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Forget Hot Coffee, Now Disney Is Sued For Severe Burns From Nacho Cheese

from the keep-it-cool,-yo dept

Perhaps no legal liability lawsuit brings out passionate arguments (on all sides) like the infamous McDonald's "hot coffee" lawsuit, in which McDonald's was sued and lost for providing a woman with coffee that was too hot (on appeal the case was eventually settled). Some feel that the case is the quintessential example of bogus lawsuits, while others suggest that the case actually had merits. Of course, given its high profile nature, there have been attempts here or there to replicate it in some form or another, and up next, we've apparently got a lawsuit against Disney for serving nacho cheese at Disney World that was too darn hot.

A San Diego couple, Michael and Maria Harris claim that their 4-year-old son Isaiah had his face burned from "scalding hot" nacho cheese served to them at Disney World. They appear to be claiming that Disney was negligent in making "no effort" to keep the nacho cheese at a reasonable temperature, and are claiming "permanent scarring, pain and suffering" to Isaiah from the burns, while the parents have suffered "emotional distress." Perhaps there's more to the case than is in the article linked above, but shouldn't parents be at least somewhat responsible for keeping things that are scalding hot from their children's faces?


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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Picture worth 1000 words...

    I found this following at cbsnews.com. Further searching turned up this article at USA Today.

    Looks like the parents put the kid in an unsteady chair, he started to fall and grabbed a food tray with the cheese on it to steady himself. The cheese fell and hit his face. He was treated at a local hospital and released.

    My question is... why did the parent's have a toddler in an unsteady chair to begin with? Babies, toddlers and small children are not known for their dexterity or ability to sit still. It's likely the cheese was on the hot side, but the parents are also at fault for putting the child in an unsteady chair to begin with. To be honest, I believe it's the parents actions that precipitated the event and they are the ones that should deal with the repercussions.

    /my oldest son had an accident in a store at age 4
    //split lip requiring 8 stitches
    ///did not sue, didn't even consider it

     

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    kellythedog (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    next up.
    Disney sued for providing unsteady chairs.
    film at eleven

     

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    Mark, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    but shouldn't parents be at least somewhat responsible...

    "but shouldn't parents be at least somewhat responsible for keeping things that are scalding hot from their children's faces?"

    No, that's the governments job.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "Looks like the parents put the kid in an unsteady chair"

    If the café's chair was at fault then I don't think that'll help Disney much. The article isn't clear whether the parent's realised the chair was unsteady before the accident. Obviously, they should have asked for another chair if they knew that one was unstable, but then you would hope the café considers itself responsible for making sure its chairs are safe.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Dont forget the chair company for allowing their chairs to become unsteady, the tray company for allowing their trays to be slippery, and the cheese company for enabling the cheese to have the ability of reaching that temperature.

    Picture worth 1000 words - UH, all the cheese fell within a couple inches right near his lip?

    "Quick Maa, knock him over so we can say it was their fault."

     

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    johnjac (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    5 years from now on school picture day, little Timmy will go into a panic attack with the photographer says "Say Cheese"

     

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    Aaron Von Gauss, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Criminal Charges

    Should the parents be charged, criminally, with placing their child in a situation where the child may be physically hurt? If you answered no, then the civil case should be dismissed, the filers including the lawyer(s) sanctioned.

    Not a defense of Disney per se as much as - enough is enough.

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Sheesh,
    The docs estimate at least 71 degrees celcius..
    71 degrees is not particularly hot. Well below the melting point for most real cheese.. Hopefully this won't mean real melted cheese gets outlawed.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Agreed. As consumers, we're supposed to be able to consider the products and services legally sold to us to be safe to use and consume in a reasonable manner.

    It's reasonable to assume that a chair will hold the weight of a child, that nachos will not burn you, that toasters will not explode while toasting, and so on.

     

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    Aaron Von Gauss, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re:

    I wasn't going to go there because I was too lazy to watch the video, but I agree, it looks awfully suspicious like the child was eating the nachos at the time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    From your first link -
    "According to CBS affiliate WKMG, attorney Sean Cahill said Isaiah somehow spilled the nachos on himself when trying to eat dinner during a visit to the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland on March 17, 2010."

