Woman Sues Google Because Of Scammy Advertiser

from the steve-dallas-lawsuit dept

We've discussed in the past the concept of the "Steve Dallas lawsuit," named after an old Bloom County comic, where the lawyer character Steve Dallas gets beaten up by Sean Penn after trying to take a photo of him. In the comic, Dallas decides to sue Nikon, the maker of the camera, and explains that you always target the company with the most money rather than anyone actually responsible for the situation you're in. That seems to be happening again, as a woman is now suing Google because an ad on Google pointed her to a scammy ringtone provider, who did not clearly indicate what the ringtone would cost. The woman's lawyer is trying to turn this into a class action lawsuit against Google, claiming that it failed to live up to its advertising policies, which forbid ads from companies that don't clearly indicate their fees. It seems rather ridiculous to think that if any scammy company happens to get its ads on Google, that Google is somehow liable. And, yes, while some of those ringtone services may be less-than-honest in how they present their services, why not just protest the charges or (if you really must file a lawsuit) sue the ringtone company?


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  1.  
    identicon
    www.custompcmax.com, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:32am

    This is BS. Google can't be help responsible for what companies who procure ad space from them do with it. I mean, they have some rules in place, to help protect. But, they can't be expected to fully review EVERY single web site and see exactly how everything works out for billing.

    People need to stop displacing blame from themselves. If this lady had any common sense, she would not have signed up for these "ringtones" without more info about billing. She even admitted, that the info was not clearly posted. That should have been a red flag to not sign up.

     

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  2.  
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    argh, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:02am

    Stupid sue-happy people...

    They deserve to be eaten by sharks, or lawyers.

     

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  3.  
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    Gunnar, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Eh, The case will get thrown out.

     

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  4.  
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    NIKITA11556, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    Sue Happy!

    When are we going to start cutting the tongues out of lawyers who take these cases just so they can fill their own pockets? The same goes for judges, burn their ears so they can't hear the case!

    Seriously, have you ever seen the actual fine print of those class action suits and the payouts? The lawyers get millions on top of millions while (if you join the suit) you get a 2 figure settlement.

    Its not that I don't think google shouldn't be responsible, they should, but it shouldn't cost them millions just because stupid people exist in the world. Just like the dumb broad who spilled hot coffee in her lap from McDonalds. Its hot coffee you dumb B*%$!

    We are doomed as a people & nation because its never our fault, always someone elses, and we are too lazy to go out and actually work for a living.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    I'm so happy that someone is finally going to take on Google. They've been running these scams for far too long and I'm glad someone is standing up to them.

     

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  6.  
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    tm, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    Better Analogy

    The more understood analogy is blaming the gun for killing or hunting someone instead of blaming the person pointing, loading, pulling the trigger, etc.

     

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  7.  
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    Buzz, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    wow

    My pocket often gets caught on the little metal plate opposite the door to my bedroom, and it rips my pants. I wonder how high up I can sue. The apartment builders? The door makers? Ah, I know! The STEEL ALLOY PEOPLE!

     

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  8.  
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    That Guy, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:29am

    Remember When...

    Remember when a company failed to live up to one of their advertised corporate policies and people just used to call the Better Business Bureau.

    To clarify what the article is about, its about a Google Ad, not just a google search result. Google SHOULD be responsible for making sure their advertisers follow their contracts with google. If you can invest enough time to take your advertisers money, you can invest enough time to make sure they adhere to your consumer protection policies. If you can't then you have a flawed business model.

    Obviously the lawsuit is ridiculous, but to call Google innocent of failing in their ability to delivery on their promised services is naive.

     

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  9.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:33am

    Re: Sue Happy!

    Actually the hot coffee lady had a legit case. The temperature was WAY above what it should have been kept at and it was enough to cause serious damage. I used to feel the same way you did about that case until I actually read the facts rather than go on what I had simply heard from others.

    For one, she initially attempted to settle for $20,000 of which $11,000 were her medical costs and DickMe's offered her $800. That's more ridiculous than the lawsuit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald's_coffee_case

     

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  10.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    "I'm so happy that someone is finally going to take on Google. They've been running these scams for far too long and I'm glad someone is standing up to them."


    Yeah, cause it's the American Way to sue the wrong people, huh.

     

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  11.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:37am

    Re: Remember When...

