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Are the toys included with McDonald's fat-ladened Happy Meals illegal under consumer protection laws? A class action lawsuit claims so.  (Source: Strange Cosmos)

The issue is made more complex by the fact that govenrment farm subsidies are helping keep junk food artificially cheap, and those subsidies are unlikely to go away anytime soon. Thus the government is already intervening to promote cheap junk food.  (Source: ChattahBox)
"Happy Meals" not so happy for children's health, say plaintiffs

America's obesity epidemic is more severe than that of any other large industrialized nation.  In America today, over 30 percent of adults and 15 percent of children are obese.  More so than any other medical issue, obesity is crippling the U.S. economy and health care system.

On Wednesday, a landmark lawsuit was filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest accusing McDonald's, America's largest fast food chain, of luring children into unhealthy eating with toys in "Happy Meals".

Monet Parham, a mother of two in Sacramento, was one of the sponsoring plaintiffs in the case and comments, "I object to the fact that McDonald's is getting into my kids' heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat."

Remember Joe Camel?

The case is similar in some regards to the class action lawsuits filed against Camel Cigarettes over its use of the "Joe Camel" cartoon character.  While eating junk food isn't illegal for children like smoking cigarettes is, many physicians say the risks associated with obesity are as bad as smoking cigarettes or worse.  It should be noted that Camel Cigarettes was forced to discontinue its iconic character and settle its lawsuits out of court for a tidy sum.

Could the Happy Meal be next?

Lawyers for the CSPI say that McDonald's is both harming children by luring children with the toys and harming its competitors which no longer offer similar prizes with their kids meals.  States Steve Gardner, CSPI litigation director, "Every time McDonald's markets a Happy Meal directly to a young child, it exploits a child's developmental vulnerability and violates several states' consumer protection laws, including the California Unfair Competition Law."

The group was also critical of McDonald's claims that it had made its Happy Meals "healthier" by adding Apple Dippers or low-fat milk as options.  They point out that fries and pop are still the most commonly served options for the Happy Meal.

CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson states, "McDonald's congratulates itself for meals that are hypothetically possible, though it knows very well that it's mostly selling burgers or chicken nuggets, fries, and sodas to very young children."

McDonald's spokesperson Bridget Coffing refused to directly comment on the lawsuit, but defended the happy meals, stating, "We are proud of our Happy Meals and intend to vigorously defend our brand, our reputation and our food.  We are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with quality, right-sized food choices for their children that can fit into a balanced diet."

What the Suit Means to American's Health, The Fast Food Business

The idea of government courts policing American's eating habits and replacing the role of proper parenting is controversial.  And its important to note that government intervention is partly responsible for the 
success of fast food, as farm subsidies have reduced the cost of beef and corn to much lower levels than Europe and Asia.

For McDonald's, the suit couldn't have come at a much worse time.  The company was just hit by a massive data loss, in which it may have lost as many as 13 million customers' names and email addresses.  And over the last couple years the company's image has been damaged by the nonfiction best-seller/documentary 
Supersize Me.

The case is significant for other fast food companies, as well.  Depending on its outcome, other competitors, like Taco Bell, which does often offer toys with kids meals, may have to eliminate them as well.  And if the practice is condoned by the court, competitors who aren't offering toys may feel compelled to keep up.

In other words, this super-size case may ultimately be the prelude to the U.S. government either practicing a hands-off policy as Americans' waists swell; or opting to try to force consumers to healthier options, via either court rulings or legislation.

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Seriously lady?
By wannabemedontu on 12/16/2010 3:29:35 PM , Rating: 5
"getting into your kids heads"?

Are the kids forcing the parents at gunpoint to drive them to McDonald's and then purchase the food for them? Be a parent and say no fatso. Good grief.

This has got to be as dumb as the old lady + hot coffee law suit. Why are these people allowed to have kids?

RE: Seriously lady?
By rburnham on 12/16/2010 3:31:33 PM , Rating: 5
Because we have no "Having Kids Test". Damn shame, too.

RE: Seriously lady?
By nolisi on 12/16/2010 5:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm tickled pink by the idea that many of those defending McDonalds seem to not be in favor of government controlling what McDonalds can advertise and sell, no matter how much potential for harm there is, but they seem to be in favor of government controlling who can have kids. Seems like a mild double standard to me...