    What you have here is the result of the mindset that it is always someone or something's fault when bad things happen.

    It is a slippery slope we are reaching the bottom of.

    While there are SOME people who are powerless against drugs/alcohol, how often do we just hear its not my fault it is the fault of the dealer, bar, etc. It is not my fault I crashed my car, I am powerless against alcohol, and the bar I went to should not have served me. Well you went to the place that is completely focused on what your powerless against, why should we feel any sympathy? You got behind the wheel of the car and drove while other people knew they would be drunk and made other arrangements. But they stand there teary eyed and shift the blame.

    I just left my kid home alone for a moment, it is the landlords fault the house burned. We are to ignore you taking off to the bar for way more than a moment leaving your kids alone, and only blame the landlord.

    I did not know my son was prostituting himself online, why yes I am trained to teach others how to spot these signs in their kids but I never saw it I was busy training others, we need better laws and enforcement.

    (yes both of those are real cases)

    At what point do we stop expecting the external things to do the jobs of parents?
    You put your child into a shaky chair.
    You left something scalding within your childs reach, rather than spend 30 seconds to see how hot it was and keep it out of reach until it was "safe".

    While I feel badly for this child being burned in this way, this was an accident. I often think parents who always blame others for misfortunes need to have CPS monitoring them. It is obvious that they lack the basic skills required to keep their kids safe. Being able to blame someone with deep pockets and get paid is so much better than being responsible.

     

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    Big Mook, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    Ok, numbskull. 71 celcius is approximately 160 F, which is sufficient to cook steak and is way above the melting point of just about every cheese you can name.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    LOL! Classic, johnjac.

    Now if only your picture didn't look like Ronnie Riley....

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re:

    > 71 degrees is not particularly hot. Well below the
    > melting point for most real cheese.

    I'm pretty sure that you've mixed up Celsius and Fahrenheit. Cheese will melt on a hot day, which is about 40 deg C (104 deg F).

    For Americans, 100 deg C is the boiling point of water (212 deg F), so 71 deg C (160 deg F) is pretty dang hot.

     

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    David (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Food Safety...

    I am learning Food safety in school, and one problem is that for (biological) safety, the cheese has to be above 135 degrees Fahrenheit. A temp of 71 C is 160 degrees, not an unreasonable safety level.

    The problem with cheese is it is thick, and sticks to things (in case you weren't sure :) ), which would cause the temperature to intensify when exposed to the skin.

     

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    johnjac (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re:

    Who is Ronnie Riley?

     

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    David Collado (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Don't forget to convert

    71 degrees Celsius = 159.8 degrees Fahrenheit

     

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    Coward (Anon), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    It's reasonable to assume ... that nachos will not burn you

    Obviously you've never had Nachos. From my experience its reasonable to assume that fresh Nachos will burn you if you're not careful, after all it is melted cheese. The unsteady chair may open Disney to some liability, but the parents should have known better than put the Nachos anywhere the kid could reach them.

     

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    David (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, 160 degrees is not hot enough to cook a steak. 165 degrees is the internal temperature recommended for chicken to be considered safe.

    Steaks are cooked to lower temps, but are considered potentially unsafe at temps below 135 (Medium).

     

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    John Doe, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    To take responsibility for ourselves and our actions

    To take responsibility for ourselves and our actions is unAmerican. Sure, it use to be. But that was long before we found out that others, in particular the government, would take care of us. Do you really want to return to the days where you had to work, save for your own retirement or admit fault when you did something wrong?

    Think about that for a moment. If you fall down and break your arm in an icy parking lot in the winter, do you really want to admit to yourself and others that maybe, just maybe, you should have skipped going to the store? Or maybe found a clear parking space and path to the store? Obviously you can't control the weather but surely the mall can! Why didn't they put in for sunshine and warm temperatures?

    No, you couldn't drag me back to that time with a 100 horses or horseless carriages.

     

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    xs (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Food Safety...

    160 degree temp causes bad burns in less than 2 seconds of contact. Not exaclty what I would call "not an unreasonable safty level".

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Who is Ronnie Riley?"

