Liebeck v. McDonald’s: Excessive Windfall for a Clumsy Customer or Warning to Companies to Make Customer Safety a Priority

In 1994, the whole country was buzzing over the generous award to a McDonald’s customer “who spilled hot coffee on herself,” as one person put it. Many people viewed the case as a monument to consumer greed. Others viewed it as propaganda for tort reform. I believe this case is largely misunderstood and did not represent an undeserved windfall for a careless customer, but rather a signal to the restaurant industry that customer safety must be taken into account.