Here’s the truth behind that McDonald’s coffee lawsuit


Though McDonald’s coffee cups have lately been in the news for far more NSFW reasons, for years their most notable feature was a “Caution: Contents Hot” warning that seemed hilariously obvious.

That addition was part of the settlement in the case of Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, which you’ve probably heard referred to as the infamous coffee case, and which you probably believe was brought by a greedy lady just seeking millions of dollars for making a dumb mistake. Trouble is, that’s not right: 79-year-old Stella Liebeck suffered disfiguring, third-degree burns all over her legs and genitals after her accident, and she really just wanted the restaurant to help pay her medical bills and stop serving coffee at 20 degrees shy of boiling point.

In the latest episode of Adam Ruins Everything, Adam sets the record straight:

The McDonald’s coffee case has long been upheld by opponents as the prime example of a frivolous lawsuit, but in reality, it was anything but. Bet you don’t feel so smug anymore, do you?


Monica Riese

Monica Riese

Monica Riese now serves as the Daily Dot’s director of production, having previously been the publication’s entertainment editor and assistant managing editor. She is based in Austin, Texas, and formerly contributed to the Austin Chronicle, where her breaking news work was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.