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Woman sues taco bell for burns when she spilled hot breadstick sauce on herself..

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Woman sues taco bell for burns when she spilled hot breadstick sauce on herself..

Old 03-21-06, 02:29 PM
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Woman sues taco bell for burns when she spilled hot breadstick sauce on herself..

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pb...48/1006/SPORTS

Mother sues Taco Bell over burn

Lora Yochim says her leg was burned by breadstick sauce
By JENNY LEE ALLEN

[email protected]
BRADENTON -- It's been quite a year for Lora Yochim.

In January, she made national headlines by giving birth to quadruplets. Last month, Yochim married her sweetheart, Billy Friddle.

And on Friday, she filed a lawsuit against Taco Bell Corp., seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

Yochim, a Bradenton native, said she suffered a second-degree burn after red breadstick sauce spilled on her right leg in March 2002.

It burned through her blue jeans, according to the suit filed in circuit court. Yochim bought the food at a joint Taco Bell-Pizza Hut restaurant owned and operated by Taco Bell Corp.

She said she had been talking with a lawyer about the incident for several years, and that they had tried to reach a settlement with the company.

Yochim, 33, denied the lawsuit had anything to do with her children.

"I don't want people to think I'm doing this just because of my kids," she said. "It has nothing to do with my babies."

Yochim underwent a Caesarean section Jan. 14 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She had not been using fertility drugs, making the quadruplets all the more rare.

Three of the boys are still in the hospital and probably won't be released until April, Yochim said Monday.

The fourth died less than two weeks after he was born.

On Monday, a manager at the Taco Bell-Pizza Hut located at 3710 Cortez Road W. referred questions to Taco Bell Corp.

A spokesman there, Rob Poetsch, said the company doesn't comment or speculate on pending cases.

Yochim's attorney, Richard Buckle, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Yochim said in the lawsuit that Taco Bell Corp. should have warned her the sauce was so hot and that it could fall out of the box container.
Hmm..

"I don't want people to think I'm doing this just because of my kids," she said. "It has nothing to do with my babies."
Don't worry.. nobody thinks that. They think your an idiot who spilled hot sauce on yourself and now you're going after Taco Bell because YOU ARE A MONEY WHORE!!! .. not about your darling kids.

Reminds me of that idiot that spilled coffee on herself. Stupidity in our society is way too often rewarded.
Old 03-21-06, 02:36 PM
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The difference being the coffee was so hot it caused third-degree burns on the woman's crotch and was later on deemed unfit for human consumption at that temperature. I somehow doubt the breadstick sauce would fall under that category at that temperature.
Old 03-21-06, 02:37 PM
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She should have had the Caesarean Salad.
Old 03-21-06, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
The difference being the coffee was so hot it caused third-degree burns on the woman's crotch and was later on deemed unfit for human consumption at that temperature.
Yes, but the reason McDonald's used to serve their drive-thru coffee so hot is that customers wanted it to still be hot when they got to where they were going to drink it. Thanks to the Nanny State, that changed.
Old 03-21-06, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Don't worry.. nobody thinks that. They think your an idiot who spilled hot sauce on yourself and now you're going after Taco Bell because YOU ARE A MONEY WHORE!!! .. not about your darling kids.
We're going to trust a woman with three babies when she's proven she can't even handle a breadstick?

And if she's so hard up for money, what's she doing eating out?
Old 03-21-06, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
And if she's so hard up for money, what's she doing eating out?

She's got to maintain her figure some how.
Old 03-21-06, 02:48 PM
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Not to mention (but I will) that she did this 4 years ago.. and she's just now filing suit? Obviously something has motivated her to think back and see where she can make some money..
Old 03-21-06, 02:49 PM
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people sue over everything these days
Old 03-21-06, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Reminds me of that idiot that spilled coffee on herself. Stupidity in our society is way too often rewarded.
For anyone who doesn't know the full story about the McDonald's case, you should start here: http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html It was way more complicated than the public perceives.

As for this case, I'd like to know more facts. From what we see here, it does seem frivolous. But there could be lots we don't know. If, for example, the sauce container was not properly sealed or something like that, or if it was poorly packaged in a way that made it's spilling on the customer more likely, it might make her case more legitimate.
Old 03-21-06, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
Yes, but the reason McDonald's used to serve their drive-thru coffee so hot is that customers wanted it to still be hot when they got to where they were going to drink it. Thanks to the Nanny State, that changed.
It amazes me that so many people miss the facts of this case.

There is a lot of hype about the McDonalds' scalding coffee case. No
one is in favor of frivolous cases of outlandish results; however, it is
important to understand some points that were not reported in most of
the stories about the case. McDonalds coffee was not only hot, it was
scalding -- capable of almost instantaneous destruction of skin, flesh
and muscle. Here's the whole story.

Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was in the passenger seat of
her grandson's car when she was severely burned by McDonalds' coffee in
February 1992. Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was served
in a styrofoam cup at the drivethrough window of a local McDonalds.

After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward and
stopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her
coffee. (Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often
charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in
motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.
) Liebeck placed
the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from
the cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled
into her lap.

The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next
to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full
thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body,
including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin
areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she
underwent skin grafting.
Liebeck, who also underwent debridement
treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds
refused.

During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700
claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims
involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks.
This
history documented McDonalds' knowledge about the extent and nature of
this hazard.

McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants
advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to
maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the
safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell
coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is
generally 135 to 140 degrees.


Further, 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 quality assurance manager admitted that burns
would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing
the "holding temperature" of its coffee.

Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin
burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full
thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony
showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent
of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus,
if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would
have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn.

McDonalds asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or
home, intending to consume it there. However, the companys own research
showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while
driving.


McDonalds also argued that consumers know coffee is hot and that its
customers want it that way. The company admitted its customers were
unaware that they could suffer thirddegree burns from the coffee and
that a statement on the side of the cup was not a "warning" but a
"reminder" since the location of the writing would not warn customers of
the hazard.

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.

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

The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 --
or three times compensatory damages -- even though the judge called
McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful.


No one will ever know the final ending to this case.

The parties eventually entered into a secret settlement which has never
been revealed to the public, despite the fact that this was a public
case, litigated in public and subjected to extensive media reporting.
Such secret settlements, after public trials, should not be condoned.
-----
excerpted from ATLA fact sheet. 1995, 1996 by Consumer Attorneys of
California

Last edited by NCMojo; 03-21-06 at 02:59 PM.
Old 03-21-06, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Not to mention (but I will) that she did this 4 years ago.. and she's just now filing suit? Obviously something has motivated her to think back and see where she can make some money..

She said she had been talking with a lawyer about the incident for several years, and that they had tried to reach a settlement with the company.
Old 03-21-06, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan
For anyone who doesn't know the full story about the McDonald's case, you should start here: http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html It was way more complicated than the public perceives.

Yep, I've been saying this for years.
Old 03-21-06, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
We're going to trust a woman with three babies when she's proven she can't even handle a breadstick?
Well I know one "stick" she can handle....


And if she's so hard up for money, what's she doing eating out?
(resists urge to make "eat out" joke...)


Isn't it true that poor people tend to eat more fast food? It kinda fits the numbers.
Old 03-21-06, 03:09 PM
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I'm not picking sides, but I will say this: The breadstick sauce, when I've bought it in the past, has sometimes been extremely hot with steam rising out of it, as if they microwaved it on high right before handing it to me. I can see how it would burn her. Who's fault that is, well, i'm staying out of this one!
Old 03-21-06, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
And if she's so hard up for money, what's she doing eating out?
This incident occurred years before the babies. In other words, who knows what her financial situation was in 2002?
Old 03-21-06, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
You know I need you to link these things in order for me to figure out how to get to them
Old 03-21-06, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Seantn
I'm not picking sides, but I will say this: The breadstick sauce, when I've bought it in the past, has sometimes been extremely hot with steam rising out of it, as if they microwaved it on high right before handing it to me. I can see how it would burn her. Who's fault that is, well, i'm staying out of this one!

If they didn't microwave it then people would bitch about it being too cold. It would be a waste of time to sit there with a thermometer waiting for the sauce to be at optimal safe temperature and people would bitch about waiting for it.

It's one of those things were you have to not be a complete idiot and maybe for once in your life becareful with something that might be too hot/cold/deadly whatever you want to call it instead of always making it someone elses responsibility.
Old 03-21-06, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
Yes, but the reason McDonald's used to serve their drive-thru coffee so hot is that customers wanted it to still be hot when they got to where they were going to drink it. Thanks to the Nanny State, that changed.
Thanks to the Nanny State and the abundance of microwaves.
Old 03-21-06, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pb...48/1006/SPORTS



Hmm..



Don't worry.. nobody thinks that. They think your an idiot who spilled hot sauce on yourself and now you're going after Taco Bell because YOU ARE A MONEY WHORE!!! .. not about your darling kids.

Reminds me of that idiot that spilled coffee on herself. Stupidity in our society is way too often rewarded.
lol nice
Old 03-21-06, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
You know I need you to link these things in order for me to figure out how to get to them
Link

Sixth paragraph down.
Old 03-21-06, 04:28 PM
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Another thing about the McDonalds case that is not in that article is the fact that the woman did not originally sue McD. She tried to get it settled for a small amount, but McDonalds told her to take a hike. From what I remember, the jury awarded her much more than she even asked for in the original complaint.
Old 03-21-06, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sherm42
Another thing about the McDonalds case that is not in that article is the fact that the woman did not originally sue McD. She tried to get it settled for a small amount, but McDonalds told her to take a hike. From what I remember, the jury awarded her much more than she even asked for in the original complaint.
she tried to settle for I think 20 grand, which was what her medical bills were. she didn't even try to "make money" off of McD's.
Old 03-21-06, 04:39 PM
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Yochim, a Bradenton native, said she suffered a second-degree burn after red breadstick sauce spilled on her right leg in March 2002.

It burned through her blue jeans, according to the suit filed in circuit court.
Maybe she shouldn't have ordered the acid sauce, then.
Old 03-21-06, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan
For anyone who doesn't know the full story about the McDonald's case, you should start here: http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html It was way more complicated than the public perceives.

As for this case, I'd like to know more facts. From what we see here, it does seem frivolous. But there could be lots we don't know. If, for example, the sauce container was not properly sealed or something like that, or if it was poorly packaged in a way that made it's spilling on the customer more likely, it might make her case more legitimate.
You're such a lawyer!
Old 03-21-06, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ben12
Thanks to the Nanny State and the abundance of microwaves.
You're the second person to say "Nanny State." This is not the Nanny State. There is no Department of Sauce Temperatures that promulgates regulations governing the tempertature at which sauce can be served. This is a lawsuit, the antithesis of the Nanny State.

I suppose we could do away with lawsuits and do away with regulations as well, in which case Taco Bell could piss in your breadstick sauce and there wouldn't be anything anyone could do about it. That's not really the kind of world I want to live in.

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