FYI, I'm in favor of people controlling what they eat. But I'm also in favor of truth/disclosure in advertising and people being well informed about what they eat. I don't see it as just McDonalds responsibility, nor just parents responsibility, but everyones responsibility...

RE: Seriously lady?
By JackQW on 12/16/2010 8:51:31 PM , Rating: 4
Truth in advertising is good. I think everyone agrees on that.

All they're trying to do is head 'em off at the pass.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

... and the root source of prevention in this case is common sense, of which these parents have none.

I'm sure are already restricted by the 'No Kids For You' act of the People's Republic of America, since they have the constitution overriding authority to restrict everything else -- like McD's selling.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Totally on 12/17/2010 1:07:31 AM , Rating: 2
No, not really. Right to run a business vs. Abusing the privilege of being a parent.

RE: Seriously lady?
By knutjb on 12/17/2010 5:23:21 AM , Rating: 5
They are required to provide nutrition info That was oh so tough to find.
McDonalds has to provide this by law. Parents have the choice and some are choosing poorly by claiming victim status.

Look at Starbucks Who plans on suing them? I know a lot of kids who spend more time there than at the golden arches.

RE: Seriously lady?
By invidious on 12/17/2010 9:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
People with no sense or humor shouldn't be allowed to procreate either.

RE: Seriously lady?
By The Raven on 12/17/2010 10:09:59 AM , Rating: 4
It's not that anyone is defending McD's. Freedom is being defended here. I personally hate McD's. The food is crap, I'm sick of seeing their commercials, and I hate their stupid clown (although I do like his charity and he was very nice to me when he stopped by a location in Perryville, MO).

My kid has gone to McD's and played on the playplace and got a happy meal and felt like he had just gone to Disneyland. Ever since he has a magnatism to the place... I wonder why...

Though my wife has taken him maybe 5 times in his 4 years, I have never taken him. And it is soley because I hate the place. He asks to go whenever we see the arches (but not so much lately), but we tell him "no." I take him to places with play places and toys and what not, so we are not denying him a childhood or anything lol.

But with all that said, I like the fact that there are McD's out there for when I want to take him out for a quick treat. If they disappeared and were replaced with Arby's I'd be much happier, but I can appreciate the place a little and it seems that there are people who appreciate it more than me.

If these people want to get fat, unhealthy, and raise their insurance rates and chances of dying early... go right ahead. You are a terrible parent if you do that to your kids, but if anyone loves them I'm guessing it is you and here in the US where we believe in the power of freedom, I have to trust your judgement. Otherwise we will have to ban abortion, circumcision, TV, and any thing else that the elite think is bad. We have freedom to do stupid things like waste time with vidya games and commenting on DT articles and even buy our kids meals that come with cheap toys from China. If you don't like it; don't do it. Period.

RE: Seriously lady?
By JakLee on 12/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: Seriously lady?
By just4U on 12/17/2010 9:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, ... I'll defend MCD's. Why not?

As a child in the 70s we were bombarded by comercials from all the big fastfood places of the time. I am sure many remember the Ronald Mcdonald comercials with hamburgler and the the colorful charachters they had.. Sure, we wanted to go. But it didn't make us fat.

Probably because we were alot more physically active back then as compared to the children of today. Falls to the parents to make sure their children are living a healthy (AND ACTIVE) lifestyle.. not Mcdonalds.

It should be noted to that overall their "fast food" isn't unhealthy for you.. atleast not in moderation. But that goes without saying as a "HAPPY MEAL" isn't going way overboard on the calories chart anyway.

This is just another stupid lawsuit trying to post the blame where it doesn't belong.. Total BS.

RE: Seriously lady?
By SandmanWN on 12/18/2010 3:47:30 AM , Rating: 3
This is just another stupid lawsuit trying to post the blame where it doesn't belong.. Total BS.

McD's should counter sue the parents for buying their kids into obesity. One stupid lawsuit practically begs for another.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Skywalker123 on 12/18/2010 11:25:30 AM , Rating: 3
Although I defend their right to sell it,McDonalds food is pure garbage.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Ristogod on 12/16/2010 3:56:41 PM , Rating: 5
I love it when people blame everyone else for them being a worthless parent. Take this woman out the field, pop her in the back of the head, put the kids on a treadmill and order a Big Mac.

