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If I could sue someone over every stupid thing that I have done, nobody in my family would ever have to work again. Unfortunately, I was raised to accept responsibility for my actions (right or wrong), so I will likely have to work for many years to come.

Why is it anyone's fault but your own? If you burn your face because you spilt coffee while driving, are you going to sue Starbucks and Ford? The company who built the road? Your employer, for making you drive to a certain location every day? HBO, because they aired an interesting show at midnight, which you stayed up to watch, resulting in the requirement for a coffee the next day? Where does it end?

The world is a dangerous place. Suck it up and take responsibility for your actions.

And so ends my rant for today.

Edited for terrible spelling.

Last edited by CraigG; 02/14/10 06:01 PM.

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Well said CraigG, very well said and very entertaining.

OP, what was the concert? Who performed?

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Originally Posted by CraigG
[...]If you burn your face because you spilt coffee while driving, are you going to sue Starbucks [...]


That very scenario actually happened: Liebeck vs. McDonald's (1994). A woman in the US who bought coffee from a McDonald's drive-in, spilled it in her lap while driving,[1] and sued McDonald's because the coffee was too hot and scalded her.

[1] Idiot!

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Originally Posted by CraigG


Why is it anyone's fault but your own? If you burn your face because you spilt coffee while driving, are you going to sue Starbucks and Ford? The company who built the road? Your employer, for making you drive to a certain location every day? HBO, because they aired an interesting show at midnight, which you stayed up to watch, resulting in the requirement for a coffee the next day? Where does it end?



Didn't someone successfully sue McDonald's for just such burns? I don't think anyone here benefits from putting things in terms of black and white, as you do. If the highest temperature for coffee to be sipped is 180 degrees, or what have you, then it may well be negligent if the coffee is served at 200 degrees, and if this difference significantly raises the risk of certain bad kinds of burns. I don't know the details of the case, but I can imagine a case like that.

It's not just a black and white matter of 'coffee is hot', 'rock concerts are loud' etc. In each case there is a threshold beyond which someone is acting negligently.






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Originally Posted by charleslang
[...]
Didn't someone successfully sue McDonald's for just such burns? I don't think anyone here benefits from putting things in terms of black and white, as you do. If the highest temperature for coffee to be sipped is 180 degrees, or what have you, then it may well be negligent if the coffee is served at 200 degrees, and if this difference significantly raises the risk of certain bad kinds of burns. I don't know the details of the case, but I can imagine a case like that.


I would think that anyone with a modicum of common sense would wait until the coffee cooled before drinking it. Maybe, while waiting, one could point out to the management that the coffee is served too hot, but, a lawsuit!?

It wasn't considered a successful suit, I believe, and was settled for much less than the plaintiff had demanded; it has become a textbook example of frivolous lawsuits.

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With respect, I don't think that the very dubious coffee example supports the much stronger and more serious issue regarding tinnitus.

Personally I do not like my coffee served less than very hot. But I am careful with it.

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Well, that's part of the reason I said I could imagine a case like that. The point is that there is some upper limit on what is reasonable, even when a customer is aware of some risk.

The mere fact that an activity involves a risk that the customer is aware of is not a blank check in terms of liability.


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I think the ethical question comes up if the concert was unreasonably loud, or if it was due to negligence or intent.

I was at a punk concert in the late 70's (999 and the Dickies ) and the band decided to take a 5 minute break. The lead guitarist leaned his axe against a speaker and walked away while a couple thousand watts started a feedback cycle until the speaker cooked.

When the concert was over I remember driving home in my car, honking the horn with the windows open, and not hearing anything. Tinnitus came a week later and never left. I always felt there was some kind of malice involved.


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I don't understand why you want money. It's not going to cure your problem. So it sounds to me as if your motivation is simply greed, coupled with a desire to punish.

In any case, you have zero chance. Concerts are loud. It's an established fact. It you were ignorant of this, then I suggest you sue your parents for letting you go.

I do believe that in other countries, they have a loser pays arrangement for failed/frivoulous law suits. Seems much more equitable to me


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Originally Posted by Emmery
I think the ethical question comes up if the concert was unreasonably loud, or if it was due to negligence or intent.

I was at a punk concert in the late 70's (999 and the Dickies ) and the band decided to take a 5 minute break. The lead guitarist leaned his axe against a speaker and walked away while a couple thousand watts started a feedback cycle until the speaker cooked.

When the concert was over I remember driving home in my car, honking the horn with the windows open, and not hearing anything. Tinnitus came a week later and never left. I always felt there was some kind of malice involved.


Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that. I can relate of course to the tinnitus part. I had never thought of the event I went to (Gin Blossoms) as a case of malice, but in recent years I just think of the people at the controls and wonder - 'why did they need to go to that level?', 'what point exactly did they need to prove?'.


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The woman who sued MacDonalds won, because she showed that MacDonalds knew of previous injuries from too hot coffee. MacDonalds won a reduction of the award upon appeal, but since then has changed their policy on serving coffee. The original award was the amount of money MacDonalds made in a single day from serving coffee, or something like that. The case has been covered many times, and one could easily look it up.


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Originally Posted by charleslang
It's not just a black and white matter of 'coffee is hot', 'rock concerts are loud' etc. In each case there is a threshold beyond which someone is acting negligently.
Well, Charles, I have a great deal of sympathy for you and your problem. I personally wouldn't give you the "you did something stupid so deal with it" line, because I remember lots of stupid things I did at 17, and it really doesn't get anyone anywhere. I just don't think you'd have much luck with a lawsuit, and I'm pretty sure you'd lose a lot of time and money over it. You've got the right to put your energy into that course of action if you want, naturally, but I can see a more positive direction in getting involved with education campaigns on the dangers of loud music concerts, or lobbying government to legislate on maximum levels, so that this threshold you mention is clear to all.