    No, actually Google would fall under the same category as a newspaper that prints a classified advert that winds up being a scam; they have a disclaimer that they are not responsible for the content or actions of the people who place the adverts. I guarantee that google has such a thing in place.

     

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  12.  
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    comboman, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    Google gets a free ride?

    So am I hearing that Google should take no responsibility for who they accept advertising dollars from? Should they run ads for con artists? ...drug dealers? ...Republicans? You need to draw the line somewhere.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    companies need to be responsible for who advertises with them

    I am sure that ehrichweiss is correct about the disclaimer, however I feel that if you are taking money from an advertiser then if they perform fraud against someone and the company that they are advertising on is notified of this fraud and does nothing about it then they are also equally responsible since they are getting money from the fraud.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    Google has been scamming folks for years through those ads. How else could they be making money?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Re: wow

    I would take it back further than that, you may want to just open a class action suit aginst God for making the raw materials avalabe in the first place.

     

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  16.  
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    SteveD, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Remember When...

    Although I despise frivolous American lawsuits as much as the next guy, if Google is indeed guilty of breaking its own advertising policies is it so bad they be called out on it?

     

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  17.  
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    Mr. Obvious, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Why?

    "why not just protest the charges or (if you really must file a lawsuit) sue the ringtone company?"


    Because obviously then you can't get rich suing google!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:05am

    Anyone who actually BUYS a ringtone deserves what she gets.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:05am

    Re: Sue Happy!

    It should be noted that the coffee in question was unreasonably hot, caused severe burns, and that McDonalds, knowing this, willfully endangered customers in order to save money -- coffee at a higher temperature retains it's flavor longer, so McDonalds didn't have to remake/throw out as much.

    It's a nice example to trot out about stupid people and frivolous law suits, but that one actually had merit.

     

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  20.  
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    Dan, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Coffee

    Surely coffee isn't hotter than 100 degrees C?
    Do people sue kettle makers if they burn themselves at home?
    It's not like Mcdonalds threw scalding hot coffee onto her instead of putting it in a cup.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    McDowells

    Yep and they had been warned numerous times about their coffee. My understanding is that a lot of her original settlement was based on two days revenue of coffee sales.

    There had been over 700 complaints about the coffee and a lot of them resulted in 3rd degree burns. This lady received 3rd degree burns on about 6% of her body.

    The coffee you make at home is about 135-140 degrees where as Mcfatties was keeping their coffee at 190 degrees. Coffee or any liquid served at this temperature is hazardous since liquid at 180 degrees causes severe tissue damage in 2 seconds.

     

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  22.  
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    kaitain, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    bs lawsuits

    Once I had an automobile accident where the manufacturer clearly failed to warn me it was imminent. Also I bought this knife which was later used in wounding a finger while chopping onions. All is well now that these irresponsible makers, salespeople and distribution channels were brought to justice.

     

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  23.  
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    kaitain, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Re: McDowells

    I hope this woman never gets near any flames. Grills, ovens, lighters and such. Why on the world would MD serve her coffee without a cup?

     

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  24.  
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    Not Applicable, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Re: Google gets a free ride?

    "So am I hearing that Google should take no responsibility for who they accept advertising dollars from? Should they run ads for con artists? ...drug dealers? ...Republicans? You need to draw the line somewhere."

    I can just see the ad banner now... Click on the drug-running elephant to win a seat at the Republican National Convention... no wait google uses text ads.. DARN!

     

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  25.  
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    Not Applicable, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you daft? Google is one of the good guys. They treat their customers and employees well.

    Not to mention all of the programs in which they actually GIVE BACK to the community.
    Google "Summer of Code", low cost PCs, etc.
    It's no wonder you posted as AC, since your comments have no merit whatsoever.

     

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  26.  
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    Annalise, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:08am

    Dummy

    This is one reason why I haven't signed up to offer Google advertising on my blog page. I don't like the crappy text ads that show up when I look at someone else's blog. But I don't think that Google should be sued over this - when does common sense set in, and when do consumers take responsibility for their own actions?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You don't need to scam ads to make money off them. Good has eyes; ads want eyes. Ads buy eyes from Google. What Google makes it's money from is serving ads relevant to the eyes so that the ads get the most vaslue from the money they're giving Google (and, coinicidentally, the eyes get better service of ads they care about). Just because some ads are scuzzy doesn't mean Google's done anything wrong, so long as Google served the ad in good faith (ie, believing it wasn't scuzzy).

