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Hot Coffee

IT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST EXPENSIVE CUP OF COFFEE IN HISTORY. IN 1992, STELLA LIEBECK WAS AWARDED MORE THAN $2 MILLION IN DAMAGES AFTER INJURING HERSELF WITH A CUP OF COFFEE. THE BIG QUESTIONS: HOW? AND WHY?

In 1992, Stella Liebeck was in the passenger seat of her car. She had just ordered a takeaway coffee from a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant. Her grandson, Chris, parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to the drink. But as she placed the coffee cup between her knees, she spilt the entire cup of burning hot coffee on her lap. Ouch!

Initially, Liebeck wanted to settle out of court. She demanded $20,000 to cover her medical costs. However, the company offered just $800, and refused to raise its offer. So, Liebeck contracted a lawyer, Reed Morgan. Morgan filed suit in a New Mexico District Court accusing the company of “gross negligence” for selling coffee that was “unreasonably dangerous”. Morgan raised the amount to $90,000, but the restaurant refused once again. Eventually, the case went the trial.

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About Learn Hot English

Good news! The latest issue of Hot English (186 – the November issue) is out now! Learn over 300 useful words and expressions and improve your listening skills with Learn Hot English! This month: 23 uses of the verb “to get”. Learn how this useful verb is used to mean lots of different things: to receive, to become, to arrive... Plus, 12 useful words and expressions for talking about the train, 10 useful words for talking about jobs, useful words for talking about your rooms in your house, 8 expressions on the topic of eath, “town” idioms, “time” phrasal verbs... plus: • Economics – world facts. • Marketing – airline stories. • Travel – popular cities. • Grammar – compound nouns. • Film – Bridget Jones. • Nature – dangerous animals. • Culture – world dances. • Movie review – Public Enemies. • Politics – Ted Kennedy. • TV – Fame. • History – Coco Chanel. • Art – house museums. • The law – unusual lawsuits. • Music – controversial stars. • Slang – our dictionary of slang. AND LOTS, LOTS MORE! By reading and listening to all this great content, you'll improve your English reading and listening skills and learn up to 300 useful words or expressions. Plus, you'll get a better job and pass English-language exams more easily. Guaranteed!
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