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Woman burned by McDonald's hot coffee, then the news media

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In 1992, Stella Liebeck spilled scalding McDonald's coffee in her lap and later sued the company, attracting a flood of negative attention. It turns out there was more to the story.

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This advert for the Guardian's open journalism, screened for the first time on 29 February 2012, imagines how we might cover the story of the Three Little Pigs in print and online. Follow the story from the paper's front page headline, through a social media discussion and finally to an unexpected conclusion. A question to ponder: How do you think the media's influence helped shape public opinion of the pigs?

We're all a little more connected now than we ever have been before. It begs us to wonder if our connectedness informs our perceptions of things happening in the world. A Pew Research paper investigated this topic: Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives. Do you think being connected affects the way we think about current events? Here are the findings: Main findings: Teens, technology, and human potential in 2020

Nearly 20 million of the 225 million Twitter users follow 60 or more Twitter accounts and nearly 2 million follow more than 500 accounts.There are more than 800 million people now signed up for the social network Facebook; they spend 700 billion minutes using Facebook each month, and they install more than 20 million apps every day. Facebook users had uploaded more than 100 billion photos by mid-2011.

YouTube users upload 60 hours of video per minute and they triggered more than 1 trillion playbacks in 2011 – roughly 140 video views per person on earth.

John Mayer's song, Waiting on the World to Change, says: "And when you trust your television / What you get is what you got / Cause when they own the information / Oh, they can bend it all they want." Mayer's words may reflect the opinion of his peers (including the vast majority of 20-somethings around the world today) -- an opinion that blames news media organizations for twisting the truth and making stories into whatever they want them to be. What do you think? Is it interesting that 23 years earlier, a pop icon of the early 1980's wrote a song called A Little Good News that blamed the news itself for being bad -- not the people and organizations reporting it.

Over the last 500 years, the influence of mass media has grown exponentially with the advance of technology. Why does that matter to me? Is that a bad thing? For more information, check out this outline from Dr. Anthony Curtis from the Mass Communication Department at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.More than 20 years ago, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck ordered coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through in Albuquerque, N.M. She spilled the coffee, was burned, and one year later, sued McDonald’s. The jury awarded her $2.9 million. Her story became a media sensation and fodder for talk-show hosts, late-night comedians, sitcom writers and even political pundits. But cleverness may have come at the expense of context. A reporter for The Times reflects on how the world has changed since the lawsuit.

Journalism can be much more than reporting. An authentic, human narrative touches audiences and keeps them reading. Learn how to shape a human-centered news story, and the importance of facts, context and heart.

Colors, camera angles and logos in the media can all prompt immediate associations with emotions, activities and memories. Learn to decode the intricate system of symbols that are a part of everyday life -- from advertising messages to traffic signs.

