One thought on “Hot Coffee

  1. After the absurd caricatures at the start, that was refreshingly distorted, from the confusion of settlement offers from smalltime franchisee PTS Inc as offers from “McDonalds Corporation” (who was later added to the case subsequently became the sole defendant), to the disinformation about the correct temperature for serving coffee.

    Any temp above 130°F can give severe burns, and the coffee in this case according the contemporaneous news reporting was estimated to be at ~165° to 170°, not 180°, 190° or “near boiling”.

    I care about this because I like coffee, and as a result of the American Association for Justice (AAJ formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America ATLA) promotion of their view of this case, I find facilities that try to brew their coffee at temperatures inadequate for the purpose and serve their coffee at tepid dishwater temperature. I've not yet finished by first coffee of the morning, so you have my eternal enmity for passing on these lies. If you look at the guidelines from commercial coffee maker manufacturers such as Bunn, procedure manuals for fast-food giants that have leaked online, or any coffee roaster/distributor trade group, you will find brew temperature suggested at 190°F or above, and serve temperature ~175°F or above so that people can get it back to their chair, add cold milk, and still have it at a temperature where the right aromatics are released:

    There is a good FAQ about the case at the blog “Abnormal Use”. They are partisans for one side, but as lawyer-blogs often do they are keen to link the facts from the most authoritative source — which in this case includes text from original documents that the plaintiffs and defendants filed with the courts to make their case.


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