RE: Seriously lady?
By BadAcid on 12/16/2010 4:23:14 PM , Rating: 4
The irony in all this is that McDonald's runs a charity to help families stick together in the face of disease and such.

For the perpetrators of this lawsuit to blame McDonald's for their kids getting fat just shows their inability or complete lack of real desire to maintain families properly themselves.

I hope the judge forces them to enter a Ronald McDonald house to, hopefully, cure them of their hands-off approach to parenting and help the kids overcome obesity.

Poetic justice.

RE: Seriously lady?
By FaaR on 12/16/2010 7:11:11 PM , Rating: 1
I love how you baselessly jump to the conclusion that this woman must be a bad parent. It sure must be awesome to be a multinational supercorporation in america when they have imbeciles such as you voluntarily charging to its defense, without they having to lift a finger.

Don't you feel dirty, being at the beck and call of a multinational, and not even getting paid for it?

Advertising junk food to kids really screws with their heads. This is a known fact, scientifically proven. McD and similar corporate entities don't give a crap about the kiddies that eat at their so-called "restaurants", or their health (other than on a superficial level, so the junk they serve isn't actually toxic or contaminated); IF they cared they wouldn't sell crap loaded to the brim with fat, sugar and salt to children.

This actually is a really big issue, but sticking your head in the sand and blaming everything on the parent won't help you. On the other hand, what goes around comes around. Karma and all that. Enjoy the shitty society you're contributing to, matey... More power to the junk food corps is good in your book, eh?

RE: Seriously lady?
By enlil242 on 12/16/2010 8:00:48 PM , Rating: 4
It absolutley is the parents fault. I grew up under the same umbrella as these kids, and had more to choose. McD's, BK, Jack in the Box, Burger Chef, Hot n Now. My parents probably took me there once a month. I'm not a fat slob and I thank them for that.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Looey on 12/16/2010 8:47:06 PM , Rating: 5
I think you're full of BS. It's the responsibility of every parent to feed their kids. The mother of these kids is simply a bad mother. It's easy to look at your kids and see the fat and do what's right. She is trying to place the blame on others so she doesn't look like what she is, a bad parent. The judge in this case should have her investigated for child abuse.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Warwulf on 12/17/2010 3:14:32 AM , Rating: 5
In order for your arguement to hold water, it assumes that all parents are nincompoops and incapable of doing anything other than catering to every whim of their child. Kids don't care if it's a Happy Meal or not... They just want the goddamn toy. Take them to Toys R Us, for crying out loud.

Eventually, someone has to step up and be the adult here... Take responsibility for the way you raise your children.

RE: Seriously lady?
By HueyD on 12/17/2010 9:05:52 AM , Rating: 5
It's not about "fault" its about who is responsible. The parents need to take responsibility for what their kids eat, watch on TV, who they hang around with, who they date... you know, be a PARENT.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Yames on 12/17/2010 11:55:13 AM , Rating: 5
Exactly, kids don't drive themselves to McD's. That lady needs to learn to tell her kids NO.

RE: Seriously lady?
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2010 9:12:26 AM , Rating: 5
It's absolutely a parents problem. Everything for kids is marketed as the greatest thing in the world. Even if it wasn't marketed to them at all, kids would see or smell it and say "I WANT!!!". It's a parents job to determine what is good for their kids and act appropriately.

Why do they sell it and make billions? Because the parents buy it. What you advocate is a world where the government decides for everyone what is good for them.

If you don't like McDonalds, do what I do and don't buy it. But a parent has the right to buy it and give it to their child if they so choose. But to then not like the results of their poor decisions for their child and want to blame others is the true problem.

Just like automakers selling lots of trucks. They do so because people want them. Advertising only suggests you buy something. If you're to mentally incompetent to not know what is good for you, then you are the one to blame. Not them for getting you to fall for what they said. Now when 4-5 year olds start having jobs again buying things on their own, you can make a case.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Redwin on 12/17/2010 9:56:36 AM , Rating: 5
I think I agree with Fit here.

Should the gov require the company to post nutrition facts so parents have the information to make a good decision for their kids? Probably so.

Should the gov just go ahead and make the decision for the parents? HELL NO.

I drive by 5 McDonalds every day on the way home from work. I stopped and tried the McRib once a couple weeks ago (Spoiler: Not as great as everyone claims, lol). Was first and last time I'd been there in years. Its not like they are forcing you (or your kids) into their restaurant.

