HOT COFFEE a documentary feature film

A lawyer is an individual who is able is able to mediate two parties who differ in a particular affair in attempt to strike justice between the parties.

The film tries to bring into clear vision on how various things done by citizens of a certain country can cause tension to the public and media at large. From the view of the film” HOT COFFEE” injustice is evident in various ways.

For instance a real life story is told of a lady by the name Stella Liebeck , who spilled hot coffee on herself and later on went ahead to sue the owner of the coffee McDonalds, simply because she was in McDonalds place. This is simply what can be termed as injustice and demands for lawyer to take a chance and liberate justice to the conflicting parties. All things done by people expecting to be compensated for but in in just way, is the driving force for a demand by the public to have lawyer to ensure that justice is served to the latter by all members in the society regardless of their position.

At times false allegations are set against individuals of low ranks in the society. For that case a lawyer is highly needed to implement justice. Some people opt to cause harm on their bodies at an expense of being compensated for in a materially way so as to make lots of profits. Such acts are inhumane, insensitive and hazardous to human life and a lawyer can be used to secure justice. By the fact that evidence towards an allegation may be availed, it is not obvious that it is an accurate account of what happened, the complainant reporting could be faking the issue, so they would be compensated at the point of winning as the accused suffer unnecessarily or silently.

Can Hot Coffee At Work Cause A Workers Compensation Claim

We received an interesting question from one of our readers that wanted to know if hot coffee should be a concern for workers’ compensation claims. So we asked a workers’ compensation lawyer what they thought about the situation. Please see the following below.

Companies, regardless of small or big and whether they have 15-20 employees or 1500 – 2000 employees do have all the safety measures. This is because, to err is human and with hot coffee, even a slight mistake would result into an accident. An accident could be trivial and sometimes major as well and in any kind of accident, the company is bound to provide some compensation to the victim. This is where the problem starts as the victim claims for more compensation and the company refuses by showing different compensation related policies adopted by the company.

In such situation, the victim has just one option, i.e of hiring a lawyer for the workers compensation claim. Specializing in workers compensation and getting the best deserved compensation to cover the financial losses suffered after being unable to work because of some disability of physical deformity.

Coming back to the main issue of worker’s compensation, these unemployment lawyers have years of experience and thus they can easily handle any case related to this field. With the acquired knowledge, skills, expertise and experience, they help their clients in getting what they deserve. According to international labor laws, a worker deserves a certain amount of compensation plus all medical expenses against the injuries suffered while working. Workers know this fact, but unfortunately, 90% of them are unaware of the procedure and in-depth news.

The business owners take undue advantage of this lack of knowledge and offer “below the rules” compensation. As a worker, if you feel that you have not got the deserved compensation, you can hire a workers compensation lawyer to look into the matter. These lawyers are fully conversant of various international, national, state level as well as county level rules. This makes it very easy to claim the compensation according to international laws and national standards. Seeking their help also becomes obligatory because after such injuries, often the victim is not in a right frame of mind and he fails to handle the complexity. He needs someone who has all the rules and laws on his fingertips, someone who can help him sort his medical bills. Someone to tell him about the benefits he can derive from the company as well as the state government after disability.

They take care of every paper work; courtroom meets and ensures that the victim has no burden to take upon his mind. They are always ready to provide free consultation and against it, they would ask for all the relevant data, facts, records and information to create an action plan against it. They will keep you well-informed of every fact and ensure that no matter what happens, you get what you deserve after suffering a physical blow at your workplace.

Thank you Paula from Allentown workers’ compensation attorneys for helping us with this question and best of luck to you!

Lawyers Claim Keurig Green Mountain Violated Antitrust Laws

Most of the time you start your day by grabbing a cup of coffee then sit down and catch up on the latest news, today for a change a cup of coffee was the latest news. The Oliver Law Group P.C. has filed a class action lawsuit against Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. The suit claims that Keurig Green Mountain, makers of the K-cup single-serving coffee brewing machines, violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by designing their new machines to not let their competitors enter the market, even though their exclusive patent had expired.

Keurig is about to introduce its new 2.0 version brewing machines which are designed to only allow the manufacturers own product to be used in them. Apparently there are a lot of people that are tired of paying the higher cost of Kuerig’s prepackaged coffee servings because there have been a total of 14 lawsuits already filed against them across the country. Complaints have also been written in several product review forums across the country; one person went so far as to claim it was like buying a toaster and only being able to put the manufacturers bread in it.