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Erm, "Google has eyes," not Good.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Remember When...

    Called out on it, sure, but we don't need a lawsuit for that. It could have just been an honest mistake on Google's part. A frivilous lawsuit is bad even if it has a (mildly) good outcome (of potentially calling out Google on alleged wrong-doing).

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Google gets a free ride?

    ASCII art!

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: McDowells

    Yoiu're right. After all, McDonald's should be held liable for someone stumbling and spilling coffee on themselves.

    Except maybe they SHOULD be held liable for keeping (and serving) their coffee at unsafe temperatures. If she spilled coffee on herself and sued McD's for the cost of dry cleaning her dress, that's one thing. But she sued them because of their negligent business practices which they were aware of, continued anyways, and resulted in physical bodily harm.

    Don't be a dick.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:42am

    I just like how because Google is the company being sued, everyone is getting defensive. If Microsoft were getting sued, there would be a two-sided argument going on here.

    It IS a frivolous lawsuit, but that doesn't mean Google is void of any and all responsibility for the content of their ads. Google has a responsibility to live up to whatever it's claiming, and the argument in this case is that "it failed to live up to its advertising policies, which forbid ads from companies that don't clearly indicate their fees."

    If they wanted to advertise for anybody, scam or not, they could. But what they SHOULDN'T do is claim that they DON'T advertise for companies that are scams and then do it anyway.

     

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  33.  
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    sonofdot, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    She's hoping for a settlement

    Obviously, this woman and her lawyer are hoping Google will just settle, rather than bring the case to trial. This is a pretty common practice in the "sue the bastards" industry -- file a lawsuit with fairly frivolous claims, then hope the other side will "settle" out of court just to get you to STFU and go away. Hopefully, Google won't fall for that trap.

    How is this any different than using the Yellow Pages to find a plumber, and the plumber rips you off? Can you file suit against the Yellow Pages? Sure. Can you win at trial? Doubtful you'll even get that far.

     

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  34.  
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    nunya_bidness, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    who cares

    Ringtones suck anyway, if you are stupid enough to use them you should be ripped off.

     

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  35.  
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    Suelindria, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Re: Dummy

    That seemsto be the problem...common sense seems to have left the legal system years ago, and no one seems to take responsibility fo their actions....IMHO

     

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  36.  
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    kaitain, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: McDowells

    Much like a ladder is used at unsafe heights? Should have know all this when using a skateboard as a teenager. Would have made billions.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 10:30am

    Check me on this, but I'm almost positive that it was Nikolta, not Nikon.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: McDowells

    No, because ionce again you're missing the source. No one MADE you use the ladder at an unsafe height. If they did -- if you work construction and he made you do that and you got hurt -- then you'd be right to take up the issue. McD's was knowingly selling an unsafe product. That'd be like selling a ladder you *know* would fall and injure someone under routine use.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Re: Sue Happy!

    Actually we're doomed because people like you lump everything into a single category without actually reading facts.

     

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  40.  
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    Simple Mind, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:33am

    Re: Dummy

    "I don't like the crappy text ads that show up when I look at someone else's blog. But I don't think that Google should be sued over this"

    If not for Google with their ability to accurately target just a few unobtrusive text adds to a page you'd have flashy banner adds covering every page. Yeah, let's sue Google for doing that horrible thing to us!

     

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  41.  
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    Bob Finkleton, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    You deserve to die

     

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  42.  
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    CDJ, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    hahah i totally agree. tiniest/stupidest thing goes wrong, americans blame someone else and sues them. suing is like breathing for these people.
    everyday on the news u hear this person sues this company for someting retarted and completely their own fault.

     

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  43.  
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    NIKITA11556, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    RE: SUE HAPPY!

    For Post#19

    Whether or not McDonalds intentionally raised the temperature of their coffee or not to save a few $$ shouldn't be relevant. 1. The woman was driving and while yes we all do stupid things while driving like eating, putting on make-up, drinking coffee (even myself), you aren't supposed to be doing anything else than operating the vehicle. This little fact is even in the Learners Permit book in almost every state and taught in numerous drivers ed classes
    2. Coffee, tea, etc.. is supposed to be hot. So by your terms even if it wasn't as hot as it was, but still hot enough to burn her tongue, if she chugged it down like a bottle of water, it McDonaldd's still responsible? Secondly does this now mean that every time I burn my tongue sipping coffee I am due millions?

