[Homeroast] New roaster

Seth Grandeau grandeau at gmail.com
Mon May 13 18:21:54 CDT 2013


The jury in the McDonalds case awarded the woman $2.7 million.  The judge
lowered it to $600,000 and they settled for something less, to avoid
McDonald's appealing the verdict.  But, in my opinion, the case was
frivolous, even at the $20k level.  The woman placed a hot cup of coffee
between her legs, in a car, then spilled it on herself.  The coffee was
hot, but when is the last time anyone on this list brewed coffee at less
than 190 degrees.  Personal responsibility was trumped by deep pockets.

And as to the Ford Pinto case, I happened to have done a paper on it back
in college.  The true story is, the Pinto met the safety standards of the
day.  The gov't had announced that they would be raising the rear impact
standard, so Ford tested at the new, higher speed and found the flaming
explosion problem.    Since they met the standard of the day, they did the
cost/benefit analysis on implementing the fix immediately, at a cost of
something like $10 per car.  The value of a human life that they used was
$100,000.  Now that sounds pretty callous, but you need to understand that
this is the same value that the US gov't uses in evaluating highway safety
projects, and that's where they took the number from.  While this mode of
vehicular death is gruesome  the fact is, the real life safety statistics
for the Pinto were no worse than other small cars in it's category.  I
believe it was actually a little safer.  There are, in fact, many things
that could improve safety for around $10, but if we fix them all, there
would not be affordable cars to buy.  Ford chose where they did, they met
all gov't standards, and they lost the case, once the cost benefit study
was made public.


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM, Mike Chester <mchet at charter.net> wrote:

> John,
> Thanks for explaining the true story. I already knew the facts, but it
> needs to repeated often, though I doubt that many opinions will be changed
> as most people don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.
> The Internet is full of urban legends about "frivolous lawsuits." Some
> have a small grain of truth, and much exaggeration; others are pure bovine
> scat.
>
> I am reminded of another case where Ford Motor Company found that a new
> car design (I think it was the Pinto, but am not sure) that was ready to go
> into production, when struck from the rear, had the habit of spewing
> burning gasoline into the passenger compartment causing a very painful
> death for all within the car. Their bean counters figured out how many
> times this would happen and the probable payouts from the resulting
> wrongful death lawsuits from the families of the "crispy critters" and
> decided that it would cost less to pay the lawsuits than to re-design the
> car safely, so they sold the car knowing that there would be many innocent
> deaths, but they saved money.
>
> Mike Chester
>
> -----Original Message----- From: John Nanci
> Sent: Monday, May 13, 2013 4:55 PM
> To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
> list,available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/**maillistinfo.html<http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html>
>
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] New roaster
>
> Well, this could be a can of worms.
>
> Actually, iirc, she asked for about $20,000 to cover an 8 day stint
> in the hospital to treat her third degree burns caused by 190 F
> coffee (from coffee that was actually heated up to this temperature,
> but brewed colder).  McDonalds offered less than $1000 and a jury
> awarded the millions - she did not sue for it, nor receive it.  It
> was reduced to something like $600K.  But it was put so high
> initially because over the span of 10 years, McD had over 700
> lawsuits for burns under their belt.
>
> I can't bring myself to see this quite the same, but do see why you
> might have it come to mind.
>
> At 01:05 PM 5/13/2013, you wrote:
>
>> I'm suddenly reminded of the lady who sued McDonalds for millions, when
>> she
>> spilled hot coffee on herself.
>>
>>
>> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:25 PM, John Nanci <john at chocolatealchemy.com>**
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Here here Ira.  Too true on the liability.  Sadly, people may not have
>> > to
>> > won a lawsuit against the manufacturer, but that does not mean the
>> > manufacturer has not had $10000's of dollars in legal fees defending
>> > against said suits, or had their insurance rates quadrupled because they
>> > were suddenly 'high risk'.  I wish I understood what makes some people
>> > sue
>> > happy for certain appliances and not others.
>> >
>> > John
>> >
>> >
>> > At 11:13 AM 5/13/2013, you wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hello Dennis,
>> >>
>> >> Sunday, May 12, 2013, 12:15 PM, you wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > I met Joe back in the day and safety was the motivating factor for
>> >> > the
>> >> > current design... (you cant trust an idiot to not burn the house >>
>> > down)
>> >>
>> >> And yet there are more than a few recommendations to run a Behmor with
>> >> 3/4 or 1/2 of the recommended weight of coffee.  I'm sure that
>> 10 ounces of
>> >> coffee at P1-B-1lb stretched to 20:30 is in the range of consistent or
>> >> at
>> >> least more than the occasional fire if ignored and I'd guess that most
>> >> of
>> >> the home machines can be persuaded similarly.
>> >>
>> >> Maybe all coffee roaster boxes should just have the phrase "This >>
>> machine
>> >> will burn your house down if not used properly" prominently displayed
>> >> in
>> >> large red letters on the outside. It really is the users fault if it
>> >> goes
>> >> wrong and the liability should not fall on the manufacturer.
>> >>
>> >> Has anyone ever successfully sued the manufacturer of a table saw for
>> >> cutting off a finger or of a stove top for starting a fire when >>
>> forgetting
>> >> to turn down the heat when answering the phone?
>> >>
>> >> -- Ira
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