Warning: Contents May Be Flammable

I’m in a state of complete disbelief! I live in a country that requires that all disposable cups – designed for hot liquids – come with a “Warning: Contents May Be Hot” because of a idiotic lawsuit. You remember the one, right? Woman pours coffee on her lap and sues McDonald’s because she ‘didn’t know it was hot’. So now all “hot cups” come with the warning. I’m also unlucky enough to live in state that has ridiculous laws about certain things, most noticeably with regards to liquor sales: we can’t buy from a liquor from a store after 8pm Mon-Sat and not at all on Sunday. And yet, for reasons that no one can explain, it is now legal to buy fireworks here.

What kind of fireworks? I dunno, but still that is more powerful than “sparklers”. They are things that shoot up into the air, I know that. There are packs of what would have been illegal at this time last year, I can tell you that. When were they made legal? I dunno that either – tents started to pop up in parking lots a couple of weeks ago and other stores set up their fireworks section at the same time. Are they legal year round? I dunno that either!

There hasn’t been one blurb in the press about this. One day fireworks were illegal and then on another they became legal. No one I’ve talked to about it knows when or what happened; it just happened. And this is not unheard of for this state, honestly. A few years ago, the CT DMV decided to change how our driver’s licenses looked, but never told anyone. So one day the new licenses came out – when the first people that got them tried to use them at banks and bars and stuff, they were told they had illegal ID! The state never mentioned that there was a new style being released; the debacle took about a month to sort out.

Frankly, I couldn’t care less about fireworks. What I find to be amusing is that while we aren’t allowed to take a paper cup from a drive-thru window without a written warning, we are allowed to buy incendiary amusement devices. And I don’t know if it’s an 18 or 21 years old thing – could kids buy them? I don’t know… well I don’t care about that either, really. I’m just waiting for the lawsuits, because they cannot be far behind.

Can’t ya just see the fallout of this coming on July 5th? I already have flash-forward deja vu of “did you know the firecracker would explode when it was lit? you did? then why did you hold it, after you lit it?” much like the Seinfeld “did you take the sausage off of the burning grill and eat it?” episode.

Guess we can only hope for the best: a sharp decrease of stupidity that will save people’s hands and fingers.

8 thoughts on “Warning: Contents May Be Flammable”

  1. Here in Georgia, there are entire counties where alcohol is illegal. In metro-Atlanta, liquor stores are closed on Sunday, yet.. get this.. it’s still legal to DRIVE yourself to a bar, get DRUNK, after which you get to DRIVE HOME.

    That’s the south for you… fuck this New South shit… it’s no better than anywhere else..

  2. hey, that *coffee* that McD’s gave her was like out of a pressure cooker at 180 degrees… so hot it caused permanent scaring… here’s more:

    *There had been over 700 prior incidents of injuries from McDonald”s coffee that had been reported to the company and were present in company documents. They ranged in severity from minor burns to third degree burns, and resulted in numerous claims, some settling for over $500,000.

    *Several cases involved children.

    *Prior to the lawsuit, McDonald”s sold its coffee at 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee you serve in your home is between 135 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that is found in your car radiator is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. At 190 degrees, it takes less than three seconds to produce a third degree burn, while at 160 degrees it takes about 20 seconds.

    *The coffee inflicted third degree burns on Stella Liebeck”s groin, inner thighs and buttocks, necessitating seven days in the hospital for extensive skin grafts and debridement treatment. Photographs vividly demonstrated the severity of these burns, which covered six percent of her body.

    *A McDonald”s executive testified that McDonald”s knew its coffee caused serious burns. McDonald”s also consciously decided not to warn people of the dangers concerning the temperature of its coffee and had no intention of changing that temperature.

    *One week after the lawsuit, McDonald”s changed its coffee temperature reducing it by 20 degrees.

    Despite Stella Liebeck”s $20,000 in medical bills, McDonald”s only offered her $800 to settle her case. Stella Liebeck stated she would have never brought the suit had McDonald’s been willing to pay her medical bills.

    *The Plaintiff, Stella Liebeck, was found 20 percent at fault, which resulted in the compensatory damage award of $200,000 being reduced to $160,000.

    *When the jury heard and considered the above and additional evidence during the eight-day trial, they determined that McDonald”s should face a punitive damage award for their callous disregard for the safety of their patrons. The jury awarded $2.9 million (the worth of two days of McDonald”s coffee sales) to the permanently injured Stella Liebeck.

    After the verdict, McDonald”s (and many others) criticized the jury”s decision categorizing the result as an example of how our civil justice system had perpetuated “frivolous” lawsuits with “unjust” results. The jury”s decision, along with the facts behind this lawsuit, clearly showed McDonald”s supporters the error of their thinking.




  3. Here’s my point, though:

    Fact: When you buy coffee, ANY person knows it’s hot.

    Fact: Hot things burn.

    Fact: When you handle hot things, you should be careful not to burn yourself.

    Consequently: Don’t spill it on yourself, be it 140 or 190 degrees, because it will burn.

    So. Given the above, and and the level of stupid people in the state, I’m just waiting for the fireworks lawsuits – which will be equally as idiotic – because people will do what? Complain that they got burned by using something that’s support to explode? Bah! I don’t see how a company that makes a product – i.e. hot coffee – and it works the way it’s suppose to – i.e. be hot! – could be blamed for something that was cause by either stupidity or gravity.

    Fact is that this country has gotten too wrapped up in legal bullshit and no one takes responsibility for their own actions (and stupidity).

  4. There is still much to do. McDonalds has omitted the fact, that the contents of a cup may be cold and lukewarm. Why don’t they have “cold contents” and “lukewarm contents” warnings on their cups.

    Someone might sue McDonalds for spilling cold drinks, too. What else is missing in McDonalds.

    – If You throw food or drinks on the floor, it may damage You (the floor becomes slippery

    – Hamburgers are not toys. The may be hot, cold, lukewarm – depending on the circumstances.

    – The food may not be suitable for You. Please obtain professional medical help before consuming our products.

    – Our employees are not fit for any particular purpose – please contact at Your own risk.

    – The straw is not a toy. It may cause serious damages.

    – Ronald McDonald is not suitable for a role model.

    – Don’t use our services if You want to stay healthy.

    etcetera etcetera

    I believe that McDonalds should compose a book (about 10 000 pages) covering every single aspect of human life to avoid lawsuits and insist that people should sign a disclaimer telling that that they have read and understood everything.

    and – of course – extra 5000 pages as to how to use the book.

    – Don’t drive when reading, the book is not toy, don’t eat the book, do not use the book as a vibrator, the book is flammable etc

  5. I think you’re missing the point. There IS a difference between 190 degree coffee and 135 degree coffee. Should a reasonable person expect to receive 3rd degree burns from spilling coffee on oneself?

  6. If someone accidentally drops a knife on their leg and it cuts them, should they be surprised because they got cut? A burn is a burn; a cut is a cut. Spilling hot coffee on yourself will burn no matter how hot – or dumb – you are. :)

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