Good Example Of McDonald’s: The Coffee Spill Heard “Round The World” Case Study
There are different major issues in the Liebeck case and in the following incidents. Firstly, the temperature at which the coffee should be served. Secondly, the limitation that has made the coffee spill disgraceful and how the organizations should satisfy customers without any risk of legal cases. Thirdly, the responsibilities of customers while purchasing any products, i.e., reading caution while purchasing coffee in the discussed case. Lastly, the measures that an organization can adapt to satisfy their customers while minimizing the risk of being sued. Thus, it can be said that the case of Liebeck is frivolous because the sum demanded is excessive and it was her fault to be careful with the hot coffee. However, the McDonalds should have solved the case before the court to avoid interruption of media.
McDonalds is responsible to practice its business fairly and honestly. Moreover, the company is responsible to operate ethically and economically. With respect to the Liebeck case and following cases, McDonalds should apologize its customers and aware all consumers globally through caution labels on its products packaging to avoid future legal cases. In contrast, the consumers are responsible to act reasonably and think their own faults without blaming the organizations. Moreover, the consumers must not show their negligence while purchasing and consuming any hot drink or food. A company can provide caution labels or safety labels on its products or service center that besides satisfying consumers with the products demanded also informs them about the precautions to be considered by them. Thus, a company can also act wisely by thinking about the safety of consumers on priority basis and informing them about the product safety measures.
The main argument that Liebeck has is that McDonalds must have informed her and other consumers that the coffee is served hot at 170 degree which can cause human a second degree burn within 3.5 seconds of touching the skin. However, McDonald’s argument is that the consumers including Liebeck know that the coffee served by the restaurant is fresh and hot. Moreover, the aroma of the coffee arouse when coffee is heated at 170 degree optimally. Thus, both Liebeck and McDonalds have their own arguments to support and defend their case.
If I would have been a juror in the case of Liebeck, then I would have decided the case in favor of McDonalds as the consumer showed her negligence while opening the lid of coffee cups between her knees that has caused her third degree burn. Moreover, coffee is served hot globally; therefore, Liebeck was responsible to hold coffee cup tightly and take safety measures while carrying and opening lid of coffee cup. However, the case would also include a sum of money to pay hospital bills of Liebeck by McDonalds to compensate her burns and hospitalization expenses.
The similarity between the coffee spill case and the pickle burn case is that both the female sufferers had serious second and third degree burn. Moreover, both the two have demanded large sum of money and their cases were settled out of the court. However, the difference is that the in the coffee spill case, Liebeck showed her negligence while opening lid; whereas in the case of pickle, the negligence was not showed by Veronica Martin who suffered burn because the hamburger was in a defective condition that has made hot pickle to fall on her chin. Both the two cases showed serious threat to consumers for which McDonalds and other restaurants must inform verbally and through caution labels on product packaging about the temperature. Moreover, the fast food restaurants and McDonalds must also lower the temperature of the food.
The “Stella Awards” that annually highlights the outrageous incidents that has happened to consumers is contributing positively towards customer rights and safety as it helps to address serious problems. More of such reforms must be created to aware organizations about their responsibilities, i.e., to keep customer safety at priority while delivering satisfactory goods and services.
The future product related lawsuits must pay damages to the consumers who face second and third degree burn. Today, the organizations are responsible to pay for the carelessness of consumers or accidents while using the products. Thus, special responsibility is placed on organizations while selling products to older citizens.
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