage in the first place. Civil suits has somewhat become a trend in the United States. They live in a litigating society where filing for lawsuits is something they come across or hear on a daily basis. As bizarre as we think it sounds to award somebody 23 million for trespassing, this is not entirely the citizen’s fault. Consumers are protected by the Consumer Product Safety Act 1972 by United States Congress to protect