    You don't know who he is? You lucky son of a bitch....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    I agree, we cannot allow such lawsuits go too far. However gross negligence on the companies part should not be excused from time to time. So far this is not looking like one of those cases.

    Cases like the hot coffee one about McDonalds at first sniff seemed like a whole lot of "well just another whiner that tie her own shoes" but it did show a laundry list of gross negligence and complaints that McDonalds received and ignored which is why the case got any traction.

     

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    Vidiot (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Food Safety...

    "... it is thick, and sticks to things..."
    Like napalm, no? The Giant Rat of Orlando's nefarious plot exposed...

     

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    TheStupidOne, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Come on People

    We're talking about food served at a children's park that apparently caused burns significant enough to take the child to the hospital. If I take my child to a children's park it should be a very reasonable assumption that the cheese served in nachos will not be so hot that it causes a serious burn. If it caused a burn like that on his face, what would it have done to his tongue?

    "but shouldn't parents be at least somewhat responsible for keeping things that are scalding hot from their children's faces?" ... Yes, if they have reason to believe it is scalding hot. When was the last time anyone here checked the temperature of the nacho cheese they were served at a concession stand? In my experience, the cheese is too cold if anything. So unless the parents were explicitly warned that the temperature of the cheese was extremely hot then I think they are justified.

    Now I'm of course assuming that the burn the child received really was serious and not just a minor burn that the parents are freaking out over. The pictures seem to suggest that, but you never can be sure. Also the judgement or settlement should be reasonable ... no million dollar awards here please.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    I can't believe they call that substance "Cheese" it's flavored oils and binders.

     

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    Scott, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    No, it is reasonable to expect that the nachos won't POISON you. Melted cheese is supposed to be hot. It is your responsibility to to make sure they are cool enough for your consumption.

     

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    Mark Gisleson, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    That coffee was obscenely hot

    Roy Kroc had a personal fetish about hot coffee, and McDonald's used special equipment to literally superheat their coffee. Great if you're taking several cups back to your coworkers but back in the day I stopped ordering it because I could eat my entire McMeal and the coffee would still be too hot to drink when I got done.

    Their coffee was insanely hot, and I get very warm under the collar when people make light of that lawsuit over a seriously injured elderly woman with third degree who spent eight days in the hospital.

    There aren't two sides to that story. There's the truth, and then there's the myth the pro-corporate right has manufactured and which Rush Limbaugh and friends have repeated too many times to count.

     

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    Mojo, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    At least some coffee cups remind you that the contents are very hot.

    If Disney is serving cheese dip that's 170F, it SHOULD be served with a warning about the temperature.

    I'm guessing it's not.

    So most people dip a chip, attempt to eat it and go "damn that's hot, give it a minute to cool down."

    If it unexpectedly fell all over your face, you wouldn't really have that chance!

    And most amusement parks have child-ready seats at their restaurants. If it was a Disney-provided seat and it wasn't safe, that also doesn't help them...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    It's reasonable to assume that a chair will hold the weight of a child

    Was the child too fat for the chair?

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ill go there. Parents fed kid nachos without checking, kid screams bloody murder, parents hastefully jump to kids rescue, knock chair over, blame Disney = Get paid for stupidity.

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re:

    I think I'm just ignorant of the melting point of cheese :)

    Yeah, 40 is a really hot day and 100 is boiling for water, and 71 is a bit lower than the usual temp they server coffee and tea at (which I find not hot enough).

    Hot melted cheese is really nasty stuff to get on you though.

     

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    TheStupidOne, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    David, my friend, you just contradicted yourself there

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Obviously, they should have asked for another chair if they knew that one was unstable, but then you would hope the café considers itself responsible for making sure its chairs are safe.

    The assumption here is the amount of stability. For an adult (say, a manager of a cafe?), a chair with one leg 1/2" shorter than the others is not wobbly. For a child of 4 that same chair would be, given their still developing muscles and lower threshold of control.

    Also, as David pointed out, melted cheese also tends to be somewhat sticky and needs to be heated to greater than 135 degrees for food safety reasons. It could have taken some time for the parents to wipe off the cheese after picking the child up. We've only seen the parents side of the story, so there's also no indication if the wait staff brought out the food and said "careful, the food is hot".

