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Thread: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Everything has tradeoffs. I prefer the tradeoff of having a more open legal system where it is easier to sue, but the system gets abused a bit, than having a system where people won't sue when they should, and perfectly reasonable lawsuits can cost those filing them a years income or more.
    Yup. I mean, I do understand where the discontent is coming at. We see these people suing over crap that is common sense **** and winning. And it encourages more. Sometimes now companies would rather settle that go through court even if what's being claimed is absurd. We as a people have lost much of our resolve and tenacity and now when we see 1 person do something bad and get away with it, we know that 1000 more will follow (I remember my mom telling me one "Well if Joey [my best friend as a kid] jumped off the Sears Tower, would you? Maybe we lost a lot of our wise mom sayings).

    But in the end, we must acknowledge that with an open system means some amount of "abuse" and that's that. I'd much rather err on the side of the People, and for that reason I am uncomfortable with these sorts of "loser pays" laws. I guess we'll see how well it's implemented and what happens because of it. It could surprise me and not cut down access or discourage proper lawsuit; but I don't know at this point and it's something that is iffy to start with.
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    The facts are straight

    1.Only retard puts a cup of hot liquids between their legs and then proceeds to take the lid off.

    2.The coffee was served at optimum temperature.

    3.No one should be awarded money because they were injured due to their own stupidity or carelessness. It would be like awarding a fat person money because they out of their own free will chose to eat nothing but fast food and not exercise.
    Wrong....you are completely misinformed like so many other people.

    The coffee was served at a temperature that was WAY too hot. Coffee should not be served at a temperature that causes the level of burning that occurred in that case.
    Second, McDonalds had been warned numerous times before this incident and chose to do nothing.
    Third, the lawsuit involved in that case did not occur until after McDonalds refused to cover the medical damages. The family involved was not looking for punitive damages until McDonalds took an irresponsible route.

    I agree with you on one point. Contributory negligence should factor in. However, when you have a situation where a corporation is aware of the dangers and aware of problems and choose to ignore them, then it isn't because of the injury parties carelessness that the injury occurs.

    Here is a picture of what the McDonalds coffee did in that case. Be warned...its graphic: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=McDon...w=1280&bih=586
    Last edited by disneydude; 07-28-11 at 12:19 PM.
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    The facts are straight

    1.Only retard puts a cup of hot liquids between their legs and then proceeds to take the lid off.

    2.The coffee was served at optimum temperature.

    3.No one should be awarded money because they were injured due to their own stupidity or carelessness. It would be like awarding a fat person money because they out of their own free will chose to eat nothing but fast food and not exercise.
    No, your facts are not straight at all. You're just parroting some information that was given to you, and honestly regarding this case I did the same thing.

    Do some actual research on the case. You'll see you're absolutely incorrect.

    Better yet, let me do it for you since I don't believe you'll actually do it.

    The Actual Facts about the Mcdonalds' Coffee Case

    After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward and stopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. (Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.) Liebeck placed the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from the cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled into her lap.

    The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused.

    During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks. This history documented McDonalds' knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard.

    McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

    Further, McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee.

    Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn.
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by disneydude View Post
    Wrong....you are completely misinformed like so many other people.

    The coffee was served at a temperature that was WAY too hot. Coffee should not be served at a temperature that causes the level of burning that occurred in that case.
    Second, McDonalds had been warned numerous times before this incident and chose to do nothing.
    Third, the lawsuit involved in that case did not occur until after McDonalds refused to cover the medical damages. The family involved was not looking for punitive damages until McDonalds took an irresponsible route.

    I agree with you on one point. Contributory negligence should factor in. However, when you have a situation where a corporation is aware of the dangers and aware of problems and choose to ignore them, then it isn't because of the injury parties carelessness that the injury occurs.

    Here is a picture of what the McDonalds coffee did in that case. Be warned...its graphic: Google Images
    I can't tell you how many times I have aruged this case over the years, even here at DP. Seems people make opinions without knowing all of the hard facts and think they are making a sound judgement. I know, because I was once in the camp of thinking this woman deserved what she got. I am grateful someone corrected my stance with sound logic.

    I have not seen this doc yet, but it's on my list.

    Edit to add: Here's a post I made on the topic in 08.
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/archiv...post1057843931
    Last edited by Middleground; 07-28-11 at 12:33 PM.
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by Tettsuo View Post
    No, your facts are not straight at all. You're just parroting some information that was given to you, and honestly regarding this case I did the same thing.

    Do some actual research on the case. You'll see you're absolutely incorrect.

    Better yet, let me do it for you since I don't believe you'll actually do it.

    The Actual Facts about the Mcdonalds' Coffee Case
    So 700 claims in 10 years. That's 70 a year. Do you know how many coups of coffee McDonald's sells in a year? Take 70 and divide by that number, tell me what you got. I know the answer, it's near zero. Meaning the probability of burning yourself on a cup of McDonald's coffee was incredibly low. It was probably never going to be zero exactly, you rarely get those cases. But statistically it was zero.
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Views like that are a cartoon stereotype wrapped in a Halloween costume of what self serving right wingers want to think progressive politics are.