RE: Seriously lady?
By The Raven on 12/17/2010 11:46:17 AM , Rating: 1
Advertising junk food to kids really screws with their heads

How do you think McD's reaches the kids? Umm... the parents took them there? Or the parents let them watch too much TV where McD's advertises.

Look since the food is bad for people, let's just ban it altogether, right? I mean that is what you people are saying. You are saying that people can't make smart decisions, or shouldn't be able to do stupid things.

RE: Seriously lady?
By just4U on 12/17/2010 9:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
When I was still in school we had a nutritionist come in and go over alot about food. She also brought up Mcdonalds and her thoughts on it have stuck with me to this day..

She was quite ok with the BIG MAC. Saying how it covered all the essential food groups (if in a round about way) but also went on to say that to eat such things constantly would not be healthy (calorie intake and all that) especially if we were not very active.

She didn't see fast food places as evil at all.. and had quite a good perspective on how they fit into our daily lives and eating habits.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Skywalker123 on 12/18/2010 11:29:22 AM , Rating: 2
Many nutritionists are full of it. They'll tell you that whole grain breads are good for diabetics. Wrong. and the Big Mac has a big white bread bun and is full of fat.

RE: Seriously lady?
By tmouse on 12/20/2010 7:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
And you know more?

Get over it, unless you’re stupid you should know ALL hamburgers are made of meat and fat. McDonalds is probably not much better or worse in that regard. Most places over cook burgers anyways so a lot of the fat is drained out, that’s why they advertise "weight before cooking". Most of the fat in fast food burgers comes from margarine or mayonnaise. The ketchup is also loaded with salt and sugar. Soda, hopefully is self-explanatory. Fries are just pure carbohydrates, and there is very little difference between "whole" grains and white bread. The "whole" grain provides some additional fiber , which is good and if there are actually any whole grains in it can slow absorption of some carbohydrate, fat and salt are just about the same. You could eat most of your meals in a McDonald’s and not get fat, BUT you would have to choose carefully and balance it with additional vegetables (even the salads are mostly lettuce with no nutritional value). You will get just as fat eating similar foods at home.

Not a McDonald’s fan personally, I rarely eat fast food but every once in a while it will not kill the vast majority of people. As it has been said MANY times parents do not have to take their kids there, they have healthier choices if they do and they shouldn’t allow their kids to sit around all day playing video games or watching TV.

RE: Seriously lady?
By sp33dklz on 12/17/2010 2:28:59 PM , Rating: 1
I absolutely love that people are obese, as I choose not to be. I am going into the medical field and it is comforting that there will be plenty of illness and disease to take care of. Kudos McDonalds, for my job security.


RE: Seriously lady?
By Schrag4 on 12/17/2010 2:50:37 PM , Rating: 4
Kudos McDonalds, for my job security.

You totally missed the point here. You meant "Kudos, crappy parents, for my job security." I'll go ahead and beat a dead horse here by pointing out that my kids always want to go to McD also, but we almost never take them there (two or three times a year). Did McD decide that our family won't go? No. As parents we decided.

RE: Seriously lady?
By smackababy on 12/16/2010 4:29:48 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, the hot coffee law suit wasn't about her being stupid and spilling the coffee. It was the fact that McDonald's purchased sub par coffee and heated it to unreasonably high temperatures in order to produce the scent all coffee drinkers know and love.

Also, she didn't win millions of dollars as most people believe either. Appeals brought the number down to something much more reasonable (like medical and court costs plus a few thousand).

What still remains is the idiocy of this law suit. The fact that parents cannot "control" their kids enough to feed them food not from a Happy Meal is just one of the many reasons there should be regulations on who can have kids in this country.

If I wanted McDonald's when I was a child and my mother denied it, that was the end of it. If I put up a fuss, I got a smack and ate whatever she cooked with a sore bottom.

RE: Seriously lady?
By smackababy on 12/16/2010 4:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I just recalled a study I saw concerning the portion sizes, not limited to fast food, of what we eat compared to what was commonplace 10 years ago. The sizes have increased quite a bit. What used to be the regular is now the small or children and what was once the large is now the regular.

Technically, McDonald's could do something to improve this, but at a severe loss of business as Wendy's and Burger King will still offer larger portions resulting in more "value" for the customers.