    I'm still of the opinion that this is an accident and the parents need to stop trying to collect some cash to ease their guilt over the incident. Accidents happen. Trying to make others pay for them doesn't help you learn to want to prevent them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    If you should sue them for anything it should for calling that yellow/orange goo cheese.

     

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    Big Mook, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, 120 F is hot enough to cook a steak (or melt cheese). It isn't the temperature alone, but how long it is left at a certain temperature. I'm not saying the steak would be good to eat, but you can most certainly cook it at 120 F, and it would be safe to eat, although probably tougher than shoe leather after cooking for an appropriate amount of time.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re: Come on People

    Funny, but when dealing with hot food for my kids when they were 6-7 years old or younger, I ALWAYS checked it first. It's weird, I know, but for some reason I didn't want them to end up in pain when I could easily check something first.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    I've had nachos movie theaters and NHL hockey games and neither were what anyone would consider hot. Tepid, lukewarm, room temperature, congealed or formerly liquid maybe, but never hot.

    At home, however, I've nearly burned the tongue out of my mouth with microwaved, broiled or baked cheese. I recall the veritable scalding chinstrap of mozzarella here and there.

    Kids are little time bombs of danger, and no one can plan for every single contingency.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    How do you proposed that to be done?

    Every chair should be electronic tagged, with reports of its unsteadiness reported? there should be a button to report it? should a chair become unstable because of some feature of the floor be reported?

    It is in the interest of parents everywhere that those checks be done by them not by a third party ever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    The only problem is that this is not reasonable to expect melted cheese not to be hot.

    Unless we are talking about cream cheese now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Even if blame can to some extent be attributed to the parents, Florida is a state that follows the rule of "comparative negligence", which rule determines damages by apportionment.

    For example, if Disney is determined to have been 60% negligent, and the parents the remainder, then the award would be reduced by 40%.

    For those inclined to talk about cheese v. temperature, I have to wonder when was the last time they bit into a freshly baked pizza and did not have the cheese burn the top of their palate?

     

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    DataShade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: That coffee was obscenely hot

    If I remember correctly, drip coffee brews best when the water is around 195F when it passes through the grounds; IIRC the coffee "pots" that McDonalds used were pressurized tureens where the coffee was kept at a temperature around 220F - above the temperature water normally boils at. It was the same physics phenomenon that makes supervolcanoes, poured into a squishy styrofoam cup with a flimsy lid.

    I used to work at an arcade where we had a nacho cheese dispenser; the nacho cheese is stored refrigerated, and looks like thick, orange crisco - until you put it into a chamber of near-boiling water, which heats the cheese to a pretty constant temperature. I'm not sure if 165F is just Disney's temp or what, because I remember my boss joking that the water was hot enough to make coffee if I ever got sleepy - I suppose that could've just been hyperbole.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Come on People

    Funny, but when dealing with hot food for my kids when they were 6-7 years old or younger, I ALWAYS checked it first. It's weird, I know, but for some reason I didn't want them to end up in pain when I could easily check something first.

    I wholeheartedly agree. When I was raising my kids I just naturally assumed it was my job to keep them safe and never relied on someone else to do it.

    It may take a village to raise kids, but it is still the sole responsibility of parents to protect kids from all the village idiots out there.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Come on People

    Forgot to sign in. Above comment is mine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    What laundry list?

    The coffee was hot and it burned the lady because of her own neglicgence, it happens.

    I burned my calf on a motorcycle exhaust once, it melted my skin, ten years latter I have no marks to remind me of the incident.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    This is all Hillary Clinton's fault for passing along this old African proverb and telling us it takes a village rather than telling us we need to be responsible parents to our own children and realize they are not perfect and when they do make mistakes even if it results in injury that this is NOT a trigger to file a lawsuit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    Solution:

    Make people sign a risk agreement every time they ask for something hot or potentially dangerous or don't make those foods available anymore anywhere, or just keep on living and acknowledge that living is a risk proposition and that it is reasonable to expect hot food to be hot and accidents happen.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    For those inclined to talk about cheese v. temperature, I have to wonder when was the last time they bit into a freshly baked pizza and did not have the cheese burn the top of their palate? Most of us have done that at least once in our lifetimes, but how many people then tried to sue the person who cooked the pizza?