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OP, you have to take responsibility for your actions.

Would you sue your local council if you tripped over an unkempt root on a pathway? If so, you're a perfect example of a money-grabbing, greedy person who makes excuses for their own mistakes.

The fact that you even bothered to defend the "coffee too-hot" lawsuit just shows your mentality - pathetic.

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It would be hard as heil to prove.....plus, the individual cases would probably be so varied that I think it would be completely impossible to prove in a class action.

I think if anything, this kind of thing would have to be case-by-case. Doesn't seem like a class-action thing.

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Originally Posted by LS35A
I stopped going to rock concerts 30 years ago for just this reason....

....and I often have to walk out of places because of the sound level, including even just restaurants or parties. Or weddings. smile

I always have earplugs with me for such occasions, but sometimes they're not good enough -- and unfortunately I have to just leave.

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
It would be hard as heil to prove.....plus, the individual cases would probably be so varied that I think it would be completely impossible to prove.

I think if anything, this kind of thing would have to be case-by-case. Doesn't seem like a class-action kind of thing.


Especially since there are no objectively provable symptoms (yet - maybe someday it will be detectable on MRI or something similar). This could widen the pool of victims to anyone who simply claims to have tinnitus.

Also, the sheer number of claimants would be potentially so large that any settlement would be diluted. I think something like ten percent of the population suffers from tinnitus at some level or another.

So, you're probably right that it would be best done on a case-by-case basis.



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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by charleslang
[...]
Didn't someone successfully sue McDonald's for just such burns?


It wasn't considered a successful suit, I believe, and was settled for much less than the plaintiff had demanded; it has become a textbook example of frivolous lawsuits.



Actually, if you can believe Wikipedia, it sounds pretty successful as frivolous, nuisance lawsuits go. Ms. Liedeck, age 79, ended up with 2nd and 3rd degree burns in her lap, which required skin grafts and other treatment that cost her $11,000. She offered early on to settle for $20,000; McDonalds countered with $800. After mediators recommended settling the case for $225,000 and McD's refused, the case went to trial. The jury awarded Ms. Liebeck $2.86 million -- admittedly, pretty much of an over-reaction to a hot coffee spill. The judge threw out the award but gave her $640,000, which may not be so much over the top all things considered. Before an appeal could be filed, the parties settled for an undisclosed amount that was "less than $600,000." Considering how close McD's came to getting scalded by the jury, I'll bet is wasn't much below that threshold.

No, of course a lawsuit is not the right remedy for every wrong. And in the case covered by the OP, it might be hard to counter a concert promoter's claim that one's refusal to leave a noisy concert amounted to contributory negligence that was at least partly (maybe mostly) to blame for the tinnitus symptoms, which I'm sure are miserable to live with. But when a 79-year-old grandmother asks for a modest amount to cover medical bills that, whatever her own carelessness in handling the coffee cup (as a passenger in a parked car, not the driver of a moving one), was the cause of her injuries, and the purveyor of the coffee that burned her spits in her eye, I think McDonald's deserved what they got and got what they deserved. Just my humble two cents' worth.


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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by LS35A
I stopped going to rock concerts 30 years ago for just this reason....

....and I often have to walk out of places because of the sound level, including even just restaurants or parties. Or weddings. smile

I always have earplugs with me for such occasions, but sometimes they're not good enough -- and unfortunately I have to just leave.


I have been careful ever since the concert I mentioned. I generally just avoid loud places, but when it's difficult to avoid I use the toilet paper method. One sheet of TP bunched up very tightly for each ear.


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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by charleslang
It's not just a black and white matter of 'coffee is hot', 'rock concerts are loud' etc. In each case there is a threshold beyond which someone is acting negligently.
Well, Charles, I have a great deal of sympathy for you and your problem. I personally wouldn't give you the "you did something stupid so deal with it" line, because I remember lots of stupid things I did at 17, and it really doesn't get anyone anywhere. I just don't think you'd have much luck with a lawsuit, and I'm pretty sure you'd lose a lot of time and money over it. You've got the right to put your energy into that course of action if you want, naturally, but I can see a more positive direction in getting involved with education campaigns on the dangers of loud music concerts, or lobbying government to legislate on maximum levels, so that this threshold you mention is clear to all.


I thought this was an excellent response. It's best for you to help others and prevent young people from damaging their hearing.

I teach piano lessons at a conservatory that is required to test their fire alarms once every two months. The intense volume of this electronic fire alarm is excruciating! What really has me amazed is the fact that I am the ONLY adult in the building holding my ears!

I feel that since I tell my students to hold their ears I can at least educate them to care about their hearing. After the fire alarm I always have a discussion with them about loud noises.

best wishes,
Valerie

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You got tinnitus from ONE rock concert? I find that very hard to believe. I've been to many and never had a problem.

Forget about suing the company, what about cigarettes, alcohol...etc... Those cause far more health damage yet it's very hard to get compensation. Same with soft drinks and fast food, the major cause of obesity.

I mean, come on, things are dangerous everywhere. You could stare at the sun for 5 minutes and go blind, you gonna sue God? Hahaha.

Just NEVER listen to music again or watch TV or go to any concert. You should be protected.

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