RE: Seriously lady?
By SpinCircle on 12/16/2010 5:41:33 PM , Rating: 4
Totally agree with what you're saying... though I do have to wonder what your mom was cooking with a sore bottom... :P

Oh, and those kids aren't fat, they're 'fluffy'

RE: Seriously lady?
By Omega215D on 12/16/2010 7:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
My family was different. When we wanted to go to McDonald's our parents would take us if possible (unless we were grounded then all bets are off) and it was like a weekly to 3 times a week thing. Fast forward to me being an adult and I am in no way fat nor am I in poor health. Good cholesterol is quite high, bad cholesterol is less than average and blood pressure is looking great. Probably due to the way I was being raised. We weren't allowed to be lazy and if we sat in front of the TV for more than 3 hours we pretty much were sent outside to play, do chores or just plain move around.

I still eat it 3 times a week as it's cheap and quick during lunch break but I also maintain the exercise regimen and switch up the meal plan (there are 3 meals per day so 3 times a week actually isn't bad).

RE: Seriously lady?
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2010 8:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
No one is saying don't give your kids McDonalds. Just that parents shouldn't whine because the food isn't the healthiest. They don't say that their food is healthy, just delicious (something I disagree with but others disagree with me).

Can you be healthy and still eat McDonalds? Yes. But you'll have to do more than sit on your ass all day.

But in the next few years depending how the political tides roll, we'll potentially see more of this BS. They just passed a food "safety" bill that lets the FDA control school bake sales and other crap. A lady who helped draft the bill admitted on a show I listen to that if she'd had her way, she'd have banned them altogether. Because you know the Constitution gives the federal government that power.

Why does the government care about what you eat? Well as they get more involved in the health care system, unhealthy people cost them more money. So they want to control what we eat so there's less potential for us to get fat.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Solandri on 12/16/2010 10:07:22 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, the hot coffee law suit wasn't about her being stupid and spilling the coffee. It was the fact that McDonald's purchased sub par coffee and heated it to unreasonably high temperatures in order to produce the scent all coffee drinkers know and love.

Actually, the coffee wasn't too hot. That was one of the brilliant pieces of misinformation created by her lawyers. They went around and surveyed the coffee temperature at a bunch of nearby restaurants, found the lowest temperature, and reported that as "other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures". Notice how their phrasing makes it sound like the typical establishment sells coffee at the lower temperature, when in fact the one selling it at the temperature they were referencing probably had the machine set wrong. In contrast, someone seeking to present facts would've given the temperatures of the coffee machines at all the restaurants nearby. Which they couldn't do because it would torpedo their case and show that McDonalds' coffee wasn't set any higher than coffee at other restaurants.

Bunn (the manufacturer of most of the coffee equipment sold to restaurants) recommends their machines be set at the 175-185 F temperature range the McDonalds' coffee machine was set at. This is still their recommended temperature setting, and is just 5 degrees off from the 180-190 F standard McDonalds was advised to use corporate-wide at the time.

The case is a textbook example of how a lawyer can use tricky wording, misdirection, lying by omission, and elicit emotional responses from jurors (most of their argument centered on the horrific burns the client suffered) to arrive at a decision not based on the facts of the case.

Also, she didn't win millions of dollars as most people believe either. Appeals brought the number down to something much more reasonable (like medical and court costs plus a few thousand).

The final adjusted award was $640,000, before they settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. So it's almost certainly into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

RE: Seriously lady?
By mcnabney on 12/17/2010 9:40:30 AM , Rating: 1
Actually the coffee was too hot and it was deliberately set that way by their corporate office. Your own remarks identify that.

The McDonalds policy was to produce coffee outside of the machine's specification. So to the judge/jury the company took specific action to make their product less safe despite the coffee machine manufactures recommended settings. That is why McDonalds lost in court. Obviously the original number was idiotically high, but McDonalds was clearly at fault here.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Lakku on 12/18/2010 5:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
I believe you're the one being the lawyer now, not giving us the full story to get your view or point across. You left out the part of the plaintiff's case where they also set out to prove that 190 degrees was far too hot to be serving coffee, regardless of what was the suggested setting by corporate or Bunn.

McDonald's argued during the trial that customers wanted it that hot because they intended to consume it at work or back at home, wherever their destination was. This, despite the fact they had over 700 hundred complaints from 1982 to 1992 of coffee burning or scalding the mouth, throat, or if spilled, the skin. There was medical evidence of third degree burns in some of the cases, so McDonald's knew there was a problem. They also knew that most customers did in fact intended to drink it on the way to work, by way of their own research.