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re:

    My bad, didn't seem too hot to me (for drinks, not cheese)
    So I tried to google it, and apparently it failed me miserably. So sue me! :) Still can't find a reasonable estimate for a melting point for Cheddar.

     

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    Bob McLain, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Legal Analysis

    They might have a case - well, maybe. Here's some legal analysis: http://www.disneydispatch.com/content/features/2011/disney-sued-over-hot-nacho-sauce

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    This is only partially her fault. Other people to blame include George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, the Obama Administration, Congress, and The Reverend Jessie Jackson.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ignorance is bliss. If only I could forget him too . . .

     

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    Coco Was Screwed, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    It's amazing what gets this group frothed up...


    regardless of the circumstances, this in no way rises to the level of a lawsuit...had the kid died or been permanently maimed, then maybe but a minor burn and a wobbly chair, for fucks sake...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re:

    "Most of us have done that at least once in our lifetimes, but how many people then tried to sue the person who cooked the pizza?"

    Shit, I don't even stop EATING said pizza, nevermind suing over it....

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "From my experience its reasonable to assume that fresh Nachos will burn you if you're not careful, after all it is melted cheese."

    If this case is anything like the hot coffee one then the issue is not that the cheese was hot, but that it was excessively hot. In the hot coffee case is was admitted by McDonalds that the drink they had served was too hot to be drank safely, as they made the assumption that people would not consume it until it had cooled down. Yes, people expect food and drink to be hot, but it seems a reasonable expectation that some effort be made to minimise the risk of it severely disfiguring you if an accident happens.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    "For those inclined to talk about cheese v. temperature, I have to wonder when was the last time they bit into a freshly baked pizza and did not have the cheese burn the top of their palate?"

    Everytime I eat pizza. I never learn! Is there some possibility the pizza place is at fault and I could be rich? I didn't see any warnings on the box about it being hot ;)

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Actually they had several complaints about the temp they were using to prepare coffee.
    They had several people get burned by their cups giving way.
    They had settled previous cases, and originally the little old lady was only looking for the medical bills. Not windfall of profits. The company refused any reasonable talks and instead opted to fight it out. And a Jury while they might have considered her partially at fault, grew outraged at the considerable evidence that McD had lots of these complaints and still continued business as usual.

    While I do not agree the lady deserved multiple millions for an accident, I do not think the fault was all hers. McD had been made aware on multiple occasions prior to her accident of the potential dangers and continued the practice.

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    I usually assume that the pile of steam rising from the gobs of melted cheese as an indicator that I may want to use caution as it might be hot.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re: That coffee was obscenely hot

    That explains everything, when I order coffee I expect it to be tepid and bitter when I put it to my lips. Yet for some reason it's always hot and tasty! It's those evil corporate bastards trying to make my coffee taste good. How dare they!

     

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  60.  
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    FormerAC (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    /sigh

    http://tinyurl.com/5tye8n8

    McDonalds served coffee between 180-190 degrees. Coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

    Between 1982-92, McDonalds had over 700 complaints by people burned by its coffee.

    The lady who sued, suffered 3rd degree burns over 6% of her body and lesser burns over sixteen percent. She was hospitalized for eight days and underwent skin grafts. She sought to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her actual and anticipated expenses. Her past medical expenses were $10,500; her anticipated future medical expenses were approximately $2,500; and her loss of income was approximately $5,000 for a total of approximately $18,000. McDonalds offered only $800.

    She WAS NOT driving the car. The car was not in motion when the accident occurred.

    McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat.

    The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer thirddegree burns from the coffee

    Post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonalds had dropped to 158 degrees fahrenheit.

    The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds' coffee sales. The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 even though the judge called McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful.

     

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  61.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "The assumption here is the amount of stability. For an adult (say, a manager of a cafe?), a chair with one leg 1/2" shorter than the others is not wobbly. For a child of 4 that same chair would be, given their still developing muscles and lower threshold of control. "

    You seem to have gone from 'unstable' to 'wobbly'. If the chair wasn't unstable enough for the manager to notice then why did you expect the parents to notice?

