Mcdonalds Mcdonald's Case Study

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In February 22, 1992 a man by the name of Chris pulls his 1989 Ford Probe into the drive-thru of an Albuquerque, New Mexico McDonalds. Chris ordered a coffee for his grandmother, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck. Upon receiving the coffee Chris pulls into a parking space so Stella can introduce cream and sugar to her coffee. A 1989 Ford Probe lacks cupholders and features a slanted dashboard. Thus, Stella placed the coffee near her lap and opened the Styrofoam lid. At that moment, 180-degree liquid saturated Stella’s thighs, perineum, genital area, and inner thigh. The sweatpants worn by Stella acted as a sponge that held the scorching liquid close to her skin. Stella sustained third-degree burns over six percent of her body requiring…show more content…
Thus, the plaintiff easily established negligence. However, the plaintiff’s complaint also sought to prove fault of product liability and alleged the coffee at its base was inherently “defective” notwithstanding the defective serving container on top of being defectively marketed attributable to a lack of warning label.
However, in response, Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin, & Robb, P.A., the law firm for the defense issued an affirmative defense. McDonald’s alleged the plaintiff’s injuries were the result of either her own negligence in handling the obviously hot coffee or the negligence of a third party, such as her grandson’s driving. McDonald’s suggested that if the plaintiff was injured as suggested it was the result of an accident or inadvertence which has no bearing on the restaurant chain. Among other defenses, the defense asserts that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for which the court could grant relief. Additionally, the defense alleged the defendant adhered always to a standard of care and thus never failed to show reasonable conduct. The defense suggested the plaintiff must present prima facie showing of entitlement of punitive damages before burdening a jury. After all, McDonald’s asserted, customers “know coffee is hot and that its customers want it that way.”
The litigation process featured numerous motions on both sides of the courtroom. On January 21, 1994 the defense made a motion for summary judgment. After citing a plethora of
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