Lastly, and this is where you part comes in, coffee generally is served well below 190 degrees at other establishments. This is important, because the case revolved around McDonald's knowing it was too hot, and that other places did not serve it at this temp. They proved with home coffee makers that coffee from many of them was 135 to 140 or so degrees (though this may not be the case with all coffee makers, it is irrelevant to the facts here).

The case, which resulted in a woman suffering third degree burns and requiring 2 years of medical work, did in fact have merit, mostly based on the fact McDonald's knew it was too hot, and ignored that fact. Ignored it even after 700 burn complaints.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Targon on 12/18/2010 8:47:33 AM , Rating: 2
Just for the sake of argument, just because most people are stupid does not mean that we should be happy with stupidity. Just because other places set the temperature lower does not make it CORRECT that it is at that temperature.

You make coffee or hot chocolate at home, and in general, it starts by being too hot, so you test it, then wait, or add something to cool it, then test again, or wait. That is normal for hot beverages!

Or, if the average traffic light is set to 2 minutes per cycle and the light takes 2 minutes and 15 seconds, that does not mean you should run the light because the light you are at is set differently. People need to understand that you have to pay attention to the world around them, and to respond to differences between what they expect and what is really there.

Basically, people need to wake up and pay attention to the world around them, and I don't mean just reading the newspaper or watching the news on TV.

From your perspective, if people continually drive over the grass on an empty lot(instead of staying on the road), if the owner of the property builds a wall to keep it from happening and drivers get hurt because they run their car into the wall, it suddenly is the fault of the owner of the property that the driver was stupid and didn't pay attention.

Stupidity should never be rewarded, and honestly, if people would stop protecting stupid people from doing stupid things, then we would have fewer stupid people in the world and we would have fewer problems. If you break into a public building and fall down a set of stairs in the dark, you should NOT have the right to sue because there was no exit sign or warnings that can be read in the dark warning about the stairs. If you try to rob someone, and a police officer warns you to stop or he/she will fire, failure to stop means you DESERVE to be shot, with no potential for excessive force lawsuits.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Dr of crap on 12/17/2010 9:26:58 AM , Rating: 5
You got it. We used to get smacked for causing a fuss. And that was the end of it.

Now if you smack your kid the cops are called, the kids are questioned about abuse from their parents.
Good parenting means saying NO and meaning NO. Parents now hear a little whining and then GIVE IN.

FAT kids, spoiled kids, kids that think they deserve everthing, you know the kids of today - come from BAD PARENTING!

RE: Seriously lady?
By bighairycamel on 12/17/2010 5:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
Where are the oompa loompas? I think this post calls for a musical number.

RE: Seriously lady?
By FaceMaster on 12/17/2010 11:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
I happened to be reading about this case only last night, where did you read about them using poorer quality coffee beans that need to be heated further? I have seen no evidence of that anywhere, and I feel you may just be making it up.

Also, the final figure isn't known, but it is likely to be far, far more than her medical fees (Which are around the $20,000 mark, while 'the parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount less than $600,000'. So yeah, they might have been $20,000 + legal fees or what ever, but somehow I doubt that.)

Please reply, I'd like to see what you have to say about this.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Nutzo on 12/16/2010 4:31:41 PM , Rating: 3
Take a good look at the picture with the 2 kids. They are NOT eating a happy meal, unless McDonald now has an option to "Supersize" them. That's a large drink and a large box of fries siting on the tray.

RE: Seriously lady?
By bjacobson on 12/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Seriously lady?
By Luckyspin on 12/16/2010 4:46:49 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously though. Read about the Hot Coffee suit. McDonalds was to blame for that BIG TIME.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Quadrillity on 12/16/2010 5:14:02 PM , Rating: 1
after reading that link, I feel like I have learned something today. Thanks :)

RE: Seriously lady?
By hr824 on 12/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: Seriously lady?
By Solandri on 12/16/2010 10:40:46 PM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately, the info on that site is the victim's lawyer's perspective of the case, and does not represent the true facts. For some real facts:

The coffee machines are supposed to be set that hot. It's the temperature recommended by Bunn, the manufacturer of most of the coffee machines used in U.S. restaurants. Still is in fact. 175-185 F is what they recommend today.