Of the 14 lawsuits that have been filed, 12 are class action based and originated in the states of New York, Maryland , Massachusetts, California, Florida, New Jersey and of all things an insurance company filed in Maryland. The two remaining lawsuits were filed by Keurig’s competitors who make their own portion cups for Keurig’s brew machines, TreeHouse Foods, based in Oakbrook, Ill and Rogers Family Co., based in Lincoln, Calif. Keurig Inc. sued both of these two competitors when they first introduced their own portion cups for the Keurig machine and lost.

Both competitors go on to claim that their lawsuits are not about the new brewing machine. They say it is about that Keurig’s monopoly stifles consumer choice. It is interesting that in both companies’ lawsuits they made a point to single out that Keurig Inc. has exhibited a long list of actions over the years which violate state and federal antitrust and anti-competition laws. They go on to point out that the consumer is going to be the biggest loser here.

Why would Keurig want to risk losing these antitrust lawsuits by introducing the redesigned machines that effectively lock out the competition? The answer is simple. According to Keurig Inc. investor information, Keurig controls around 85% of the market for machines that have products that are competitive with the K-cup refills. That percentage translates into over 3 billion dollars in sales to the company. The company’s total sales revenue for 2013 was 4.3 billion dollars. So the K-cup refill packs make up the majority of Keurig’s sales and profit.

In a strange but true omission, Keurig Inc. itself admitted that the lock out technology it put in its new machines has no bearing whatsoever on the operational part of the brewer. The company went on to claim that it is not the lockout technology that makes its new Keurig 2.0 brewer exclusive, but its ability to work with the Keurig designed refill packs to make the perfect cup of coffee. They claim that allowing the competitors refill packs to work in their machines would not translate to them being able to replicate Keurig’s version of the perfect’ cup of coffee; this in turn would not only hurt the machines reputation, but sales would suffer as a result also. Keurig’s representatives went on to state that they had offered their competitors access to the technology, for a fee of course.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out in court or if it will even get that far. Keurig has all but admitted that they designed there new coffee brewer to stifle the competition, but they quickly dismissed that as only being a part of keeping up the company’s reputation for quality and the increased sales that go along with that. The competitor’s suits seem to attack Keurig’s antitrust and anti-competitive history more than they attack the new machines technology. The class action lawyers will most likely go after anything that will make them victorious for their clients. The results from the first trial to take place may be a good indicator of how the others will go. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Starbucks Kraft Lawsuit

The three years’ battle between Starbucks Company and Kraft Foods since March 2011 to January 2014 finally ended in a defeat in favor of the latter. This happened after an arbitrator made a decision that Starbucks should pay Kraft a total sum of $2.7 billion for having terminated a contract pre-maturely. This dispute was based on the agreement which the two entered back in 1998 for the distribution and marketing of Starbucks brand coffee in the United States grocery stores. This was to be done by the Kraft. However, misunderstandings became evident when Starbucks raised complaints, claiming Kraft was underperforming in the stocking as well as promotion of its products. This saw Starbucks move to terminate their agreement in the year 2010. The battle actually flared up in January 2010 when Mr. Howard Schultz, the CEO Starbucks, sent an email to Irene Rosenfeld, the then Kraft’s CEO and currently heading Mondelez, complaining about the improperly kept stores that actually stocked coffee. Other claims included the selling of outdated packages as well as insufficient space for the product in the shelves. The readily optimal action was to terminate the contract pre-maturely. Starbucks demonstrated a strong determination to go their way. In 2010 October, it declared its stand for the termination set for 1st March 2011. This challenged Kraft and a month later, they had no better option than to launch arbitration process . The terms of basically $750 million payoff to Kraft was not by any viable consideration justifiable. They thus sought to reject. This however, never stopped Starbucks from their determined move. They thus went ahead to withdraw, an action which saw Kraft change their approach on the matter and began arbitration proceedings.