Avatar for Renata Gonzalez
I get why they would want to sue the company, her burns was horrible and all she wanted was to not have any other person going through the same
05/08/2020 • 
 4 Responses
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Avatar for Isaac Garcia
He wants $50,000 to pay for his hospital bills and a full disclaimer of them bye taking full responsability
11/19/2020 • 
 1 Response
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Avatar for Mónica Arzate
A Starbucks coffee shop in Dublin will have to pay a customer of Thai origin a compensation of 12,000 euros, after an employee drew a smiling face with "slanted eyes" on the paper cup of the premises. The Irish Labor Relations Court decided today that Suchavadee Foley suffered "a racial assault" because the worker "made a clear reference" to her ethnic origin, by identifying the glass with the aforementioned drawing, instead of writing the name, as it is common in these popular establishments. The legal representatives of Starbucks denied during the process that this event can be classified as "racist", while the worker said that she made the drawing of "a smiling face" because she considered that Foley was "glamorous".
05/04/2021 • 
 1 Response
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Avatar for Victor Garza
This becomes one of the most abundant stories for just spilling hot coffee that resulted in a burned elderly lady who got talked about in the news that gives her a lawsuit from the McDonald's company for a large amount of money but missed the story of spilling coffee for the facts.
05/16/2021 • 
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Avatar for Leonardo Mondragón
In 2005, a Brazilian woman sued her partner because he was unable to make her reach orgasm. The 31-year-old woman said that her partner, 38, usually ended sexual intercourse without her having achieved orgasm.
05/17/2021 • 
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Avatar for Eduardo Oviedo Mireles
the error of a company can trigger different problems, such is the case of Mc´Donalds, since through this a human misfortune was generated, the power of the media, and corruption were observed.
05/19/2021 • 
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Avatar for Carlos Sánchez
The lawsuit was fair because the company has all the money in the world to pay for the damages caused by the excessive temperature in its coffee. Damage to each person's body often cannot be treated.
05/20/2021 • 
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Avatar for Daniel Martinez C
I think the U.S. has a reputation for these silly, million-dollar lawsuits. But here we can see the other side of the coin. It seems to me that the lawsuits that do only seek to make a profit, dismiss the real lawsuits that need attention and credibility.
05/22/2021 • 
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Avatar for Victoria García
The customer had an accident and they wanted to use their insurance, they went to the hospital and they didn't want to accept them for having the insurance instead of paying as other customers. They went to another hospital, days later when everything was okay they claimed with the insurance company and the hospital was removed form their portfolio of hospitals.
07/20/2021 • 
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Avatar for Fernanda Cuellar
It is understandable what happened to the lady, she went through her burns, the only thing she wanted was that no other person went through the same thing, she did not pay so much attention to the economic but wanted that this type of accident would not happen again .
07/21/2021 • 
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Avatar for YAEL TELLEZ
What seemed like a bad time costs the company thousands of dollars, what is certain is that the lady did not deserve the bulliying because she suffered severe damage to her legs.
11/03/2021 • 
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Avatar for Lizbeth Balboa
In my opinion, the worst that the company did, was not admiting that they were bad and just try to adecuate the products to the clients prefferences.
11/25/2021 • 
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Avatar for Jerry Ds Rincón
11/25/2021 • 
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Avatar for Clarisa Sánchez
McDonald's makes their coffee so hot to keep it hot and fresh for people travelling long distances. ... Serving coffee at this high burning temperature is also a reason to save coffee. According to McDonald's, hot coffee at the temperature of 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit helps save coffee.
11/25/2021 • 
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Avatar for Elene Victoria González Silva
.
11/26/2021 • 
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Avatar for Jesus Barraza Armenta
It is important to consider whether a product is related to the needs associated with each product and the risks that can be had on these and how they are managed.
11/28/2021 • 
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Avatar for Alejandro Arévalo
There is some facts and opinions in the jury that doesn´t mention in the video, the video doesn´t put a neutral position at all. It shows more how the people attack to the old lady by getting burned by the coffe, the problem with the case is that in certain way, Mc Donalds has all to win the case. You can´t demand by an accident that obviously is warned previously, like the coffee machines, they obviously warms the water and it is hot, putting the coffe between her legs is a terrible idea, and trying to drink it in a car, double terrible idea.
12/06/2021 • 
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Avatar for Jose Villegas
I believe that the affected woman at some point, as she mentioned, sought to sue the aforementioned company or obtain benefits, she was only asking for support to pay for medical services, but the company refused and for the same reason she reached that point. Later the media would make the whole context of the story look totally different from what was real, ending up affecting the credibility of the woman.
04/29/2022 • 
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Avatar for Kathye Lopez
dfgh
05/03/2022 • 
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Avatar for Regina Dea
Euthanasia, that is, intentionally causing the death of someone who obviously requests it because they are suffering from an incurable disease, is undoubtedly one of the best debates that can be proposed, both from different points of view and from topic controversy. Should it be legalized? How can we be sure that the patient is fully sure of what he asks for? Can it be applied in all cases? How should it be done? Who should cause the death of the person? Does it violate the Hippocratic Oath of doctors? Undoubtedly many very enriching topics of debate can be drawn.
05/04/2022 • 
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Avatar for Pedro A
a similar case happened in Canada, where a woman got burnt by mc donalds cofee
05/04/2022 • 
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Avatar for Vanessa Magaña
• After she won the case and receive a lot of money, press started to print the story in papers and that’s when the truth started to be distorted and became an international case to judge from everyone’s perspective.
05/04/2022 • 
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Avatar for Ivana Morales
I see it from a point of view that Mexico is absolutely good at creating great things but at its convenience and not for the good.
05/04/2022 • 
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Avatar for Fernando Hernandez Morales
I think that the amount that the lady asks for the accident was exaggerated, in which she also had a little responsibility
05/05/2022 • 
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Avatar for Carlos Mauricio Cabrera Chavez
The story that goes viral because one of the employees spilled hot coffee on an older customer and it affected everyone. This becomes one of the most abundant stories for just spilling hot coffee that resulted in a burned elderly lady who got talked about in the news that gives her a lawsuit from the McDonald's company for a large amount of money but missed the story of spilling coffee for the facts.
05/07/2022 • 
 0 Responses
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Avatar for Emmanuel Flores
05/07/2022 • 
 1 Response
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