    The progressive reforms of the 20th century in America are indeed under attack and being repealed piece by piece and state by state. We will soon be wallowing in a new Gilded Age where corporations run the nation like slave masters on the old plantation and corporations control state houses and Congress like the old trusts did in the late 1800's.

    And we will have people like Paul Weyrich, the Koch Brothers, Grove Norquist and their sycophants and toadies in the conservative and libertarian movements to thank for it.
    And it's progress views like yours that we have had for the last 20 to 30 years that has us 15 trillion dollars in debt .. . has us spending 1.5 trillion dollars a year more then what we take in, have unfunded liabilities in SS and Medicare in the 10's of trillions of dollars. That has this once great nation of our on the very brink of total collapse. So pardon me if I don't think that your brand of progressive politics is working so well.

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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by Middleground View Post
    I can't tell you how many times I have aruged this case over the years, even here at DP. Seems people make opinions without knowing all of the hard facts and think they are making a sound judgement. I know, because I was once in the camp of thinking this woman deserved what she got. I am grateful someone corrected my stance with sound logic.

    I have not seen this doc yet, but it's on my list.

    Edit to add: Here's a post I made on the topic in 08.
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/archiv...post1057843931
    I have to admit .. I was one of the ill informed as well .. so color me quilty ... McDonalds could have gotten off with 20,000 ... they chose to have it go to court .. and have the facts presented ..Now that's not to say I don't understand where they were coming from either, coffee is hot .. and a person spilling coffee on themselves through their own clumsiness .... hardly seems, on face value, to be grounds to sue someone.
    Last edited by The Barbarian; 07-28-11 at 12:49 PM.

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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    So 700 claims in 10 years. That's 70 a year. Do you know how many coups of coffee McDonald's sells in a year? Take 70 and divide by that number, tell me what you got. I know the answer, it's near zero. Meaning the probability of burning yourself on a cup of McDonald's coffee was incredibly low. It was probably never going to be zero exactly, you rarely get those cases. But statistically it was zero.
    I don't get what your point is. Are you just saying it's rare or are you implying the above information means the coffee wasn't too hot because statistically someone being burned is rare?
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    First let's look at a couple of excerpts from the articles...
    There are reports that Healthcare Indemnity, a large insurer for hospitals, has reduced premiums by 20%. Texas Medical Liability Trust, a large insurer, initially reduced rates by 12%, and then decreased them by another 5%.
    The effect of this cap on noneconomic damages has been dramatic. Since 2003, every malpractice insurance carrier in Texas has reduced their premiums for physicians. Texas Medical Liability Trust, the largest carrier in Texas has reduced its average premium by over 50%. Claims and lawsuits in most Texas counties have been cut in half.
    ...notice the insurance premiums reduced are insurance for the hospitals and malpractice insurance. Great for the doctors, hospitals and insurers.

    But what about consumers (you and I). Texans were promised that the medical tort reform in 2003 would curb the rise in health insurance premiums.

    A review by the Dallas Morning News shows that since the medmal law was enacted in 2003, family and single health insurance premiums rose by 51 and 45 percent, respectively, roughly equal to the increase nationwide.

    http://7thamendmentadvocate.org/blog...ms%20climb.pdf


    Further, in Congressional testimony by Joanne Doroshow of the Center for Justice and Democracy in January she points out that, "Premiums have dropped irrespective of whether 'tort reforms' were enacted in any particular state, such as Texas. States with little or no restrictions on patients' legal rights have experienced the same level of liability insurance rate changes as those states that enacted severe restrictions on patients' rights.

    Getting back to consumers insurance premiums, according to Families USA and Texas Watch health insurance premiums for Texas families are up 92%. And almost 1/4 of Texans are uninsured, highest in the nation.

    http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/...ow01202011.pdf


    Add to this the fact that most people that could and should sue hospitals, doctors, don't.

    You want to do tort reform? Fine, but do it right, not the slash and burn technique that has become so popular with the right on most everything lately.
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    Re: Governors of Texas, South Carolina sign tort reform into law

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    And it's progress views like yours that we have had for the last 20 to 30 years that has us 15 trillion dollars in debt .. . has us spending 1.5 trillion dollars a year more then what we take in, have unfunded liabilities in SS and Medicare in the 10's of trillions of dollars. That has this once great nation of our on the very brink of total collapse. So pardon me if I don't think that your brand of progressive politics is working so well.
    The historical record of the last time period you listed DOES NOT support your opinions. I sure wish we had progressive government over that time period - but we have not. We got Reagan and Bush followed by a moderate Democrat who turned the economy around and ended up in a positive position. Then we got Bush2 and the massive growth in the debt due to two tax cuts and fighting wars off the books without paying for them. There was no 20 to 30 years of progressive government to blame.

    The facts of the historical record simply do not support you.
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