An argument by Kraft lawyer was that Starbucks owed a total of $2.9 billion, inclusive of attorney fees. He said that the contract was able to bring to his client a sum of $500 per year, and its termination meant somebody had to part with much. In his ruling however, the arbitrator declared that Starbucks should pay damage cost of $2.23 billion for the termination of the agreement plus a prejudgment interest of $527 million including attorneys’ fees. This never silenced Starbucks Chief Financial Officer who expressed the company’s strong disagreement with that conclusion. In a statement, Troy Alstead, the Chief Financial Officer, expressed their strong belief on the fact that the responsibilities of Kraft as stipulated in the agreement was not delivered, thus putting the performance of the business at stake.

Having received total revenue of $14.9 billion for the financial year ended 29th September, 2013, the Starbucks Company reported a cash of $2.6 billion and its equivalent on the balance sheet.

In one of the regulatory filings, Starbucks indicated that its earnings for the financial year were reduced to $8.3 million after taking care of the litigation charges. Earlier on, it had reported its annual earnings at $1.72 billion, equivalent to $2.26 per share. The fourth quarter results later ran to a loss of $1.23ough billion despite having reported a profit of $481.1 million.

Kraft on the other hand split into two in October 2012 to form Kraft Foods Company and Mondelez International. The latter was declared entitled to the recoveries from their arbitration with the Starbucks. This was so defined by the terms of their restructuring. The proceeds were therefore planned for use by the Mendelez to settle taxes and expenses then purchase stock with whatever remains.

Kraft later secured a partnership with the packaged coffee business, the McDonalds Company. Starbucks was in the meanwhile allowed to resume the control of its business even as the arbitration process was on’ allowing them to sell K-cups in the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Companies. One of their achievements in this was a total of over one billion of the k-cups sold. This made a Starbucks spokesman declare that they would not have made a similar achievement if they never stopped the deal with Kraft. The spokesman further mentioned a 62% rise in the sales of packaged coffee two years after contract termination. This for sure, shows and justifies their decision. He said that the indisputable progress made is worth their move.

In a statement, he said and I quote, “While we disagree Kraft is entitled to damages, the amount awarded reflects the value of our at-home coffee business and the continued global growth opportunity that lies ahead for Starbucks.”

Word of Mouth and Actual Facts McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit

We all have heard some details of this case that happened in 1994. Stella Liebeck, a 79 year old woman was awarded $2.86 million when she was scalded with a cup of coffee ordered through a McDonald’s drive thru. Many people will immediately state that she should have known the coffee was hot, and that she should not have been driving when she had a cup of hot coffee in her lap. The fact is: Stella’s lawyer was able to show that McDonald’s was liable.

In taking a hard look back at this case, we have found many facts that are not mentioned when people claim this was a frivolous lawsuit. Stella’s lawyer was able to defeat a large team of McDonald’s attorneys just by providing many of these facts that do not come out in normal conversations and debates. Here are some of the actual facts:

1: Stella was not driving the car. Stella’s grandson was driving the car. He pulled the car to a parking area where Stella proceeded to gather cream and sugar to add to her morning coffee. As she attempted to pull the lid off the styro-foam cup, the entire contents spilled in her lap.

2: Stella had to have skin grafts because of 3rd degree burns. The surgical costs were astronomical. Stella originally offered to settle with the major fast-food franchise for $20,000, but McDonalds refused.

3: In the discovery phase of the trial, the lawyer showed where McDonalds was aware of over 700 claims of 3rd degree burns from their coffee between 1982 and 1992.

4: Household coffee is served at 135-140 degrees. McDonalds always maintained theirs from 180-190 degrees even knowing it could harm people. Experts have shown that this temperature is not only bad for spills, but also unsafe to drink, as it can burn the tissues in the mouth and esophagus. The expert we speak of is McDonalds own Quality Assurance Manager. The company would not heed the Manager’s advice and kept the coffee at a dangerous heat level.

5: Compensation damages were set at $200,000 by the jury. This figure was dropped to $160,000 when it was determined that Stella was 20% at fault in the accident. The $2.7 in punitive damages amounts to just 2 days of coffee sales for the franchise. In appeals, the courts dropped the punitive damages to $480,000, so when someone says that Stella received millions, you can state that is false.

6: In further appeals by Stella’s lawyer and the team of McDonald’s lawyers, the final settlement is a huge secret. No one actually knows the final outcome of the case. It is a known fact that the Albuquerque McDonalds this all happened at now keeps their coffee at approximately 160 degrees.