    My point is when are we as a people, as a country going to start taking personal responsibility? In this case, any pot of hot coffee is going to burn. Why didn't she put it in her drink holder instead ofin her lap? Thats McDonald's fault? so now we have to have a committee to determine at what temperature is hot too hot? Then there will be a lawyer and some other bozo suing the committee because some other committee found that their hot ratings were incorrect.

    I'm all for making the proper parties pay and I have no problem with that. I do have issue when people become millionaires (as well as lawyers) because of their own stupidity. Eventually it does cost us all MORE $$$$.

    So yea, she is a dumb B*^%@. But that is my opinion and she can read this and laugh at me all the way to the bank

     

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  44.  
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    NIKITA11556, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    RE: SUE HAPPY!

    For Post#19

    Whether or not McDonalds intentionally raised the temperature of their coffee or not to save a few $$ shouldn't be relevant. 1. The woman was driving and while yes we all do stupid things while driving like eating, putting on make-up, drinking coffee (even myself), you aren't supposed to be doing anything else than operating the vehicle. This little fact is even in the Learners Permit book in almost every state and taught in numerous drivers ed classes
    2. Coffee, tea, etc.. is supposed to be hot. So by your terms even if it wasn't as hot as it was, but still hot enough to burn her tongue, if she chugged it down like a bottle of water, it McDonaldd's still responsible? Secondly does this now mean that every time I burn my tongue sipping coffee I am due millions?

    My point is when are we as a people, as a country going to start taking personal responsibility? In this case, any pot of hot coffee is going to burn. Why didn't she put it in her drink holder instead ofin her lap? Thats McDonald's fault? so now we have to have a committee to determine at what temperature is hot too hot? Then there will be a lawyer and some other bozo suing the committee because some other committee found that their hot ratings were incorrect.

    I'm all for making the proper parties pay and I have no problem with that. I do have issue when people become millionaires (as well as lawyers) because of their own stupidity. Eventually it does cost us all MORE $$$$.

    So yea, she is a dumb B*^%@. But that is my opinion and she can read this and laugh at me all the way to the bank

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    While I agree that coffee is supposed to be hot, serving coffee that is 190 degrees is hazardous.

    When I'm at home and spill coffee on my hand, it burns. Ouch!

    When I'm at McDonalds and spill coffee on my hand I have 3rd degree burns.

    It isn't common sense or the customers responsibility to know that coffee brewed at an individual chain can cause serious physical harm.

    This woman was in the hospital for eight days. EIGHT DAYS!!

    All she wanted was her expenses covered and some cash so she didn't go broke while she couldn't do anything. Her medical bills alone were 12k. McDonalds offered 800 dollars.

    So then it went to court and she was awarded a lot more money than she asked for. Also, since you're so damn ignorant but still running your mouth...she didn't get millions...or even a million for that matter. Because the courts found her partly responsible for the accident.

    Next time pull your head out of your ass and read the paper or something before you get on your soapbox.

     

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  46.  
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    NIKITA11556, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    I'll say what I want and think the way I want to think. Pulling my head out of my a** won't change it either.
    I know all about the case and then some.
    I certainly agree that McD's could have been more willing to put up their share and take some responsibility. However due to the letigious society that we live in, w're more concerned about covering our asses than saying "Hey, sorry that happened. Let me take care of your bills and such".

    When was the last time that happened. This is one case. Just like Google here. Feelings about google aside, can you expect any company to catch everything?

    Should we now sue Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc... because we now get Nigerian 419 scams and people are still falling for it?

    Personal responsibility by either an individual or a company, or a party is all that I would like to see. Someone be a man for once (or woman) and admit "Hey, I F*^%$! up"

    chances are, nothing else from there will happen.

     

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  47.  
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    kaitain, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: McDowells

    Your point taken. However nobody forced her into purchasing the coffee either. The product was safe by being contained in a cup. Much like acid is contained in a bottle and so forth and so on. What you're saying is that I can go to a store and dump hydrogen peroxide all over myself then sue the business. Accidents happen of course - and that is exactly what they are. She caused one and became her own victim. I'll just jump out the window and sue the mfg. in that case...after all it opens.

     

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  48.  
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    John, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Getting back on subject

    Getting back on subject and away from the McDonalds lawsuit...

