A sad example of how the Democratic party has become the political wing of the plaintiffs’ bar is a recent post in the Daily Kos defending John Edwards by lionizing the result in the infamous McDonald’s coffee case, where a jury awarded Stella Liebeck $2.9 million for spilling a 49-cent coffee on herself. (Daily Kos, Aug. 1). Professor Bainbridge refutes (Aug. 1), with reference to our Dec. 10 entry. Blogger “Curmudgeonly Clerk” (Aug. 2) continues to insist that hot coffee is unreasonably dangerous, which sidesteps the question why our legislatures continue to permit it to be sold. Strangely, the Clerk is aware of and cites McMahon v. Bunn-O-Matic, a Seventh Circuit case that should’ve ended the coffee debates once and for all, but doesn’t reconcile that decision with his defense of the Liebeck case.
Meanwhile, Maxine Villegas’s sister spilled McDonald’s coffee on her, and she’s hired Liebeck’s lawyer to sue McDonald’s. (Matt Fleischer-Black, “One Lump or Two?”, American Lawyer, Jun. 4.) Though scheduled to go to trial last month, there hasn’t been additional press coverage.