In Conclusion;

We all have heard the gossip about the multi-million dollar case over a hot cup of coffee from a New Mexico McDonalds. Now you know that Stella most likely never received millions of dollars. For all we know, her family just gets free coffee for life. If she were hurt while working than a workers’ compensation attorney would be representing her.

Should the final outcome be a secret? This is the debate that should be happening. Stella’s lawyer surely received a good amount of money, but did Stella? No one will ever know.

Big thanks to Thrower & Schwartz charleston DUI Lawyer  for helping me with this.

McDonald’s Coffee Case Injury Lawyers At Work

This is a famous product liability case which involves Stella liebeck as the complaint and McDonalds as the plaintiff.The case has many fictional details about the actual incident.The true account of the story is that Liebeck was in her grandson’s car in the passenger seat when hot coffee spilled on her thighs while in a McDonalds drive-through. The coffee was at 88 degrees and with this amount of temperature; one suffers a third degree burn, which happened to Liebeck. The hot coffee spilt on Liebeck’s sweatpants, made from cotton, which absorbed the coffee and held it right next to her skin. She underwent the following:

· Scald thighs, buttocks and groin

· 6% of her skin got burned

· Lost 20% of her weight when she was admitted to hospital

· Permanent disfigurement in her groin region

· Disabled for 2 years

With all this damage on Stella’s body, she sought for $20’000 as her actual medical expense but the company only offered a shocking $800 amount. This intrigued the complaint’s lawyer, Reed Morgan, to file a law suit on August 8, 1994 in New Mexico District Court and to be heard by Judge Robert H. Scott. Reed offered to settle for $300’000 and a mediator’s $225’000 but McDonalds refused these pre-trial attempts to solve the case seeing that it was the complaints fault that she got burned.

Liebeck’s lawyer accused McDonalds for selling coffee that is “unreasonably dangerous” and “defectively manufactured.” He argued that selling coffee at 88 degrees Celsius would cause third degree burns and that other similar companies serve coffee at a lower temperature of about 60 degrees Celsius. McDonald argued that they serve coffee at that temperature because many of their customers bought coffee to drink while driving and that would allow it to cool and not cause any harm. Mostly, customers wanted it hot and when served when its temperature is lower they complained.

The case attracted so much attention, even up to international level that caused the case to have many sides of the story. Both parties had supporters; some accused Liebeck of spilling coffee on herself while driving. Another story shows that Stella poured the hot coffee on herself while trying to add cream and sugar while the coffee was in between her knees.

Other documents that were obtained from McDonald showed that between 1982 and 1992, there were 700 complaints of customers burned by hot coffee. The company’s quality control manager, Christopher Appleton argued that the number of injuries was insufficient to make the company change its normal practices. He went ahead and argued that, all foods that are hotter than 54 degrees Celsius have a burn hazard and that restaurants have more pressing issues to worry about. Stella’s lawyer then accused Appleton conceded that McDonald’s coffee is then meant to burn the customer’s mouth and throat when served.

A twelve person jury finalized the case on August 18, 1994 and accused McDonalds for being responsible for the injury of Stella Liebeck. They offered $160’000 for compensatory damages and in addition, $1.7 million in punitive damages. This decision was appealed by both parties and they agreed to settle the case out of court. There is no information on how much they agreed to settle for.

Detractors argued that this kind of case was then considered to be frivolous and judges were asked to dismiss them before getting to the jury. They also argued that McDonald’s coffee was not defective as it is conformed to industry standards. They gave two other examples of restaurants that serve their coffee hotter than McDonalds; one of them being Starbucks. Now if Liebeck were under the influence of alcohol and poured the coffee on her self then she would sure need the help of a dui lawyer in this situation.

This case became popular and resulted in celebrities and other popular people commenting about it. Later on, a documentary was made known as the Hot Coffee Documentary and it included the celebrities’ comments, news coverage, talk shows and new short clips about the case. An offshoot from a weekly news column resulted in creation of a website which awarded people who filled for frivolous cases. They named it the “Stella Awards” in honor of Liebeck.

National coffee association spokesman said that McDonalds conforms to industry standard and he showed evidence of other companies that serve hotter coffee than that which burned Liebeck.

Today McDonalds continues to serve coffee hot or hotter because the hot coffee is not unreasonably dangerous and that will not make them stop just because their product can cause serious damage when poorly handled. Their cups have strongly worded warnings on the cups though they still continue facing coffee complaints.