    Let's try a real-world example:
    Suppose you see a commercial on NBC for a car dealership.
    You go to the dealership and you buy a car.
    When you get home, you realized you were "ripped off" because they charged you $1,000 for "extra special paint".

    Who's at fault? Who's the blame?
    Well, why not sue NBC for running the commercial, since they should "know better" than to run commercials from such "scammy" companies like this!
    After all, it's certainly not your fault for not reading the contract. And it's certainly not the dealership's fault because NBC has deeper pockets and can afford to pay out more money if you win.

    Like many posters above have said, when will people take responsibility for their actions? Read any contract you sign- especially "deals" for services like ringtones, which probably comes with a contract with tons of fine print!

    I think it's very problematic that people think sites like Google and Yahoo have to be "responsible" about what ads they run, yet people never sue NBC, ABC, or any other TV network over the commercials they they run. (If we could, I would have sued all the networks over the ads they show for Viagra, Cialis, and so on.)
    When people watch TV, they know that claims made in commercials are not the opinion of the network. So why is it any different with ads they see on Google or Yahoo?

    And the question still has to be asked about these kinds of lawsuits: who are the lawyers who are taking these cases?
    Like I mentioned in another article, it seems like they either don't know the law (since they don't know who to sue) or they're suing the wrong party because the client is paying them to.
    Does this mean the lawyer is uneducated or unethical? Either way, it's not good.

     

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  49.  
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    That Guy, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Getting back on subject

    The flaw in your analogy is that Google documents on their website that vendors must conduct their business within certain legal boundries.

    If Google had NOT posted that rule on their site, your analogy is correct. But Google wanted to cover themselves, by putting out rules that they could then use to "fire" customers they didn't want to have. The problem is, in their effort to cover one liability, they just created a new one for themselves.

    If your going to set operational rules for advertisers, and those rules are availible online for any consumer to see, consumers have a certain level of rights to assume that the company will actually enforce and uphold their operational rules.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: McDowells

    You're taking it out of context again -- getting 3rd degree burns and being hospitolized by spilling coffee is unreasonable. If you take a known hazardous material, use it irresponsibly (intentionally pour it all over yourself), then you're an idiot and entirely responsible for your actions. If you use something in an unintended way (jumping out a window because 'it can open'), then you're an idiot and that's plain to see.

    It's a different story when you purchace something generally considered benign, use it in an appropriate way (she was drinking it), and accident or not it causes severe physical harm. If she spilled coffee on herself, got mild 1st degree burns, ruined her dress, etc, fine: that's reasonable and all her own fault. She was hospitolized because she spilled her coffee. That's uttely unreasonable.

    No, you can't sue if you burn your tongue. But if drinking tea severely damages your throat and requires extensive medical attention, I think you have a case.

     

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  51.  
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    Post #19, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 5:48am

    Re: RE: SUE HAPPY!

    OK, firstly, saying people aren't allowed to drink while driving is ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that it has nothing to do with the severity of her injury. As I've said elsewhere (I should take up a pen name, I guess), if she just spilled hot coffee on herself andruined her dress, that'd be one thing. But she spilled coffee on herself and got *third degree burns* and *was hospitolized*. That's unreasonable. You might say she should have expected to spill her coffee if she was driving, I'll accept that. You CAN'T say she should have expected 3rd degree burns from it.

    It's reasonable to expect you'll burn your tongue if you drink something hot. It's *not* reasonable to expect you'll need extensive medical attention. If you *do* drink something hot and end up in the emergency room, you probably have a case.

    It's not McD's fault that she spilled the coffee; it's not their fault she was driving, or that she put it in her lap, or whatever. It *IS* their fault that it caused the *severe* damage that it did when it was spilled. Suing because "coffee is hot" is dumb, but suing because "coffee causes 3rd degree burns" is acceptible.

    I don't think she's dumb. What she did -- drinking coffee in her car -- is the same thing several million of us do *every day*. What happened to her -- 3rd degree burns -- *doesn't* happen to the rest of us, and isn't a reasonable expectation. Therefore, her suit against McD's was valid. Yeah, maybe McD's makes up the loss by raising their prices, but you shouldn't let a company get away with just anything simply because it might cost you a few pennies on the dollar more if you speak up against the abuse.