The "other establishments" which served it at a lower temperature referred to the lowest temperature found when they surveyed other restaurants. Not the mean, not the median, but the lowest.

After the verdict, McDonalds did indeed lower the temperature of their coffee machines. But too many people complained about it cooling too quickly and they raised it again. If you go check McDonalds now, it's probably in the 175-185 range recommended by Bunn.

The 700 prior incidents of burns from spilled coffee represented some 8 billion cups of coffee sold in 11 years. That's an incident rate of 1 in 11 million. The average fatality rate from driving is about 1.5 per 100 million miles. So if you drive 6 miles round trip to buy a cup of coffee at McDonalds, you are about as likely to die in a car accident as you are to spill the coffee on yourself. If the coffee was unsafe enough to sue over, then we need to pull all the cars off the road right now and sue every auto manufacturer for selling such a dangerous product.

About the only thing the site reports without bias is that McDonalds was grossly unsympathetic towards the woman's injuries. In post-interviews with some of the jurors, that was in fact one of the main reasons they decided in her favor. They reported that McDonalds' lawyers came across as insensitive, heartless jerks. So they figured since someone had to pay for her medical bills it might as well be McDonalds.

RE: Seriously lady?
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2010 9:05:58 AM , Rating: 2
I had an entire pot of steaming hot coffee spilled on me as a child. Luckily I was wearing pants.

And stop disproving people who just want to blame others for their stupid acts. If you put hot coffee between your legs while driving a car and you're wearing a skirt, a facepalm moment is sure to happen eventually.

RE: Seriously lady?
By YashBudini on 12/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Seriously lady?
By Dr of crap on 12/17/2010 9:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
So in your world everything should come with a warning label since you don't know how it's going to be used by everyone.
"Gee, I didn't know if I poured gas on my leg and dropped a cigarette on it, I will get burned!"

She, the lady with the coffee, should have realized SHE did the wrong thing. Being burned was the out come.

Can I sue for damages if I open a can of beans, drip some liquid on the floor as I'm moving to the stove, slip on this liquid and cut my thumb off as I fall to the floor, and burn my hand on the stove as I'm trying to keep from falling!
And yes that IS the same as what this lady did.
This should have NEVER been brought to a court setting.
This is the same as good parenting. The fact that she thought that spilling the coffee was in some way not fully her fault is just crazy.
We need a common sense filter on the court system.

Why do I need a "warning coffee is hot" label on the coffee cup?
DUH, it's coffee. If it wasn't hot they wouldn't sell much of it.
A good cup of coffee should be made at 190 or hotter to make it good!

RE: Seriously lady?
By YashBudini on 12/17/2010 10:48:39 PM , Rating: 1
Your inability to grasp what I said (versus your impression) and inability to understand how the law works is not my problem.

Reading comprehension courses are available in your area.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Skywalker123 on 12/16/2010 7:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you don't know the facts behind the MacDonald's hot coffee suit.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Hiawa23 on 12/16/2010 8:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
WTF, is this a joke? If parents are stuffing their kids with fatty foods, it's on them not Mcd's. I eat at Wendys a couple of times a week. I order the 2 for $4.99, which is a Blt cobb salad, without blue cheese, & a chilli, & a cup of water. Last time checked you can also get low fatty foods at Mcd's, so if you are stuffing yourself full of fatty foods instead of ordering good low cal food, it's on you, hell we all enjoy a hamburger and a fry from time to time, but you got to use some common sense. Fast Food restaurants offer a healthy menu too. It's about choices.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Lerianis on 12/17/2010 1:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the reasoning (not that there is much reason in it) is that McDonald's is 'not making their food as healthy as they could'.
Frankly, unless they stop selling fried foods like hamburgers and Chicken Nuggets, they are not going to be able to please those bastards who are pushing them towards 'healthier choices'.

Basically, the people who are filing these lawsuits and pushing this bullplop want us to go to eating salads and nothing but salads all the time.

RE: Seriously lady?
By spread on 12/16/2010 11:07:52 PM , Rating: 1
This has got to be as dumb as the old lady + hot coffee law suit.

That lawsuit had merit.

The problem was that McDonalds was not serving coffee fit for human consumption. They would serve it near boiling point because customers want to drink it "later" even though their own studies show most people try to consume it right away.

