2013年10月27日日曜日

Hot Coffee Lawsuit

1992年のマクドナルドコーヒー火傷裁判の説明があった。
被害者は7日の入院と2年間の通院。火傷は完治しなかった。
治療費は1万1千ドル。請求は3万ドル。
被害者についた弁護士の巧みな弁護により、「火傷はまれなケース(意図
略)」と説明したマクドナルドに陪審員が反発、懲罰的な額の判決となった
ようだ。

この頃は、カップコーヒー類が熱くて素手で持てないため、カップを二重
三重に被せたり、飲む時も注意しないと口の中を火傷すことが多かった
記憶がある。缶コーヒーも同様に素手で持つことができなかった。
提供側は、ぬるいと苦情があるため、熱くすることが当たり前だったと思う。
訴訟のおかげで、コーヒー類の温度が下がり、耐熱カップの開発が進んだ。
米国では、懲罰的判決があり、損害賠償は高額になるとの印象だった。
スポンサー問題と嫉妬で被害者が受けた嫌がらせは大変だったと思う。

数年遅れて、日本でも、騒音で傷害に発展した有名な事件があったが、
報道とは異なり、加害者は周囲から嫌がらせを受けていたと言う説がある。
嫌がらせを受けていた加害者の行動を皮膚感覚で茶化し、さらに嫌がらせ
を繰返したテレビ番組も多かった。
また、隣人殺人の被害者らが、長年にわたって加害者への通行障害等の嫌
がらせを繰返していたとの報道があった。被害関係者が異論を唱えていた
が、報道は真実と判断された。
最近でも、ストーカー殺人事件において、被害者関係者は、報道記者らに、
「殺すぞ」と脅迫されていたと発表。警察に対して、脅迫はなかったと
説明。被害者関係者は、警察を通して、脅迫を取消した。
共通するのは、「(実質的な)被害者の関係者から話を聞く努力を怠り、
(実質的な)被害者への配慮に欠けている」と言うこと。
商業報道機関だから、販売増も必要と思うが、問題を見つけることこそ
必要と思う。

Pretty in PinkやSome Kind of Wonderful等のJohn Hughesの作品は、経済
的格差がある男女の恋愛話だった気がする。

谷村有美大丈夫か
米国 無知でバーガー食べたら死亡
TPP ピンクスライム肉上陸か
山口金峰連続放火殺人事件


Woman Burned by McDonald's Hot Coffee, Then the News Media


Hot Coffee Official Trailer


The Story Behind the Infamous McDonald's Coffee Case & How Corporations Used it to Push Tort Reform


Hot Coffee Truth Episode 1: Is Hot Coffee the whole truth? Or nothing but?


Hot Coffee Truth Episode 2: A Defining Moment: What is a Tort?


Hot Coffee Truth Episode 3: Old McDonald's: The facts


Hot Coffee Truth Episode 4: Liability Limits: Does Nebraska's law really represent the rule?


Hot Coffee Truth Episode 5: Judicial Elections: Who really gives?


Hot Coffee Truth Episode 6: Arbitrary About Arbitration


---Storm Still Brews Over Scalding Coffee---
By BONNIE BERTRAM
Published: October 25, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/28/booming/storm-still-brews-over-scalding-coffee.html?ref=retroreport

Even 21 years later, it’s clear that the case of Liebeck v. McDonald’s hasn’t lost its power to provoke. The Retro Report video about the lawsuit featured here this week has been watched more than a million times on several websites and attracted hundreds of comments, many vehement.

 The documentary, which I produced over months of reporting, showed that many misconceptions had arisen since a 79-year-old woman, Stella Liebeck, ordered coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through, spilled the coffee, suffered severe burns, sued the company and was given a jury award of $2.9 million, later reduced to about $500,000.

Nevertheless, a good many commenters remained committed to their erroneous understanding of the case, some castigating Ms. Liebeck as foolish for driving with liquid she must have known would be hot. This frustrated a host of other commenters, including M Craig from Kirkland, Wash., who reminded people: “She was in the passenger seat of a PARKED car when she was scalded. She was not one isolated case of scalding, there were hundreds - which, amazingly, did not move McDonald’s to change their policy on the temperature at which to keep the coffee.”

Laura of Brentwood wrote: “She got $500,000 - not the millions reported.”

Patalcant from Southern California said, “From what has been reported, the woman was not acting recklessly, given any kind of reasonable assumption she might have made about the actual risk of what she chose to do. Even if coffee is expected to be hot, who would expect that spilled coffee would result in third-degree burns on a significant portion of her body?”

Beyond arguing over the facts of the case, commenters sparred over whether the lawsuit was warranted, tort reform, corporate responsibility, the American character (Scott in Rochester: “Unfortunately, in America, we no longer have the ability to accept responsibility”), even the proper brewing temperature for coffee.

Many who believed that Stella Liebeck was negligent remained unmoved. C from Atlanta wrote: “She ought to have gone inside to eat in the restaurant, where the coffee was less likely to have spilled and burned her. In other words, the people who don’t like this verdict still don’t like this verdict.”

Other commenters focused on one of the elements that made this case a quintessential Retro Report, the way a story was initially amplified and distorted in the news media. Bill Milbrodt from Howell, N.J., wrote, “if you are in the information-delivery business and want a message to have a specific twist brewed for a specific predilection, this is one hell of a story to learn from.”

And Nina from New York approximated the Mark Twain quote when she wrote, “A lie can go halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

For some of the principals in the case, the range and intensity of the reaction was not a complete surprise. Ms. Liebeck’s lawyer, Ken Wagner, was gratified to see the media angle covered in such depth. “This story isn’t about McDonald’s or about Mrs. Liebeck per se, but about the media’s failure to do its job in a measured way,” he said. “The way the political winds were blowing, politicians seized on this and they don’t do any fact checking. We’ve all lost out in this because of the basic fact that the media didn’t do its job.”

Judy Allen had already endured seeing her mother, who died in 2004, belittled in news reports, comedy routines and even the Toby Keith song, “American Ride,” with its lyric, “Spill a cup of coffee, make a million dollars.” She said this week that she felt a sense of relief to know that more people were getting to know the full story.

“The more exposure from the media as to what the correct story was, the better,” Ms. Allen said about this report. She said that she got tired of having to correct people, but that there was one person she’d look forward to confronting. “I would like to spend five minutes with Toby Keith,” she said, “and ask him what he was thinking.”

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