    As for her laughing to the bank, don't be dumb. As someone else mentioned, she wanted to settle for $20,000 -- $11,000 of that was the cost of her medical expenses, meaning just $9,000 in restitution. I don't think that's unreasonable for several days in the hospitol and extensive burning. McD's offered her $800, less than 10% on her medical expenses. If I were her I'd've been outraged! Talk about adding insult to injury.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Post #19, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    Re:

    Personal responsibility by either an individual or a company, or a party is all that I would like to see. Someone be a man for once (or woman) and admit "Hey, I F*^%$! up"

    It seems that in your world, people sue each other for bumping in the hallway, getting cut off in traffic, and being served the wrong order at TGIFriday's. It's not all that bad. What you DO have are individuals suing corporations because there's really no other way to deal with such entities. You can't say to Time Warner, "oh, hey, sorry about that; let me buy you a drink." Viacom isn't going to take you to lunch because they botched your bill. When you deal with a corporation, the first remedy is to go to their customer service, but let's be honest: most of the time customer service sucks and it's never set up to handle severe cases. If you can't get satisfaction from customer service, what other option do you have? There's nothing else you can do to address a wrong inflicted by a corporation except sue them.

    That having been said, the problem with this case isn't that the lady is suing somebody, but she's suing the WRONG somebody. Google has little if any liability in this matter. Yes, they directed her to the merchant, but from that point on the transaction was between her and the merchant. Yes, they have a policy that they only accept merchants who obey certain practices, and they should be called out on missing one, but that's where it ends. The rest of the liability and the whiole of the suit rests on the shoulders of the merchant, not Google.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jun 5th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    Hot coffee

    Nikita: I can see you did a lot of research before you stuck your foot into your mouth.

    1) She wasn't driving the car. Her grandson was driving the car.
    2) The car wasn't moving. Her grandson pulled over in the parking lot so she could pull the cover off the coffee to add cream and sugar.

    The rest of you:

    Some of you are missing the point. The coffee was at an unsafe temperature. It was hot enough to strip flesh from bone, literally. The question isn't how stupid she was to try to open a coffee container, and not expect the coffee to be hot. The question is: HOW HOT DOES THE COFFEE NEED TO BE? Should it really be hot enough to strip flesh from bone? We're not talking about a scald here, we're talking about 3rd degree burns over 6 percent of her body. Pain and trauma and hospitalization and skin grafts.

    People expect to be able to drink the coffee. Why was it being kept too hot to drink? This wasn't either the first nor the only incident, either. There was one, for example, where the lid came off as the clerk was handing it out the drive-through window. McDonalds had been paying off customers for years (in discovery they produced documents showing over 700 incidents similar to Stella's).

    If customers are expecting near-boiling liquid and it's being properly contained, sure, that's one thing. But that wasn't the case here. McDonalds knew their coffee was too hot, but refused to do anything about it. All she was trying to do was get her medical bills covered and get McDonalds to lower the temperature of their coffee to something safer. McDonalds ran their spin machine and convinced you that they weren't being negligent by blaming the victim.

    Hey. Did you know the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary? Go ahead, look it up for yourself!

    Know the Facts: The McDonalds Coffee Case

    This case and Google's have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

    OK, I know I'm gonna get flamed for this one. Excuse me while I put on my asbestos underwear.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    kaitain, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: McDowells

    Very well. I must admit context is relevant here and anywhere else. Perhaps I was incorrect about my assertions. The product did harm this lady. Yet I cannot reason that any other benign products may cause harm if used in an unintended manner. It is just the sheer stupidity which gets to me and us all as a result: "warning: coffee may be hot" or "this is an open car" where it is obvious you are buying a convertible, which is the end result of a litigious society such as ours. What about alcohol in that case, it was and is used on a daily basis to unintentionally kill people. Where is the litigation? In your assumption it must lie not with the offender but with the various distilleries.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Jobiza, Jun 19th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Absolutely True

    The same guys who pitch free "ringtones", pitch free spyware cleaner, download firefox, free Adobe download, etc.

    Google is keenly aware of these guys, but since Google makes millions from other vendors who try to compete in the same ad space by having to bid more to get the pageviews.

    It's a great way for Google to boost their revenue by artificially increasing the cost to advertise on Google. And the scammers doing it have the highest margins to work with because they are charging for free software.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    I think the real point has been missed entirely; why buy a fucking ring tone in the first place, if you really need one that bad make it yourself it is relatively easy these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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