    "Also, as David pointed out, melted cheese also tends to be somewhat sticky and needs to be heated to greater than 135 degrees for food safety reasons."

    The article says the food temperature may have been as high as 160 degrees.

    'We've only seen the parents side of the story, so there's also no indication if the wait staff brought out the food and said "careful, the food is hot".'

    We've only heard their side of the story, yet you're dismissing it and passing judgement. I don't think anyone is suggesting that everything they've said is true and blaming Disney based on that. The article also implies that the staff did not warn them that the food was hot.

    "I'm still of the opinion that this is an accident and the parents need to stop trying to collect some cash to ease their guilt over the incident. Accidents happen. Trying to make others pay for them doesn't help you learn to want to prevent them."

    How do you know their motivations? Why are you asserting an opinion while decrying the fact that we only have one side of the story? The money may help pay for the child's medical bills. The case may cause Disney to make changes that prevent a similar incident from happening.

     

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  62.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "How do you proposed that to be done?"

    By replacing chairs that have been reported as unstable, for example. My experience with health and safety is not that people don't notice these things but that people don't report them or no action is taken.

    "Every chair should be electronic tagged, with reports of its unsteadiness reported? there should be a button to report it? should a chair become unstable because of some feature of the floor be reported?"

    Well, you were in fairy land until the last bit anyway. If someone notices that the floor is unstable and likely to cause an accident then fuck yes should they report it.

    "It is in the interest of parents everywhere that those checks be done by them not by a third party ever."

    Is there a reason that other people shouldn't be responsible just because parents should be? I guess they should taste test all the food for poison while they're at it.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, the McCoffee that got McDees in trouble was at 180F, or about 80C. 71C would still be insanely hot, it is a temperature of medium to medium well beef, and significantly hotter (by about 30 degrees) to the water coming out of your tap.

    It's frigging hot. Too hot without reason.

     

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  64.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "I agree, we cannot allow such lawsuits go too far. However gross negligence on the companies part should not be excused from time to time. So far this is not looking like one of those cases."

    It seems with any story lacking details people will make assumptions and judgements that fill in the gaps. I'm guilty of it, but I try to catch myself when I can.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I wasn't going to go there because I was too lazy to watch the video, but I agree, it looks awfully suspicious like the child was eating the nachos at the time."

    I can't even find the video (probably due to too much script/domain blocking). If it's the one I found via Google then all it shows is more pictures of the boy's burns.

     

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  66.  
    icon
    Liquid (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    Exactly. This is another example of parents not doing their jobs. They should have made sure that little bobby was going to burn him self on the HOT cheese when taking a bite out his nacho's. Hell everyone knows when kids find a wobbly chair they rock that bastard for all its worth. I did that when i was kid, and I know most everyone else did the same thing. We were kids, and that was annoying to our parents. God willing you know they seen junior there rocking that chair, and knew it was wobbly and could tip over. Not the companies fault for a wobbly chair.

    Yeah it sucks the kid got burnt on the food. The parents should have still made sure it was cool before he started to rip into it.

    Now the price of admission is going to go up for everyone else cause these lazy parents are going to get a multi-million dollar settlement.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "No, it is reasonable to expect that the nachos won't POISON you. Melted cheese is supposed to be hot. It is your responsibility to to make sure they are cool enough for your consumption."

    Coffee is supposed to be hot. It is your responsibility to make sure it is cool enough for your consumption. Here is your 212 degrees coffee in a metal mug.

     

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  68.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know about cheese, but 71°C (160°F) coffee is not insanely hot and is plain terrible long before you drink the whole cup. Coffee should be brewed hot and served asap (and you should be bloody careful with it).
    http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/DianaGendler.shtml

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    An important distinction missed.

    Nacho cheese sauce is not "melted" cheese.

    It is a number of things including cheese that can remain fluid at room temperature. In it's industrialized fast food form, it probably bears little resemblance to real cheese sauce.

    Thus other people's experiences with "tepid" nachos.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    More Coffee Nonsense

    Proper coffee is quite palatable even when it completely cools. This is a function of making it right and not destroying it by keeping it at an artificially high temperature afterwards.

