I Fought the Law
(?) August 11th, 1998
There was a recent article in The New York Times print edition that we just had to do an entry on, both because of its skeptical bent and because it portends an excellent turn of events for the sake of reason in our culture.

I'm sure you've all heard the story about the woman who sued McDonald's "restaurants" for something like $2.0 million dollars because she spilled hot coffee on her lap.  This story has circulated through the media as an example of frivolous lawsuits that empty the coffers of business and government alike; the popular assumption these days is that people sue for everything, and if hot coffee on your lap is reason enough to sue a huge company, then people are suing everyone for everything, no matter how small. 

The story about the woman has some details that never seem to surface:

  • she was 81 years old
  • she suffered 3rd degree burns
  • these burns were so bad that she required skin grafts
  • McDonalds coffee is 20 degrees hotter than other restaraunts and they have had over 600 complaints over the years about the temperature of their coffee.
  • The judge in the case reduced her award to $600,000

As we can see, the truth of the situation is much more believable than the fiction.  See the article for more information on frivolous lawsuits; some of the revelations: they're not as common as people have claimed and the USA does not have the highest number of lawyers in the world. 



June 11th, 2001

A Million Damn Dollars
May 31st, 2001

Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001