Here’s the conclusion from the post. It started out as a defence against people accusing John Edwards of being one of those lawyers who is always bringing frivolous lawsuits into the courts, such as the infamous McDonald’s coffee suit back in the early 90s. Who knew that there was a bit more substance to it, and that McDonald’s had been settling burn cases out of court for a decade because it knew that it was serving its coffee 20 degrees fahrenheit hotter than everyone else in the industry?
So, if you hear people drone on about how John Edwards is on the side of those shark trial lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits like that one against McDonald’s because its coffee was too hot, tell them the name Stella Liebeck. Tell them that 81 year old Stella Liebeck suffered third degree burns and incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical costs for the grafts she needed to repair the skin on her groin, inner thighs and butt. Tell them that Stella Liebeck just wanted McDonald’s to pay for the damage they had caused, but McDonald’s only offered her $800 for $200,000 worth of medical bills. Tell them that prior to Stella Liebeck’s scalding McDonald’s had already heard about over 700 cases of people being seriously burned by their coffee, but they continued to serve it 20 degrees hotter than any other major restaurant chain. And ask them, if they were Stella Liebeck, or Stella Liebeck was their wife or mother or neighbor, who do they think would be more sympathetic to their modest demand that a major corporation live up to its responsibilities, John Edwards or Dick Cheney?
They don’t directly site their sources, but I’m sure that anyone who wanted could confirm all the details since they’d be a matter of public record.
Later today I’ll probably post some reflections on pride weekend. Right now, though, I need to continue to be a lobster-face.