This is what happened, the lady tried to drink the coffee and by doing so burned her mouth and then dropped the coffee on her lap requiring skin grafts and medical treatment. She approached McDonalds for the costs of said treatment, they denied she sued for more and won.

More info:

RE: Seriously lady?
By xrodney on 12/17/2010 4:21:19 AM , Rating: 1
Evidently you don't know much about children and human mentality at all.
Point is that they are promoting junk food and not healthy ones, making it better deal and its really easy to elude child with toys and also there is most of food offered junk with only very few healthy options.

Why don't they promote good food ? Because they don't care about us, just about how much money they make and from junk food they make more.

I think in some countries companies providing food are already forced to avoid some junk ingredients in food and make at least some part of their offering healthy.

As for me personally I will welcome any way they are forced to sell as many healthy food as possible as often its really hard to make choice between 30 types of junk and 2 healthy foods as none want to eat same thing 5 times a day.

RE: Seriously lady?
By HueyD on 12/17/2010 9:02:31 AM , Rating: 2
Why McDonalds??? Burger King, Wendy's, Five Guy's, etc... their all foods that have high fat content. They should investigate what their kids are eating at the public schools, I would bet my paycheck the fat content at the public schools it about the same as the food at any of these fast food joints.

This seems to be the norm, its always "their" fault. People need to take responsibility for their actions or in-action in this case.

RE: Seriously lady?
By xrodney on 12/20/2010 5:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps because McDonald is biggest.
Outside of US McDonald is most known and offers most junk food.
Also its not just about amount of fat but also other stuff.
And quite contrary, food in school is controlled.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Lerianis on 12/17/2010 2:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
xrodney, I will point this out slowly and maybe it will sink in: McDONALDS FOOD IS NO MORE NOR LESS HEALTHY THAN STUFF MADE AT HOME!

Got that! Seriously, their food is no more nor less healthy today than fried foods made at HOME! Which a lot of families make at home today!

It's time to stop bashing on McDonald's and stop bashing on fried foods in general. With all due respect, I ate them a LOT when I went off my self-imposed diet during the summer as a child.
Was I overweight? Hell no, I always tested as being underweight!
Even during school, McDonald's food was usually my 'one meal a day if that'.

So, the problem is not the food.... the problem is that parents have been terrified into not letting their children out of their homes with the 'stranger danger' and 'pedophile/pedosexual threat'.
Therefore, their children get fat!

RE: Seriously lady?
By Helbore on 12/17/2010 4:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
Evidently you don't know much about children and human mentality at all.

You're arguing that some people are too stupid or incompetant to make their own decisions, so the government should make them for them instead. That's not a world I'd want to live in.

Besides, your whole argument falls apart on the basis that most parents are capable of making good judgments and are able to control their children. Children stamp their feet and demand outrageous things ALL THE TIME! Evidently, you don't know much aobut children, or you'd be aware of this fact. It ain't just about McDonalds, its about anything they want to have. A good parent knows how to tell their kid "no."

Because in the end, that's all they need to do. The kid can't get in the car, drive themselves to McDs and buy the food themselves. They're a kid! They can't drive! They have no money! It's the parents who choose to do it.

As for me personally I will welcome any way they are forced to sell as many healthy food as possible as often its really hard to make choice between 30 types of junk and 2 healthy foods as none want to eat same thing 5 times a day.

People like you need to be kept out of government (I hope you're not in such a position). Who are you to force such decisions on people? As an adult, I have a right to eat unhealthy foods if I want. What gives you the right to decide that I can't and should only eat healthy foods?

It's not like I currently can't eat healthy foods. I just don't go to McDonalds if I'm after a healthy meal. There are other places for that. The thing is, its my choice to decide which place I want to go to and how often. It is not and should not be the government's.

RE: Seriously lady?
By Fritzr on 12/17/2010 11:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
Fast food menus vary according to market. The last time I was in a McDonalds, the fried chicken with rice was the most popular item. They sell very few burgers & fries at that location. It was outside US and the local McDo sold what the customers wanted.

In India they do not sell meat...again McDonalds

In US they do sell hamburgers, french fries & soda pop, because that is what US customers expect to find. They can change the menu and offer other items, but they have much less control when it comes to telling the customer what they are allowed to order.

Even KFC in US has started to put their fried chicken & picnic food items to the side to offer processed chicken product sandwiches as the items that they prefer to promote.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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