    Various attempts at cutting corners is what turns coffee into nasty crap that anyone outside the US would turn their nose up at.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    All the "McDonald was negligent" in the world won't bring the hot coffee back. :(

     

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  72.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Re: More Coffee Nonsense

    I don't really like coffee after it has gone cold, but it's a matter of preference of course.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    nelsoncruz (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Gas stove

    So if a kid gets burned on a gas stove at home, who would the parents sue for "not keeping the flame at a reasonable temperature"? The stove manufacturer or the gas supplier?

     

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  74.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Is that kelvin or celsius?

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    seeker5528, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Food Safety...

    160F is a significant jump from the 135F that is considered the minimum for health reasons. I would consider anything above 145 to be too hot.

    Later, Seeker

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    seeker5528 (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Food Safety...

    160F is a significant jump from the 135F that is considered the minimum for health reasons. I would consider anything above 145 to be too hot.

    Later, Seeker

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Not remotely. We drink coffee at temperatures that would definitely cause burns if we stuck a finger in it and held it there for half a minute. That does not mean it is too hot, that means it is not meant for prolonged external exposure. Same with the cheese.

    This is not an example of bad proprietorship by Disney but of Darwinism at work in the human species. The parents were obviously too dirt stupid to be procreating and thus consequences.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    By replacing chairs that have been reported as unstable, for example. My experience with health and safety is not that people don't notice these things but that people don't report them or no action is taken.


    How many times did you go to a restaurant with chairs falling apart?

    I could happen, but really I never saw any one even in poor regions.

    Well, you were in fairy land until the last bit anyway. If someone notices that the floor is unstable and likely to cause an accident then fuck yes should they report it.


    And what qualifies as unstable and likely to cause an accident?

    A mild inclination? a missing tile? rotten floor? uneven flooring like rock tiles.

    So a restaurant with a rock floor should be sued?
    If your house have unstable flooring and your child gets hurt does it mean the state can take your child to child protection?

    I think you lost it, you are claiming to others to do more then you probably would do in your own house to keep yourself and others secure.

    Also I remember will you ask them to regulate the space between tables so a chair doesn't get knocked off by accident?

    I can agree with some things some times but I find that you go all the way to the extreme in some occasions.

    Is there a reason that other people shouldn't be responsible just because parents should be? I guess they should taste test all the food for poison while they're at it.


    If they can't why they ask others to do it?
    That is the kind of attitude that let America rot, not doing it, not being able to do it and asking others to do it for us.

    If someone its not able to ascertain the soundness of a child's chair they are not fit to be parents then, they should give up their child to the system.

    God should ever a dog from a blind person knock some child from a chair the owner of the dog should be put in jail.

    That is how over the top I see your comments.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    But since it is to hot I will wait a couple of minutes so it cools down a bit.

    How hard is that?

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    We've only heard their side of the story, yet you're dismissing it and passing judgement. I don't think anyone is suggesting that everything they've said is true and blaming Disney based on that. The article also implies that the staff did not warn them that the food was hot.


    What is wrong with you, do people alert others that ice cream is cold and could cause burns and headache? Do people warn others that flaming food that could burn you if an accident happens?

    I suppose people need to sign non-responsibility agreements when they ask for hot food or drinks now.

    Do restaurants will need insurance to deal with such things now too?

    I feel sorry that accidents happen and can relate, but to go there and start blaming others for silly things that could cause and accident and could have been avoided simply by paying attention is ridiculous to say the least.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 7:45pm

    How it should be

    When I was 6 or 7ish years old my parents took me on a day trip to Boston, MA and we stopped at a Burger King. They had recessed fluorescent lighting UNDERNEATH the register counters on the customer side, and I stuck my fingers up there and got hit with the 250 volt starting charge.

    That is something worth suing over (the manager gave us $100 because thats how much we said we had spent on our now ruined trip.

    This however, isnt. Life has its nuances that anyone with half a brain needs to know, like ice is slippery, rocks are sharp, etc. These are things everyone knows.

    That hot foods are hot, is one of those things. If I am ordering a meal, I am smart enough to know that a salad is cold and nachos are hot.

    The parents made the decision to order a hot meal, nachos. It is unclear whether they ordered the nachos for everyone or just for their son.

    The son was burned when consuming the nachos. Theres no way a tray fell on him, it wouldnt be focused right above his lip like that. This being said, the parents have already lied, and everything else must be scrutinized.



    There are far too many reasons that things like this shouldnt happen, and its sad to see the world headed this way.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Which just shows the lack of logic thinking, and the plethora of fantasy land thinking, you are employing.

    Congratulations on never being in a dive with a bad chair. I commend you for that. However, it does happen. As for uneven flooring, common sense would dictate that anything that causes difficult walking for a normal, healthy person would be reported.

    I agree that parents should be responsible for their children, and the safety and welfare thereof, yet businesses still need to be responsible for the safe environment they are required to maintain. There's no reason to keep cheese sauce scalding hot. Even the stuff you make at home doesn't congeal until it's well below a 'safe' temperature.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Josh, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:12pm

    Somehow, I.doubt that child bought the nachos in question.

     

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  84.  
    icon
    okwhen (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you a natural born moron or home grown. Perhaps if you reread the comment your are replying to and read your post aloud the ignorance of the content will become obvious. You own statement “Steaks are cooked to lower temps, but are considered potentially unsafe at temps below 135 (Medium)” is the Edison moment where the light bulb is turned on for people with IQ's above 75. Therefor, if you happen to fall below 75 please accept my deepest apology because in no way was my humus response intended to be hate driven.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Isn't it also reasonable for people to assume melted cheese is hot?

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Probably, seeing as his folks feed him Nachos.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Actually, state health departments around the country would disagree with you on that. Maintaining proper food temperatures is absolutely the responsibility of the restaurant.

     

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  88.  
    icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Oh, Mike and your silly concepts. Us parents don't have to be responsible for anything concerning our children. Between 'think about the children' politicians and excellent lawyers, us parents don't have to be responsible for anything concerning our children - at least not totally responsible.

    These are great times for parents ;)

     

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  89.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "Is that kelvin or celsius?"

    Neither. Hint: it's water's boiling point.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "What is wrong with you, do people alert others that ice cream is cold and could cause burns and headache? Do people warn others that flaming food that could burn you if an accident happens?"

    What's wrong with you? Couldn't you respond to something I actually said?

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    "How many times did you go to a restaurant with chairs falling apart?"

    How is that relevant? For all it matters, I may never have been in a restaurant.

    "And what qualifies as unstable and likely to cause an accident?"

    Counting the number of legs would be a start. Again you fail to make a point.

    "If your house have unstable flooring and your child gets hurt does it mean the state can take your child to child protection?"

    Please look up the word relevance.

    "I can agree with some things some times but I find that you go all the way to the extreme in some occasions."

    Perhaps you could be specific. It seems that you're the one offering up all the extreme examples in order to make my position seem absurd. A valid tactic, if you apply it properly.

    "If they can't why they ask others to do it?"

    Uh, I wasn't suggesting that anyone taste test the food for poison. That's one of those extreme examples to point out absurdity I was talking about.

    "If someone its not able to ascertain the soundness of a child's chair they are not fit to be parents then, they should give up their child to the system."

    Hmm, this should be sarcasm if you're being consistent, but it doesn't appear to be.

    "God should ever a dog from a blind person knock some child from a chair the owner of the dog should be put in jail."

    Now make a point to go with that example.

     

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  92.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Obviously you've never had Nachos.

    Obviously, you have no idea what 'burned' means. Hot things are hot, and sometimes touching them hurts but that doesn't make them 'burning'.

     

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  93.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    But since it is to hot I will wait a couple of minutes so it cools down a bit.

    How are you supposed to determine the temperature of the cheese or coffee without exposing yourself to a burn?

    Regardless, most cities have codes that specify acceptable temperatures. If the nachos exceeded those temperatures (as the hot coffee did in that infamous lawsuit), then they are liable.

     

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  94.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Thank you!

    It kills me how little people who regularly eat at restaurants know about their local laws regarding restaurants.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    The only problem is that this is not reasonable to expect melted cheese not to be hot.

    Hot =/= Burning

     

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  96.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Picture worth 1000 words...

    Hot =/= Burning

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    God, yes.

    Hey, is there an asshat blocker, like the script we have for Darryl?

     

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


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